How to prepare your home for Winter in Kent
Worried about how the cold weather will affect your home? Read on to find top tips for keeping warm, saving money and more during winter in Kent…
First thing’s first; check your heating and air conditioning systems. Refresh your memory on how to set up these systems and test if everything in order before it gets too cold – it’s better to spot any issues now than in the thick of winter!
One priority is to test your radiators to see if they need bleeding. If your radiators aren’t heating up properly or if they have cold spots, chances are they will need bleeding. This is the process of releasing air that has become trapped inside the heating system. Letting this air out will allow for more efficient and effective heating around your home, subsequently reducing your energy bills. It is good practice to bleed radiators every few months, but certainly check it before winter.
If you have a boiler, this is worth checking too. Check that the pilot light is on and re-light it, if necessary. Instructions on how to do this will be in your boiler manual. Having your boiler serviced by a Gas Safety registered engineer once a year is also a good idea to ensure your boiler is running safely and smoothly.
The modern and more energy efficient alternative to boilers are air source heat pumps. As with all other heating systems, it is still recommended that you service your heat pump regularly for the best results. Provided by reputable supplier Mitsubishi Electric, Clarendon Homes offer Ecodan air source heat pumps in many of our new developments in Kent.
Draught excluders provide an easy and cheap way to keep warm this winter. The premise is simple; draught excluders on doors and windows helps you to trap warm air from escaping your home and prevents cold air from coming in. This enables you to conserve your energy bills by more effectively keeping warm air in the rooms you want to keep nice and toasty during winter.
Draught excluders also bring the added benefit of lowering your carbon footprint because less gas escapes your home. A helpful guide on how to fit draught excluders to different areas of your home can be found on the energy savings trust website.
Bedroom necessities for Winter
Nothing beats returning to a cosy bedroom in winter. When it starts to get cold and miserable outside, consider adding some extra layers to keep warm and comfortable indoors. A thicker duvet and some blankets is a good place to start, but if you want to go the extra mile, a rug can help to prevent heat escaping through the floorboards – as well as giving the room an extra cosy feeling.
Other tips to keep your bedroom warm are to shut your curtains when the sun sets, use draught excluders, and close rooms you aren’t heating (for example, an unoccupied spare bedroom).
Although not as exciting, maintenance is just as important as the previous points in this article. Throughout winter it is important to protect your home throughout the harsh weather. This can include insulating pipes to reduce heat loss and prevent them from freezing or bursting, occasionally checking the pipes for cracks or gaps, locating your stopcock in case of emergencies to enable you to limit water damage, and bleeding your radiators (as mentioned before). Cleaning the chimney (if you have one) is also important to mitigate the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning during heavy usage over winter.
Don’t forget the Garden!
Just because you do not use it as much in winter, you cannot forget about your garden!
An outdoor light at the front and back of your home can make it easier and safer to do any outdoor maintenance. Screwfix provide useful and affordable outdoor lights and there are several Screwfix stores in Kent to buy from. Outdoor maintenance during winter can include securing items to the ground that could blow away (for example, wheelie bins and plant plots), making your shed weatherproof, and raking leaves if necessary.
In terms of the exterior of your home, keeping an eye on your drains and gutters for leaves is very important to ensure there are no blockages during heavy rainfall. While you are up there it is also a good idea to check if your roof is in good condition to handle the winter weather and ensure there are no leaks.
Other tips and tricks during winter
If you have a fireplace, order firewood at the start of winter so you have enough stock for when it gets cold. Ensure you have store your firewood in a weather-protected area because is is unusable for burning if it gets too wet.
Candles are a cheap and aesthetic way to add warmth to the room in both senses of the word. They are also handy in the event of a power cut too, which is also important to prepare for. We recommend having a small emergency power cut pack, including a wind-up torch and a few sealed bottles of water – maybe some cards too for entertainment! If you have a power cut, you can call the National Grid to report a power cut on 105, who will then advise you on what to do next.
If you can, putting your heating on a timer can save energy and money by giving you control over your usage. Smart technology brands used in our new build homes include Legrand for heating and ABB for the wireless control of heating, lighting, and audio even when away from the home via the ABB app.
If you celebrate Christmas, the end of December will surely be on your mind! To prepare your home for Christmas, you will likely want to cover three main bases: a Christmas tree, decorations and presents! While decorations and presents can be found online and in your local shopping centre, Christmas trees require a bit of local searching…
There are several places in Kent to buy Christmas trees. One option is Kingswood Christmas Trees, which is a member of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association and is now open 7 days a week in the lead up to Christmas. There is also an opportunity for parents to book a visit for their children to see Father Christmas! Other options include Kent Christmas Trees and Whitegates Farm.
To find out more about Christmas in Kent, read our blog on the Top 10 Christmas activities to do in Kent.
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