Preparing Your Home for Winter
With winter well and truly upon us, it is not only important to keep yourself wrapped up warm from the chill, it is also time to make sure your home is prepared for winter. With this in mind, here are some of our top tips for preparing your home for winter.
Ladderstore have compiled these handy tips to make sure your home is ready for winter. First off let’s start with the outside of the house.
Clean out your gutters
Cleaning out gutters to remove leaves and debris that has gathered over Autumn is highly important to limit the amount of water that builds up near your home and by clearing your gutters you will prevent damp and mould within your home. There are a couple of options for cleaning your gutters, get a professional in or do it yourself.
If you are taking on this task yourself by sure to select the right ladder for the job and ensure you aren’t resting the top of your ladder against the actual guttering. The average height of a single-story house according to the Ladderstore website is 3.3m and they would recommend a 10 or 12 tread stepladder or a 2-section extension ladder with an extended height of 3.95 m or more. However, please note, your home may be higher or lower than this initial figure.
Secure your bins
Make sure your bins are positioned in a secure location and if possible, held within a shed/cubby or even tied down, as this will prevent strong winds and storms from knocking them over which could easily cause damage to your garden or vehicle.
Rugs can be a great insulator especially on wooden or vinyl floors and create a great, warm barrier between your feet and the cold. Rugs are especially useful if the floor is above an unheated crawl space or in a room over a garage.
When it comes to choosing the right rug to keep your home warm you want to be looking at the stitch count (sometimes also called a needle count). The higher the stitch count, the higher the insulation, this is the best way to find a well-insulated rug. You are much better buying a thinner rug with a higher loop count over a thicker one with a smaller loop count.
Can you often feel a draft or chill when you walk past a closed door? Then that door needs draft excluded to stop that chill.
To draft exclude your door you can either attach a weatherstrip around your door to fill in any gaps and prevent the cold chill from coming through. Other options can include adding a curtain over the top of your door. This is mainly used at night so if you are wanting to stop the draft during the day this may not be the right option for yourself, but this is a highly effective way to keep your house warm at night. Another less invasive way for excluding a draft buy a door is to use a long fabric excluder, although this isn’t to everyone’s taste it is a highly effective solution and helps keep the heat in.
Bleeding your radiators on an annual basis can ensure that they are in good working order. It is advised to do this once a year even if you have had no issues.
Bleeding your radiators allows the water to reach the whole radiator that has been previously been filled up with air causing your central heating to not work properly, this in turn takes longer for a room to heat up and could increase utility bills.
Things to look out for that may indicate that your radiators may need bleeding include – if they are making strange noises or if they are only heating up from the bottom of the radiator.
The closer the blind is fitted to the window the more effective they are at reducing heat loss this is due to the smaller air gap between the window and blind. This also means that made to measure blinds are much more effective in reducing heat as you can ensure there are no gaps between the window frame and blind as long as the blind has been measured properly.
Multi-layer thermal curtains can be a great solution to help keep your house warm in the winter with the added benefits of keeping your house cool in the summer and can even help with noise cancellation from outdoors. Even if you don’t own thermal curtains closing your curtains at night can have a substantial effect on reducing the heat loss in your home.
Cover your walls
You may not think so but even just by adding mirrors and pictures to your walls can help to higher the temperature in the room. If you think about it, within old medieval houses and films you will often see tapestries lining the walls which essentially is the same principle. Bookcases can be a great insulator especially if they are filled with hardback books as they make a fantastic insulator.
Reflect the heat
To make the most out of the heat from your radiator you could place a radiator panel behind your radiator. This is a reflective panel that reflects the heat from behind your radiator this will stop the radiator from heating the wall and instead heat the rest of the room.
Move your sofa
Similarly, to not heating the wall, make sure your coach is not covering your radiator to make the most out of the heat and allow it to circulate around the room, instead of it being absorbed into the fabric of the coach.
Prepare for a power cut
Although power cuts are few and far between making sure that you have supplies at hand is always worthwhile, we would suggest making sure that you have torches, batteries, unscented candles, matches.
Insulate Your Loft
As we all know heat rises, and therefore it is suggested that around a quarter of all heat lost in a home is through the roof in an uninsulated home. Although insulating a loft can be an expensive and large task it is believed that the work will pay for itself in two years due to the saving on utility bills. There are a couple of complications that can occur with loft insulation and we would therefore recommend an expert takes on this project, but this is another tip for keeping yourself warm and saving money in the long-run.
If you need regular access to your loft, take a look at ensuring your loft hatch is also insulated. On higher grade loft ladders, you can request high insulation as well as fire ratings for extra piece of mind.
Hopefully these above tips will help you stay warm during winter and also ensure it’s as pain free as possible. Before you get to work on any of our tips ensure you are wrapped up warm, you may as well stick the kettle on whilst you’re at it!