Thursday, September 19, 2019

How To Get Your House Ready For Winter

~ This is a featured post. ~

The nights are getting longer, the temperatures are falling and the leaves are changing colour: it’s definitely that time of year when we leave summer behind and get into autumn. Before you know it, there’ll be ice on the car and snow on the ground.

These first few weeks of cooler weather usually prompt us to dig out the big, cosy sweaters and boots as the seasons change. Some of us start putting the heating on in the evenings and - would you believe it? - you’re still feeling a bit chilly.

If you feel the cold even after putting on the heating and adding several layers, you may wish to see where all that heat is going and how you can warm up your home. Here are some hints and tips to help you out.

Look at insulation
Most of the heat generated from your home’s boiler is lost through your roof (25%) and walls (35%) so, if you have a chilly house, have a look at these and see what you can do. It may be that you need to improve what insulation you’ve already got, or add any that’s not been installed at all.

Try putting in roof insulation first, as this will be relatively easy and cheap to do. There are many different options for you to choose from, so see what best suits your situation.

How you insulate your walls depends on the age of your property: if it was built before the 1920s it will probably have solid walls, and anything before will usually have cavity ones. Cavity walls can be injected with an insulating material; solid walls need insulating either internally or externally.

Also check for gaps around external doors, for example. If you find any - and this will include items such as letter openings on doors, or chimneys - draught-proof them so you don’t lose heat from these areas.

Boost your heating
First, have a look at your boiler. If it’s an old, inefficient unit, you may want to think about replacing it for something newer and more cost-effective.

Also, check out your radiators. If they take a while to warm up, it may be because there’s trapped air in them, valves are open or shut when they shouldn’t be, or the radiators themselves need to be flushed.

If you have any large rooms in your house, you may want to add another heating unit to help make this area a little warmer for those cooler times. One option you could consider is a balanced flue gas stove: it has the good looks and cosy nature of a wood-burning stove, but the convenience and control of gas heating. This would be great in a living room where you spend time with your friends and family.

Check your windows
About 10% of your home’s heat will escape through your windows. This will be through small gaps that may be the result of age or the windows being badly installed, and radiation through the glazing.

The way your windows open may also affect how efficient they are at keeping heat in. Sash windows are usually less efficient than other types.
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