Winter is a tough time of the year when the weather can be difficult, and we have to protect ourselves every time we step outside. We also need to protect our homes in various ways to make sure they stay safe and warm through the season.
Protect your home
Before the worst of the freezing temperatures come along, it is worth checking the water in your home. You should know where the water mains are in your home and how to shut them off if there is a problem. Check all visible pipes for signs of leaks – even a tiny leak can lead to a burst pipe in the colder months.
Another protect to ensure is that you have the right home insurance in place, just in case anything does go wrong. Chill .ie lets you check the cover you have and make sure you are getting the best price. Look for things like the excess on an escape of water claim to make sure you won’t be left with a bigger than average bill if something bad happens.
Make sure all the safety devices in the home are working and have batteries such as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well as your house alarm if you have one. Check your locks are working well as ice can freeze up mechanisms if you don’t use a certain door very often.
Keeping it warm
Your home’s heating system is one of the most important things during winter and it can be advisable to have a service on your boiler and heating system before the weather gets to its worst. The colder it gets, the more pressure is put on the system and the greater the chance that something goes wrong, leaving you without heating and hot water.
If you have air conditioning systems in your home, this is another system to have checked during early winter. Because these units have outdoor elements, they can be prone to freezing and can lead to a breakdown or other problems.
Ideally, set your home temperature between 18-20 degrees (64-68 Fahrenheit) when you are in and a little cooler when you are out at work. That way you reduce the risk of pipes freezing and bursting. Even in unused rooms, keep a low-temperature setting for this reason.
There are some steps to take around the outside of your home to help protect it in winter as well. For example, trim back any trees or dead branches that are overhanging paths or the main footpath – these could fall and cause injury.
Make sure the gutters are free from leaves and that the drain for the main downpipe isn’t blocked. Blocked drains can cause a range of problems from the ice on paths to burst pipes in the house and even penetrating damp.
If there is a good fall of snow, then use a brush or rake to clear paths within your property boundaries to make it safe and scatter some salt or grit to make it easier to get around.