Useful home advice for those chillier months

5 October 2016

Useful home advice for those chillier months

Advice for Autumn

“As the nights draw in and we start to look forward to autumn colours and winter festivities, spare a few minutes to get your property ready for the colder months so you can enjoy them without mishap,” 

suggests Roger Russ, Chartered Surveyor & professional services director at Henry Adams.

Is your heating system in great shape?

Boilers should be serviced annually by a properly qualified contractor (Gas Safe for gas boilers; OFTEC for Oil units). There are various consumer websites which can steer you towards reliable traders and the Trading Standards directory can also assist. 

If you have a combi-boiler make sure that the small overflow pipe that vents externally is clear at all times. If it ices up it may stop the boiler working, leaving you in the cold. 

Get chimney flues cleaned and checked for safe operation and install carbon monoxide detectors in all rooms with heating appliances.

Insulate your loft

Ensure water pipes and tanks are well lagged. The Energy Saving Trust website is a good source of information and remember that help with costs for the over 70s and other groups may be available. 

Keep rainwater gutters and gullies clear

Blocked gutters can overflow or ice up in bad weather. Icicles on high gutters are a safety risk if they fall. Water overflow from blocked gullies can lead to ice build up on paths/pavings and make surfaces dangerously slippery.

Don’t forget to ventilate as well as heat and insulate

The tendency to keep windows shut can lead to the build up of condensation and mould which is unhealthy, particularly for small children and asthmatics. 

If you have “trickle vents” in your windows make sure that they are clear. If possible (and safe) leave a fanlight open in occupied bedrooms over-night. 

Always ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when in use, ideally with an extractor fan.

Be fire risk aware

Don’t overload electrical systems/sockets with lights or new electrical goods.  Candles look great but never leave them alight over-night and always ensure that they rest on a heat resistant surface.   

Prevention is better (and normally cheaper) than a cure so take a few sensible precautions to enjoy happier - and safer - seasons at home. 

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