Autumn is here; the leaves are falling and it’s getting colder. Here are some handy tips for preparing your home for the colder months
Boilers and radiators
With the changeable weather over the summer, you will have probably turned your boiler on earlier than normal, only to turn it back off again with the warmer weather returning in September. If, however, you haven’t turned it on again, now is the time. By turning your central heating back on now, you will be made aware of any issues with your heating before the cold weather really hits. It may be wise to get your boiler professionally serviced to check for any problems that may appear further down the line. An engineer will identify problems with your thermostat that you may not be aware of. Your radiators may have had a build-up of sludge over the summer months – an engineer will flush through the dirty water and replace it with clean water ready for the harsher winter months; helping to ensure you never have to go without heating.
The last thing you need is pesky draughts letting cold air in and hot air out. You can check for draughts yourself using a lit candle around door frames and window frames. When there is a draught, the flame will blow towards you. You can then either fix the draught yourself using hardware from a store or by calling in the professionals. You can lose as much as 30% of heating through seals and gaps in your loft. Check under the insulation for cut-outs, pipes, wires etc, and seal them from the inside. If you have a log burner or multi-fuel burner, remember to close the flue after use, (when the fireplace has cooled) to avoid heat escaping.
Create a cosy ambience
Even sealed windows can allow heat to escape. By using good quality curtains, you can better insulate your windows. Close them at night-time and when you’re not at home to conserve heat. With the nights getting darker, light up your windows with some warm fairy lights to create a cosy ambience. If you feel cold, you will be cold; trick your mind and make your home as cosy as possible! If you don’t have a real fireplace, light some scented candles. Choose autumnal scents such as wild pumpkin, cinnamon or cookies to create a cosy atmosphere in you home. Spoil yourself with some fleecy blankets to wrap up in during the evenings. This will stop you from fiddling with the thermostat and making your house too warm.
Re-arrange the furniture
Move your sofa, and any other furniture, away from the radiator; your sofa absorbs heat from the radiator which stops it from circulating around the room. The same goes for big TV units, dressers etc: try to keep your radiators unblocked by furniture so they can release heat just as they should. In bedrooms, long curtains can have the same effect. If possible, tuck the curtains behind the radiator and move beds away from radiators too. Waking up with your arm on a scalding radiator isn’t an enjoyable experience for anyone! If you have a conservatory clean it too and make it winter-ready; if you have vinyl flooring, invest in a thick shaggy rug. A conservatory can get cold even with a heating system installed, so opt for a plug-in heater too!
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