It’s that time of year when the temperature starts to drop. Time to get the big coats back out of the cupboard and start preparing your house for the cold weather.
Planning ahead can really help when the cold sets in. By spending a bit of time doing some simple checks around the home, you can ensure that you’ll be able to stay nice and warm and minimise the risk of nasty surprises, such as frozen or burst pipes. Here are our top tips for protecting your home from the cold this winter.
Wrap your pipes with lagging
Just like our hands and feet, our pipes also feel the cold when the temperature drops. We wear hats and gloves to fight off the cold, and our pipes need similar protection, in the form of lagging. Lagging simply means wrapping your water pipes in insulation to help delay the start of freezing. It’s easy and fairly cheap to do and with a little bit of knowledge, you can do it yourself. Read our detailed guide to lagging your pipes.
Is there a tap dripping outside? Get it fixed
It’s important to fix dripping taps, as little drops make your pipes more prone to freezing when they are exposed to the cold air. Even a small dribble can increase the risk of your pipes freezing. If your pipes are frozen, you can use a towel soaked in hot water to thaw them. Never use a naked flame, such as a blow torch, to thaw your pipes.
Not in? Keep the heating on low
Hot, cold. Hot, cold. This sudden change in temperature can cause havoc on your poor pipes – particularly if they’ve frozen. Instead of turning the heating off, set it to around 14 degrees to maintain a constant temperature. Maintaining a constant temperature, as opposed to heating from scratch, shouldn’t make a noticeable difference on your energy bill.
Find your stop tap
The location of your stop tap will vary from house to house, so it’s best to take a look and make sure you know where yours is. You’ll normally find them under the kitchen sink or cupboard, in the garage or utility room or in the bathroom. Check out our advice on how to find your stop tap.
Regularly service your boiler
Servicing your boiler regularly is important to keep it working in a safe and efficient manner. Getting a service will ensure that your boiler is performing efficiently and will help to identify any issues, so your boiler will be less likely to break down later on. Remember that most boiler warranties require you to get your boiler serviced every 12 months.