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Olivia's Top Ten 10...

Olivia's Top Ten 10...

Olivia’s Top Ten 10 ways to keep your home warm and safe in winter!

Not only can the snow, ice and wind that comes with the winter weather make us all cold, it can seriously affect our properties. With shorter days, darker afternoons we have created an essential winter checklist to keep you and your home both warm and safe.

1. Prepare your outside space

Securing your outside space is very important in the run up to winter, you need to make sure everything is secured, from rubbish bins to fences. This ensures that they don’t move in high winds, potentially causing damage to other cars and houses.
Also ensure all outdoor lights are in working order, this is integral during dark afternoons. Make sure if you have solar lights that they aren’t covered with snow or they won’t work correctly.
It is also beneficial to make sure all gutters and drains are cleared, otherwise it may cause damp.  If these are blocked they can cause overflows.  
A handy tip I find is to keep a shovel outside as this has helped me when clearing the drive of snow and ice!


2. Secure everything

Sheds can take a hammering during the winter, so make sure doors are locked and secured, with all garden furniture put away too. Sheds and outbuildings are usually covered by your for fire, flood and storm damage, however, most garden items typically aren’t. Check your insurance to see what you are actually covered for as it might be small premium to give you extra piece of mind. Make sure all gates are kept secured, this protects the space from burglars and ensures minimum damage.

3. Protecting your car

Keeping your car in a locked garage is an ideal scenario as it is a strong protection against thieves and bad weather forecasts.
If you don’t have a garage, however, ensure your car is parked somewhere where it won’t be in the direction of branches and trees.

4. Warm Home, Warm Soul

Make sure your loft, windows and walls are sufficiently insulated, this will make a huge difference in increasing the efficiency of your heating and reducing your bills.
Also, ensure your windows and doors are draughtproof. To do the whole house, it can cost from £80-£280 for both labour and materials – something that will help in keeping you warm.
Check if you’re eligible for a Green Homes Grant - GOV.UK (
Pipes that are vulnerable to freezing are those that run outside, like the ones in your garage. This should be wrapped with thermal insulation – known as pipe lagging – this can be bought from places like B&Q or Screwfix. Here is a handy video if you fancy a bit of DIY: How To Install Climaflex Pipe Insulation - YouTube
Putting jumpers on, can sound a bit silly, but can have a big impact on energy consumption annually. What people don’t think about is the colder the temperature drops outside, the longer it will take your radiators / fires to warm your home.

5. Locate your stopcock

Do you know where your stopcock is? In addition to wrapping your pipes up, it’s important to know where your stop cock is – this is the valve that turns off and on the cold-water system in your home. It is normally found under your sink, in the kitchen - look for a tap on your copper pipes and turn it clockwise to switch it off.

If the water in your pipes does freeze, then pressure can increase, causing the pipe to burst. You need to know where your stopcock is so you can shut off the water mains to prevent flooding.


6. Timing your heating

When it is cold, it is useful to ensure your heating is on, even if you go away, due to the cold external temperatures.
Your home needs to be heated for at least an hour a day in winter, using a timer on your heating system ensures that the heating comes on and off. It also keeps the system running smoothly, heating your pipes and home. If you have a smart thermostat it might have the optimisation button – turn this on in the winter as it calculates how long it takes the property to reach the desired comfort level, and times the system’s operation to minimise the amount of work it has to do.

7. Bleed your radiators

If your radiator seems to be less efficient at heating up than it used to be and your radiator is cold at the top and hot at the bottom, you may need to bleed your radiators. This is a straightforward process and should get you feeling comfy again.
To do this, you need to make sure that your heating has been turned off and should have a cloth and bleed key at the ready.
At the top of your radiator, turn the valve anti-clockwise until you hear a hissing sound. Once the water flows out onto the cloth, tighten the valve and you’re finished.
How To Bleed A Radiator - Don’t try it until you watch this - YouTube

8. Prepare for emergencies

In winter, power cuts, flooding and other emergencies can happen and can cause a lot of headaches, especially if you aren’t prepared.
Due to this, it is good to have a few essentials in your emergency kit. A battery-powered torch and a radio that could help keep you up to date with local weather forecasts. Also, preparing a list of emergency numbers too, including dialling 105 to contact Power Cut 105. Having a first aid kit can also be handy.
These are my handy top essentials and believe me they have come in handy!

9. Insurance

One of the most important things you can do to protect your property in winter is to make sure you have the right home insurance in place.
Certain policies can shield you from bad weather, floods and power cuts, all things that are most likely to happen in winter.
Best Home Insurance for 2021: Your Personal Guide ( Can you get a better rate and cover?

10. Insulate Your Loft Space

We all know that heat always rises, so it makes sense that a poorly insulated loft is one of the biggest causes of heat loss in our homes. If your loft isn’t already insulated, it’s something to get out of the way before winter sets in.
Ensuring insulation will help stop heat loss, but also avoid loft conversions will obviously also help with reducing the amount of heat lost in the loft.
Check if you’re eligible for a Green Homes Grant - GOV.UK (
If not, it’s a DIY job and this would be the recommended video from Trust: How to Insulate Your Loft | Homebuilding - YouTube

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