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Be it autumn (just) still, I am currently preparing my home for winter and the colder weather months ahead. All that sleet, snow and rain can make the solstice seem glum but at least if you’re warm and comfy it’s bearable, so here is my top list of ways to prep your home for winter…
Check your Boiler
Give it a quick test run. Ensure that it hums smoothly when you switch it on. Your boiler should be serviced at least once a year to ensure it is safe and well. If you have a propane or oil furnace, make sure that you have the supplies topped up too.
For health and safety, clear any obstacles away from the air vents and then ensure you test the boiler with a carbon monoxide kit.
Chimneys and Fireplaces
Warming yourself by these may seem like a distant memory but in order for you to enjoy them again you need to give them a thorough check. Clearing any debris (and animals!) will help your roaring fires give heat and light long into the future.
To check if your chimney needs sweeping, light a little newspaper in the fireplace and see if the smoke moves up smoothly. If the smoke doesn’t go up the chimney then there is likely to be an obstruction. This will require a professional cleaner (do not attempt this yourself, it’s very, very messy).
For safety, if you see any broken points in your fireplace, please ensure that you have them fixed as soon possible.
If you have any exposed pipes outside, now it the easiest time to insulate them. Frozen pipes break easily and cost a lot to get fixed. The best way to insulate them is to cover them in soft foam and strap it tight with electrical heating tape.
For any outside hosepipes or lawn sprinklers, it’s best to turn off the water supply to them and cover them up for the winter to avoid damage.
Check that all windows are tight and not letting in drafts. You can test this by lighting an incense stick or a match near the edges and seeing if the smoke stays straight or moves towards the leak. The most recommended sealant is rope caulk. This should really save you money and comfort over the winter.
Check all corners and crevices around your roof and soffits. Rain, wind, snow and ice can all work their way in and you may not have realised just how much damage happened over the warm and dry summer months. Sealing again with rope caulk will help.
So those are my top tips for sealing your home so that you’re comfortable this winter. Does anyone else have any tips to share?
Estelle Page is an interior designer, mother and eco-enthusiast.
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