To borrow a famous quote, “Winter is coming…“
Actually, Winter is more or less here judging by the stormy weather we’ve witnessed over the past few days.
Winter-proofing your home is important during the colder months. In many ways, it can not only save your home from unnecessary repairs, but save you money as well. With that being said, take a look at our top tips for making sure your home is winter ready this year.
There’s always a little bit of water in our pipes, even when the water isn’t running. When it gets colder, this water can freeze. It can cause a temporary cessation in water supply, low pressure in the taps, or even lead to a burst pipe. In colder areas of your home (for example — outdoors, in an attic space, etc.) take care to insulate pipes and water tanks. You can find some great advice on how to deal with frozen pipes on the SSE website To prevent frozen pipes, check out the Welsh Water website
Don’t Get Locked Out
When the big frost hits, it can cause locks to freeze. If you’ve ever struggled with a frozen padlock or door lock, you know how stressful this can be, especially during this Christmas rush! To prevent this from happening, you can purchase powdered-graphite lubricant for a very low cost in most DIY stores. This lubricates the locks inside to prevent them sticking together. Do this now and your locks will remain untouched by frosh this Winter. Another options is to keep a can of de-icer nearby. You can purchase online, or at your local supermarket/DIY store. Please do not use boiling water to defrost anything — it’s too dangerous and you risk hurting yourself, or others, in the process.
Weatherproof the Garden
Garden furniture and toys are great in the Summer months; however, they can become dangerous when the wind picks up. Secure anything that could be blown around and cause damage. Where possible, move things to a safe place or, if storage is an issue, make sure everything is tied down wherever possible.
Check the Gaps
To save on your heating bill, do a quick whip round the house and make sure the windows are shut tight. Check whether there are any gaps in windows and doors and if you find significant gaps, or feel heavy draughts coming through, report a repair with us. Also, check the gutters of your home; if there are a lot of leaves and debris building up, this may freeze and causing the guttering to collapse later on. Again, if you cannot do this safely and are concerned, please get in touch with us.
Many of us have resorted to having the heating on but, if you find that your home isn’t heating up adequately, it might be that your radiators need bleeding. You can tell if this is the case if they are hot at the bottom but colder at the top. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your heating (and money), test your radiators and bleed them as we transition into Winter. Make sure that you bleed the radiators when the heating is off and the radiators are cold to the touch, otherwise you will release hot steam that could burn you. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube that can show you how to safely bleed your radiator
Get Your Money’s Worth
There’s a variety of money support available for the Winter months:
As of 2021, the Welsh Government have set up the Winter Fuel Support Scheme for people to be able to access £100 towards their fuel bills this Winter. To qualify, you have to be claiming a working age means tested benefit (not just Universal Credit, but also Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers or Employment Support, or Working Tax Credit) between 1st December 2021 – 31 January 2022. Cardiff Council will be contacting people who they are aware would be eligible, but applications can be made on their website as well. (Applications need to be in before 18th February 2022.)
- A Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300 tax-free is available to help you pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 August 1955.
- Cold Weather Payments may be available to you if you receive certain benefits. Payments are made when your local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of 0C or below over seven consecutive days. You’ll get a payment of £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between November 1 2017 and March 31 2018.
- The Energy Saving Trust has advice on how to reduce bills and make your home more energy efficient. They can also advise on grants and schemes available around the UK.