How to Winter Proof Your Home
Winter might be a pretty season, with bright, frosty mornings and snow days – but just like the wet weather of autumn, winter can be seriously damaging to your home, with extreme elements and plenty of wind and wet weather to test your home’s exterior. It’s important to keep your home winter proof – so whether you’re hoping to sell your home soon or just looking to keep your house safe and secure through the winter months, we’ve put together our top tips for winter-proofing your home.
Protect your home from draughts
Making sure your house is air-tight and protected from unwelcome draughts will make your heating more effective, and save you money in the long run. While it’s a good idea to keep your home well-ventilated, draughts in winter will only sap your heat and waste money. Draught-proofing could save you around £20 per year, and stop that chilly shudder when a draught blows through your house.
Stop draughts under your doors
For external doors, make sure your keyhole, letterbox or cat flaps are covered – and if there’s still a chilly draught coming in through an internal door, use a draught excluder to stop them.
Seal any gaps in your window frames or doors
You could be leaking out heat from cracks and gaps in your windows and doors, so if you’re wondering how to seal up windows for window, use insulating strips, or re-apply caulk around windows where the sealant has pulled away from the walls.
Make sure there are no gaps in your floors and skirting boards
Check your floors for cracks or gaps – especially in older houses with genuine wooden timer floorboards. If you do have exposed wooden floors, consider adding more rugs to keep in the warmth, and stop heat from leaking out.
Keep the heat inside
Nothing’s more welcoming than a warm, cosy house in winter. Chances are, you’ll have your central heating on for a lot of winter – so make the most of the heating you’re paying for, and maximise your money.
What temperature should you keep your house in winter?
The government recommends that homes should be 18 degrees Celsius, otherwise they can get too chilly – but if you do tend to feel the cold a lot easier, then there’s no problem with turning up your thermostat a few notches!
Choose a smart thermostat
Using a smart modern thermostat will help you keep your house at its ideal temperature, without having to worry over lots of manual programming. A smart thermostat will turn down the temperature when you’re not home, saving you money, and detect when you return to the house and turn the heating back up. A smart thermostat can also detect colder weather, and boost your heating to counteract it – and maintain your home’s heat level so your boiler doesn’t have to work as hard to get up to warmer temperatures.
Insulate your pipes and hot water tank
Winter proof your home and keep your water warm and maintain temperatures by insulating your hot water tanks with a tank jacket, which could save up to £35 a year by keeping your water hot. You should also consider insulating your pipes, especially if you have any external pipes outside your home – very cold weather could cause these pipes to freeze, causing warps or cracks as well as potentially very expensive damage to your entire system. Invest in foam tubing, or ‘lagging’, that wraps around the pipes, to protect them from extreme temperatures and keep your water hot.
Make your radiators more efficient
You can make your radiators work harder by making sure they’re in good working order, and maximising on their location. Make sure they’re bled regularly, and that there’s no furniture in front of them that could be absorbing heat. If your radiators are located on external walls, consider lining them with foil to reflect heat back into your room instead of it being wasted and escaping into the wall.
Winter proof your roof
Some of the worst damage that can happen in bad winter weather comes from above – so it’s important to make sure your roof is in good condition before winter starts.
Check your chimney
It might be easy to overlook your chimney, but don’t risk it. In heavy rain, or after a snowfall, water can leak in through the exposed parts of your chimney, trickling down through your home and causing water damage to walls, paint and wallpaper. Make sure that any lead flashing or pointing and mortar is in good condition, and healthy enough to last all winter.
Keep your roof in good condition
Save yourself the stress and high cost of calling out a roofer during the dead of winter, and make sure your roof is in good condition ahead of time. Clear out your gutters, and check that there aren’t any nearby trees or overhanging branches, which could break off in heavy snow or wind and damage your roof.
Upgrade your interiors
The best way to insulate your house for winter, is to make sure you’re working with the best materials – so if it’s been a few years since you looked at your home’s first line of defence, now might be the time to make sure it’s all winter proof.
Invest in insulation
If your attic and basement aren’t already insulated, now is the time to invest. Insulation will cut down on your heating costs by keeping the heat where it belongs – inside your home. It will also help to reduce draughts and muffle sound, so make sure you have some installed, especially in cold attic eaves.
Pick energy-efficient windows
Most new build houses will come prepared for winter with double glazing, but if your home is a little bit older, it’s definitely worth upgrading. Even if you have double glazing, you could also consider low emissivity (also known as Low-E glass), which is treated with an invisible coating to reflect heat back into the house.
Make sure you protect your home by keeping it winter proof year round, and defend it against the wild weather of winter – after all, if you look after your house, it will look after you by keeping you cosy and warm even on the coldest of days. For more tips on how to make the most of your house, financial tips, house guides and more, check out our blog.