The autumn chill is certainly in the air. Within weeks, many of us will be planning ahead for Halloween, Bonfire Night and some might even have started the Christmas shopping.
As this is the UK, it’s a good time to start getting your house (and your garden, if you have one) prepared for a change in weather. As the days draw in we’ll want to be cosy and snuggled up indoors, so here’s a simple checklist to get you warmer, reduce hazards and even save on bills.
Turn the thermostat down and get your boiler checked
Now is a good time to try to save on your heating bill. Even though it is getting colder, avoid keeping the heating on for long periods and only turn it on in rooms that you use and when you’re at home. Try turning the thermostat down by one degree and you could save between £85 and £90 a year.
Be sure to bleed all you radiators and make sure the heat is coming through. If your boiler hasn’t been serviced, it might work out cheaper to take out a monthly plan. These usually start at around £4.95 a month (although prices can vary), and this can sometimes include a free service in the first year too. This will give you peace of mind through the whole year, rather than being left with an unexpected bill that could run into the thousands.
Dress your home with layers
It may sound silly, but it’s pointless having the heating on if the rest of your home is letting it back out again. For example, your bedroom can benefit from layers. A blanket, winter duvet with a higher tog – say 13.5 – and even flannel bedding will make your bed much warmer and cosier.
Try dressing your windows too. If you have draughty windows, thick curtains create a barrier to trap cold air out and help a room to warm up more efficiently. They’ll also act as sound proofing from noise outside and can make your lounge more private if it’s overlooked. Just make sure you keep them open in the daytime so the sun’s rays can help to heat the room.
Winter is a great time to make hearty meals such as chilli, soup and shepherd’s pie in batches. You can freeze these meals to eat later on, or take some to work and save on your food bill. Remember after cooking to turn off the oven and open the door when you’ve finished. All the heat will flood into the kitchen and warm it up on a chilly evening. Just be sure to keep the kids and pets away from the oven door.
Let’s go outside
This is a classic tip but keeping those gutters free of leaves and debris may help you save hundreds, even thousands of pounds in damage. Keep them clear to avoid them filling with water – this could freeze and crack pipes through winter when the weather turns colder. It will also prevent stagnant water seeping into walls and developing damp issues. If you can’t do this yourself, you can contact a professional gutter cleaner instead.
Keep paths and any driveways clear of slippery leaves, ice and snow. If the weather does freeze up, spread a light coating of salt on paths and driveways to avoid any accidents.