The winters always come around so quick these days! Summer has barely finished before the shorter days and lower temperatures set in meaning that it’s time to put the heating back into action to keep your home warm.
Us Brit’s tend to have fairly short memories, we live for the moment. As soon as the winters over and it gets warm outside, we forget how cold we were in our homes! Many of us don’t tend to plan ahead or future-proof against variable weather conditions, therefore, we’ve compiled our list of five key items to help you live more comfortably this winter.
1. Phase in the heating
Mechanical items such as boilers, radiators and hot water tanks don’t like too much strain. It’s likely that they have been switched off or rarely used throughout spring and summer, therefore, on the first cold night, it’s never wise to overwork them.
Phase in your heating by setting low temperatures on the thermostat to ensure that your heating system doesn’t have to work too hard too soon. Once the system has swung back into action, you can gradually increase temperatures on the thermostat to keep the house warm and cosy.
This is likely to minimise the potential for breakdowns whilst prolonging the life of your heating system by nurturing it through the seasons! Liken it to sleeping all night and then getting out of bed and immediately sprinting as fast as you can. Your body needs time to wake up, your muscles need a chance to get warm and loosen up and it’s no different to mechanical items.
2. Make sure your roof is in good condition
Before the onset of winter, giving your roof space and loft a quick once over is never a bad idea.
Have you got any slipped, cracked or broken roof tiles? Is your membrane between the rafters in good condition? Did you have any leaks last winter that you forgot to address over the summer? Has the roof started to condensate or is any mould present on rafters?
If any of the above are present, potential issues could arise in the short to medium term and therefore it’s always worth getting a professional out to assess. There are many remedial solutions that can be implemented to restore your roof and loft to a good condition without the need for extensive repairs or even replacement.
3. Make A Plan To Ventilate
October usually becomes the month where damp and condensation will begin to accumulate. Autumnal days can often be rather mild but it’s the drop in temperature during the night, coupled with the heat generated within the home that will start to see condensation from on windows, doors and walls. Ventilation isn’t about leaving windows and doors open all day, it’s about acknowledging that the house needs to breathe and making a suitable plan to achieve this.
We always recommend the ThermoVent as the most effective way to operate a free ventilation system without the hassle of turning it on or off. It will work in the background to give you consistently fresh and filtered air flow around the home. If you are unable to purchase mechanical ventilation, it’s worth making a plan of action as to when you intend to ventilate the home.
In lieu of a ThermoVent, you might consider opening windows in the morning, especially when the family are having a shower or bath. What causes damp, mould and condensation is the excess moisture in the air as well as the combination of cool air versus warm air. If you open windows during a shower or bath, you are immediately eliminating a lot of warm moisture from the indoor climate.
Our recommendation is to switch the heating off whilst you are getting ready in the morning. You will be rushing around getting ready for the day ahead that you may not notice the heating isn’t on. If you open the windows at the same time, you will be helping to regulate the indoor climate, equalising temperature within the property for the day ahead whilst removing any excess moisture.
Try sticking to this for a few days and see if you notice any change to the environment within the home. At the very least, improved air flow will help you to feel healthier in your home. When you wake up in the morning, the air within the home will be warm, stale and full of moisture, some of the factors that can increase the onset of headaches, cold and flu!
4. Think about when to turn on your heating
It’s often hard to make a set plan as to when you are going to turn your heating on or off and at what temperature you will set the thermostat. The automation of modern heating means that we become somewhat reliant on simply switching on the thermostat every time we feel cold.
Good insulation will help to reduce the amount of time your heating needs to be switched on but whether you’re well insulated or not, a blanket on the sofa or a good woolen jumper can help to ease the burden on your heating system.
We recommend a good blast of heating first thing in the morning before you get up, maybe at 5 or 6am for half an hour. If you’re out all day at work, it’s wise to set the timer to come on at 4.30pm for an hour before you get home.
Being warm in the winter is vital to a healthy lifestyle but some of the time it is also a psychological recognition that something feels cold. If you come from a warm car into a cold house, your natural instinct will be to crank the heating up. If you come from a cold walk home into a warm house, you’re less likely to think about switching the heating on.
Aside from being well insulated this winter, you can play it smart with your heating costs by being better disciplined and making the most of those woolly jumpers that gather dust in your wardrobe!
5. Bleed your radiators
If you’ve got gas central heating, you’re likely to have radiators throughout your home. The successful performance of your radiators is dependent on whether there are any air blockages in your system.
It sounds like a scary process but the bleeding of radiators can be a straight forward process that doesn’t necessarily need a specialist. With modern technology at our finger tips, there’s numerous guidelines available on the internet of how best to bleed your radiators, with step by step guidance.
The overall purpose of bleeding your radiators periodically is to help your heating system run as smoothly as possible and without being put under additional pressure. Looking after the key aspects of the home will help you to live safe in the knowledge that your operating systems are working to their potential.
Home energy bills can be expensive BUT there are ways to avoid rising costs of living for households and ways to reduce your bills by ensuring your home is adequately insulated and your heating system working correctly.
When the winter hits, you always want to ensure that your home is being heated to it’s maximum potential!
If you are feeling the effects of poor insulation in your home, visit our website or call us today to find out how we can help you bring down those costly bills!