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4 Tips For Making Your Home Winter-Ready

4 Tips For Making Your Home Winter-Ready

The passage of linear time has been hard to track this year, for obvious reasons, but it won’t have been lost on anyone that nights are drawing in. The days are getting colder, and there is more likely to be some rain to deal with too. Although our arrangements for the holiday season might be different in 2020, many of us are at least beginning to make those arrangements, and though we can’t say that winter has truly begun, it’s certainly on the way.

This year, more than any other, the importance of making your home ready for the colder months is inescapable. Many of us will be working from home for the foreseeable future, and even those who can’t do that may yet find themselves unable to travel to work, so it’s vital that your house is prepared for the encroaching colder days and nights, and the darker evenings that we’re now beginning to experience.

Check your windows from the outside

You may well be of the opinion that there isn’t a draught in your house, and you might be right. It’s also possible that there wasn’t a draught last year, but the passage of time has taken its toll and now there is cold air getting into your house. You wouldn’t have noticed it in summer, but as the days grow colder, you surely will. Draughts are most likely to get in around windows and doors – anywhere in your home where there is a join, in all honesty. So it makes sense to take a bit of time one morning to go around the exterior of your house.

As you move around, look at any gaps in the mortar, and in particular around any openings. The aforementioned windows and doors are important, but vents and other such interruptions to the brickwork should be monitored – and if there is space for air to get in, it should be patched up with a caulking gun. This may not eliminate all draughts, but it can certainly limit the impact they have on your comfort throughout winter. 

Clear out the gutters

By now, much of the leaf fall we are likely to see this autumn will have already happened, but there is some still to come. Now is a very good time to check the gutters around the roof of your home, and clear out any fallen leaves. The longer that leaf mulch sits in your gutters, the more rain it collects, and the more prone it becomes to freezing solid when the temperature dips below zero. This can cause permanent damage to the gutter which will require expensive repairs to make good again.

Ensure that your heating – and hot water – work as they should

It used to be essential to have hot water from taps in your house, for washing up, showering and a range of other purposes. As time has passed, appliances that need to use hot water can increasingly heat it themselves, and are plumbed into the cold water supply – and frugal people are engaged in a battle of wills as to who will be the last to turn the household heating on. That’s all well and good, but it means we’re often late to find out about faults in our hot water and heating throughout the house.

It’s vitally important to check that these essentials are functioning; you quite simply will not want to be washing your hands in cold water this winter (and, thanks to the pandemic, you need to wash your hands all the more right now). If you need any repairs to be run, you can book them in with the likes of before the winter rush begins, and can then be confident of a steady supply of hot water and household heating that will see you through the coldest months of the year.

One last tip: lots of blankets!

We all know how cold it can become in winter, and if you are working from home the concern may well be that you need to heat the house more because you are there for longer. As far as possible, it is best to avoid turning the heating on unless it is absolutely necessary. Instead, have plenty of warm blankets which you can wrap around yourself to stay warm, only deploying the household heating if it gets seriously cold.

Making your house winter-ready is a vital step to take before winter itself has fully descended. You’ll be glad you took the above measures when you look back in January and see how much you have benefitted.

health, Winter

Keep warm: Be prepared

Keep warm: Be prepared

Do you hibernate like me when the weather is bad. I hate the cold and I’m always looking for ways to keep warm. Being cold can really takes its toll eventually so its best to protect ourselves the best we can from the dip in temperatures. Being a support worker and looking after the elderly in the community I am always looking for the best ways to help keep them warm. Here are a few tips on how to stay warm during the cold spell.

Ten top tips on keeping warm if going out.

  1. Have something hot to eat and drink before setting out on your journey and also drink plenty whilst out to keep your insides warm.
  2. Layer up. There is nothing worse than not dressing appropriately for the weather.
  3. Wear wool as wool retains the heat.
  4. Carry a hot water bottle with you if you can. Pocket hand warmers are also good.
  5. Wear a hat, gloves and a scarf to help protect you from the cold.
  6. Avoid getting wet the best you can. Wear waterproof clothing. There is nothing worse than having to wear wet clothes all day.
  7. Keep moving and avoid standing around too long. Try and use good grip shoes/boots for safety!
  8. If you can, always try and carry a change of footwear and socks to change in to.
  9. Check travel arrangements before leaving. Check transport times etc so you’re not left hanging around in the cold. Always keep in touch with a friend or relative in extreme conditions and/or travelling a distance. It then saves them from unnecessary worry.
  10. In extreme weather conditions carry any urgent/needed medication with you in case of emergency/road closures etc. it’s always best to be prepared. Always carry any needed chargers to keep gadgets charged so you can keep in contact with friends and family. If travelling via car, blankets and a flask of soup always come in handy in an emergency. Also write down any important numbers and keep them safe, just in case your mobile goes flat and you are unable to charge it.

Ten tips on keeping warm when indoors

  1. Put the heating on. Homes should be at the temperature of at least 18°C. Check if you are eligible for help with heating costs (link below), no one should be scared to have their heating on, especially on cold winter days.
  2. Have extra blankets to hand and hot water bottles.
  3. Block any drafts around doors and windows.
  4. Keep windows and vents closed.
  5. Check radiators are working properly. You may have one or two that may need bleeding. Move away any furniture obstructing the heat from the radiator.
  6. Layer up, several thin layers work better. Wool and/or fleece preferably.
  7. Hot regular drinks to keep your insides warm.
  8. Keep active and this will help you to keep warm. Batch cook some meals, bake a cake or even some biscuits, that way your near the oven for extra warmth too.
  9. Have a hot soak in the bath.
  10. Eat well, this will help keep your body warm. Also helps to fight off any winter germs – homemade soups are a good choice.

Be prepared: 

  1. Have a good stock of flu medications at home.
  2. Check your home is insulated properly before the winter months. This will also help keep the fuel bills down.
  3. Speak with your GP about a flu jab.
  4. Check windows and doors for drafts before winter.
  5. Check if your entitled to a cold weather payment, it doesn’t hurt to check and every penny helps.
  6. Keep an eye on the weather and stock up on your shopping, saves going out if no need in the bad weather.
  7. Check on your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector.
  8. Prepare/protect your pipes for the winter months.
  9. Be prepared for power cuts caused by storms. Candles, batteries etc. Have them in a place ready to grab that all household members know.
  10. Give your car if you have one a winter check.

What are your favorite items to help keep you warm on a cold winters day? >>here are ours<<

Always check on elderly neighbours and relatives. Make sure they are warm and have all they need, especially during cold spells.