With the days getting shorter and the nights becoming colder, now’s the perfect time to start getting your home ready for the winter.
It’s never ideal when your boiler breaks or water pipes burst, especially at this time of year, making it even more important that you’re prepared for the bad weather.
Here at Hitachi Personal Finance, we’ve put together some of the best tips to help you reduce the impact of the cold weather on your home and save you some money at the same time.
Get your boiler serviced
Now is the most important time to get your boiler checked over to ensure it’s working correctly and efficiently.
Not only will it be a miserable winter if it does breaks down, but a more efficient boiler can save you big money on your heating bills too, so it’s worth the investment.
If your old boiler is on its way out and you want to upgrade, knowing which one to pick can be tricky, especially since it’s quite a big and expensive decision. Our guide on everything you need to know about replacing your boiler will help you make the right choice.
Insulate your home
Adequate insulation in your home could save you some serious money on your energy bills.
If your walls or roof are lacking the correct level of insulation, you’ll be losing heat from your home at a much faster rate compared with a well-insulated property.
The main area to focus on is your loft, as this is where the majority of heat is lost. According to the Energy Saving Trust, loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years, so if it isn't already insulated then it’s an investment worth making.
Installing loft and wall insulation is a super easy job to do and could save as much as £225 a year.
Protect your pipes
Frozen or burst pipes are a nightmare to deal with and yet this is one of the easiest situations to prevent.
The best way to keep your pipes in check during winter is to insulate the water tanks pipes and fix any dripping taps – even a little drip could cause a pipe to burst!
Clear the drains and gutters
Leaves and dirt can quickly clog up your drains, which can result in leaks in the roof and walls and ultimately water damage, so make sure you’ve checked that they are all clear.
This is really important as most insurance companies won’t cover water damage, as they may argue that this could have been prevented by regular maintenance.
Make sure you're covered
The last thing you want is a hefty repair bill in the months leading up to Christmas, which is why it’s essential that you have adequate cover for any possible winter-related damage.
Dig out your home insurance policy documents and check that you're covered for things like floods, boiler breakdowns or accidental damage.
If you’re not covered for anything you think you should be, ring up your insurance provider and get it added on to your policy. It shouldn’t cost much more for additional protection and will also give you some peace of mind.
Bleed your radiators
When air gets trapped, it prevents your whole radiator from heating up, meaning you may need to crank up the temperature which comes at a price.
If you can hear clunking noises when you turn them on, this is a sure-fire sign you need to bleed them. It’s a very easy task that won’t you long but could save you £££’s in the long run.
Top Tip: Install radiator insulation panels for additional energy saving. These panels are easily installed and will reflect the heat back into your home rather than being lost through the walls or windows. They can be purchased from most DIY stores.
Get double glazing
Homes with ill-fitting or single pane windows lose a lot of heat this way so upgrading to double or even triple glazed windows will prevent heat loss and keep your home warmer for longer.
However, getting new windows installed is not a quick or cheap option so you will need to sit down and do your homework to find the most suitable deal to fit your needs.
The upfront costs associated with double-glazed windows can be substantial, but the long-term savings you will make can easily cover the cost. We still recommend that you do your homework to get the most value out of your budget and always look for the ‘Energy Saving Trust recommended’ logo, as these have been accredited as the most efficient.
It might even be worth checking to see if there are any government grants available for double glazing (if you meet certain eligibility criteria).
Quick Fix: Buy thick curtains with a thermal lining to hang over your windows (and even doors) to prevent heat escaping when you have your heating on.
And if you want to save some money on your bills…
Switch to a fixed rate tariff
With many UK households now facing increasingly higher gas and electric bills as the cap has been increased by 12%, especially if you’re on a variable tariff.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to save money on your energy bills is to switch your current tariff to a more competitive deal, ideally a fixed rated contract to ensure that your bills wont unexpectedly go up!
You could even opt for a green energy tariff to ensure your home is utilising electricity produced from renewable energy sources.
Thinking of making your home more energy efficient?
Our low-cost home improvement loan can give you the opportunity to turn your house into a green home with rates starting as low as 3.1% APR Representative between £7,500 and £25,000