Winter is well and truly upon us, and it’s at this time of year we start to think about ways in which to prepare our homes for winter.
It’s important not only to consider the ways in which we can improve the heat loss in our homes, but also how we can prevent burst and frozen pipes. According to Lloyds Bank Home Insurance, last winter there were 26,500 claims for this type of damage which cost more than £39 million to rectify.
So we have put together some ideas on how you can protect your home from the outside whilst keeping it warm on the inside:
• To prevent the pipes from bursting in your loft space make sure they are adequately insulated, pipe insulation is relatively cheap to buy and easy to install.
• Always keep your home at a minimum temperature of 10c.
• Check your gutters for leaves, if they are blocked this could cause them to freeze, expand and crack your pipes.
• A large amount of heat can escape through drafty doors and windows, so if your curtains are not lined, consider lining them, you could even line them with a shower curtain to save money.
• Place tin foil at the back of your radiators, this will stop some of the heat being absorbed into the walls and project more of the heat into the room.
• Open your curtains on a sunny day, as the sun will help to warm up your room, and then draw them as soon as dusk falls, which is normally about 16:30 at this time of year.
• If your windows are not double glazed, then consider fitting some insulation film, Stormgaurd sell glazing insulation film for £7.99 plus delivery, for 6m2 of film. Simply clean your windows thoroughly before applying, cut and fit.
• Close off rooms that are not used and heated.
• Fit a chimney balloon - If you are not using your chimney you could be loosing up to 10% of heat from your home, by buying and placing a chimney balloon you could prevent heat loss. The Chimney Balloon store sell them from £20.00.
• Turn your thermostat down, each degree could save you up to 5% off your annual energy bill. The ideal temperature for your home is 21 degrees, if you find this cold then add an extra layer.
• Insulate your loft – if you install loft insulation in a standard size loft space, up to 270mm you will save around £180 on your annual energy bill, and it will cost you about £250 to install it yourself, within just under 2 years, it would have paid for itself.
• If you have hard floors throughout your home, then think about placing blankets or rugs on the floors, this will help to keep the heat within the room.
• Draft excluders - if you have gaps around your windows, then consider buying to draft excluder tape, make your door insulators by filling stocking with old socks or fabric and sewing off each end to make a sausage shape, then place under the gaps in your doors.
• Finally try and find a cheaper energy supplier, some of the smaller companies, such as Co-op and Ovo have some great deals.