Summer is a distant memory, and autumn is well underway, which means that winter will be coming next. Admittedly we have quite a long time before the temperatures begin to plummet and the afternoons become dark, but autumn is the best time to start making preparations for winter. Starting to get your home ready for winter now will mean that you have plenty of time and that you’re not rushing to get everything finished in the dark and cold weather. Here are a few things that you can do in the next couple of months to get everything winter-ready.
Tidy up your garage or shed
There’s no need to wait until spring before you deep clean your home. Getting your garage or shed sorted now will mean that you can maximise the use of it through the colder months. We could all do with somewhere to neatly store our bicycles, grit salt, extra potatoes or alcohol over the winter, so tidying things up now will save you clambering through mountains of junk later in the year.
The best way to deep clean your garage or shed is to remove everything from it, which is why it’s a good idea to make use of the last dry weather of the year in autumn. Group everything into categories such as tools, equipment and rubbish. Once everything is removed, give the interior a good sweep and clean before putting things back in an organised manner. Throw away or give away anything that you consider rubbish or have not used for more than 2 years.
Autumn is also the ideal time of year to have a look around your shed and check that it is still weatherproof. It’s better to discover that the roof needs repairing now than in the middle of winter when everything inside gets ruined.
Get your Boiler Serviced
In the last few months of warm weather you probably haven’t even given your boiler a second thought. Yet there it has sat waiting to work hard for you when the temperatures drop and you want to turn up the thermostat. Boilers are complex and expensive pieces of equipment so it’s a good idea to ensure that they are running as efficiently as possible at all times. Therefore it’s recommended to have them serviced every year. A typical boiler service costs between £50 and £100 which is a fraction of the amount to replace it. Getting your boiler serviced now will mean that any potentially expensive problems can be rectified in good time and that you won’t be without heating or hot water when you really need it.
Once your boiler is sorted, now is a good time to check the pressure of it, and then bleed the radiators to ensure that they are working at full efficiency when they are needed.
Now is also a great time to test all of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If you have a boiler or any other gas appliance in your home then you should have a working carbon monoxide. Batteries should be replaced if required, as should any faulty alarms. It could save your life or the life of someone you love.
Work in the Garden
Although spring is the time of year when you plant flowering and fruit-bearing plants, now is the time to start prepping the soil for them. Remove all weeds from your flower beds and add mulch if necessary. Prune any trees, and rake and clear any dead leaves. If you have bare spots in your grass then now is a great time to reseed them. Keep on top of your lawn mowing, as you will not be able to do it any more if the ground becomes too wet or frozen.
If you have any outside taps, then now is the time to prepare them for winter. Water in exterior taps and pipework can freeze during cold spells which can damage them and cause very expensive leaks. To prepare your tap for winter you can turn it off at the isolation valve, and leave the tap on so that all of the water is drained from the pipes. If you’re unable to do this then wrap your tap tightly in old cloths or towels to keep it insulated.
Check the roof
Your roof goes through a lot, especially during the winter. Autumn is the time to get up there (or get someone else up there) to check that there are no loose or damaged tiles. Have any broken or missing tiles replaced. Even if you’re unable to do this yourself, it is well worth paying someone to get the job done for you as it will save you money in the long run.
While you’re up the ladders, check that all gutters and downpipes are clear of old leaves and debris to prevent them from leaking when the heavier rain comes. If your gutters are particularly difficult to access or clean then consider adding brushed to them once you have cleaned them to prevent debris building up in the future.
Increase your home’s efficiency
It is well worth checking that your home is as energy efficient as it can possibly be before the winter comes and your usage increases. There are several things you can do to ensure that your home is efficient such as replacing old fashioned lightbulbs with energy-efficient ones, mounting reflective film behind your radiators and bleeding them.