Winter is Coming! Be Prepared with These Essential Home Prep Tasks!

In the Northern Hemisphere, the start of autumn, called the autumnal equinox, happens around September 22 or 23. It’s when the Sun moves southward, crossing the celestial equator.

As we’re well into October, autumn has arrived!

With chillier months up ahead, here is our list of top things to get done around your home to prepare for winter:

1. Inspect and Service Your Home’s Heating Systems

  • Schedule a professional inspection, service, and maintenance for your electric heaters, boilers and burners to ensure they work efficiently.
  • With 40% more people calling out a plumber during winter, ensuring you have the correct contact to hand is essential.
  • Please don’t leave it till a problem arises.

2. Stop the Draught: Seal Gaps and Insulate Your Home

  • Draught is a common problem, especially in old homes.
  • Ensure your home is well insulated and your windows and doors are appropriately sealed.
  • Keep the heat in and the cold out. 

3. Clean and Inspect Your Chimney and Fireplace

  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected to ensure safe operation if you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove.

4. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Test alarms and replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Please make sure they are in good working order.

5. Prevent Frozen Pipes and Outdoor Plumbing Problems

  • Frozen pipes are one of the most common problems in winter.
  • Drain and disconnect garden hoses, shut off outside taps, and insulate pipes to prevent freezing.
  • Clean Out Your Gutters and Drains: Clear leaves and debris from gutters and drains to prevent water buildup and ice dams.
  • Condensing boilers feature an external pipe, the chances of this pipe freezing are higher than a non-condensing model. If low temperatures are expected, the boiler and system pipework should be drained to prevent frost damage.
  • Locate your stopcock: everyone should know where the stopcock is in their home. A stopcock is your mains water tap, allowing you to turn off the water if you have a leak. If you know where it is, make sure it can be turned off quickly and is accessible in times of need.

6. Garden Prep, Be Ready for Ice and Snow

  • Trim Trees, Prune overhanging branches, and remove dead or damaged limbs to prevent them from falling during winter storms.
  • Fertilize and aerate your lawn, and store or cover outdoor furniture and garden tools.
  • Ensure you have an adequate rock salt, sand, or ice melt supply for de-icing paths and driveways.

7. Service Your Vehicle and Keep an Emergency Kit on Hand

  • Ensure your vehicle has the appropriate winter tires, check the battery, antifreeze levels, and have an emergency kit with a flashlight, blankets, and a shovel to stay prepared for cold weather and potential roadside situations.

8. Stay Ahead of the Chill: Begin Winter Prep Early!

  • Remember to start your winter preparations early to avoid any last-minute rush.
  • Ensure you keep your home warm, safe, and comfortable during winter.

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