With the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, we decided to put together a list of ways you can protect your home and save money at the same time.
Insulate your home
This is a biggie - having adequate insulation in your home could save you some serious money on your energy bills. The main area to focus on is your loft, as this is where the majority of heat is lost and 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.
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 insulate water tanks pipes and it’s also worth fixing those 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 to 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.
Check your boiler
Now is the most important time to check your boiler is working efficiently as you’ll be using it a lot more often. Not only will it be a miserable winter if it breaks down, but a more efficient boiler can save you big money on your heating bills too, so it’s worth checking.
Make sure you're covered
The last thing you want is a hefty repair bill on the months leading up to Christmas. Which is why it’s essential that you get adequate cover for any possible winter-related damage. Dig out your home insurance policy documents and check what you’re covered for eg. floods, broken boiler, accidental damage etc.
Anything you’re not covered for that you think you should be, ring up your insurance provider and get it added on to your policy. It shouldn’t cost that much more for that added protection and will give you peace of mind as well.
Switch energy suppliers
Energy companies are looking for new business at this time of year, so there’s likely to be lots of incentives on offer for switching. Using MSE’s Cheap Energy Club could save around £100’s a year by comparing and helping you switch energy suppliers without you having to do too much digging around online.
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.
How to bleed radiators
You will need:
• Radiator key
• An old towel
Step by step:
1. Turn on all your radiators so that the build-up of pressure can push out the unwanted air.
2. Carefully check each radiator for cold spots using the back of your hand or wearing thin gloves so not to burn yourself.
3. Turn off your central heating before you start bleeding. If you don’t, you risk burning yourself and covering your floor in water.
4. Place the towel on the floor underneath the valve as any spilt water may discolour your carpet.
5. Using the key, open the valve slightly using a quarter to half a turn until you hear a hissing sound (this is the air escaping). Keep an eye on the radiator until all the air has escaped and the hissing subsides.
6. Close the radiator valve.
7. Repeat on all radiators as necessary.
8. Re-pressurise your heating system by ensuring the pressure on your boiler is between 1.0 – 1.5 bar. To do this you will need to locate the central filling loop connected to your boiler (for reference - it looks like a tap).
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. Switching 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.
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.
If you need a help spreading the cost then why not check out our low cost home improvements loans? Starting from just 3.2% APR Representative between £7,500 and £25,000.
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