Preparing your home for winter
When the days start feeling shorter and the colder temperatures set in, you know winter is just around the corner. It’s not uncommon to want to stay cosy and warm inside during the colder months, but there are a few things you can do to prepare your home for the colder and sometimes wild weather, to keep your home safe.
Clear out your gutters & drains
The extra rain during the winter months can play havoc with downpipes and drainage around the home. A good way to avoid blockages is to clear out your gutters. It’s one of those jobs we often put off, but there are a couple of reasons to grab a ladder and get it done.
In autumn when trees lose their leaves, there’s often a bigger build-up of dead leaves in your gutters. If you leave them there, they can block your downpipes and cause long-term issues with roof damage and flooding. Dry, dead leaves are also a big fire hazard in summer, so getting them out of the way has benefits all year round.
Check trees for loose branches
Even if you have home and contents insurance to protect your house and belongings, it’s always best to avoid damage from happening in the first place. Depending on your location, you might experience storms all year round, but winter is always a good opportunity to get your home ready for wild weather.
When the wind and storms start rolling in, loose tree branches can be incredibly deadly. They can fall on property, vehicles, and even people. So, before winter sets in, do a quick survey of your yard and make sure you don’t have any loose branches.
Make sure your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors work
Smoke alarms and detectors are in most homes around Australia. We all know they should be checked regularly, but it’s something we often forget to do. The good news? It’s super easy to check your smoke alarms.
Most smoke detectors have a ‘test’ button on them. Press the button and listen for a sound. If it isn’t working, the problem may be a flat battery. You can replace it and check again to see if it works. If it still doesn’t work, it’s worth purchasing a new smoke alarm system.
While smoke alarms aren’t just for the winter season, the increased use of heaters can pose a fire risk in the cooler months. Make this simple task part of your regular home maintenance and keep your home safe all year round.
Give your heating system a check over
Getting your home ready for winter in Australia isn’t just about safety. It’s also about comfort! There’s nothing quite like snuggling up on the couch under some blankets with the heater going on a cold winter’s day. But what if your heating system isn’t working well?
With winter on the way, there’s no better time to give your heating system a once-over. The kinds of checks you’ll do will vary depending on the type of system you have. For air conditioning units, you should regularly change the filters and have the unit serviced annually. Doing this before winter each year ensures you’re getting maximum efficiency right when you need it.
If you use other heating like a wood heater or ducted heating, you may need a specialist to do the testing and servicing. It might cost you a little more, but you’ll be warmer, more comfortable, and can ultimately lower your heating bill.
Check window and door seals for draughts
The other main culprit for poor heating in the home is drafts. Seals around windows and doors can often degrade over time, allowing warm air to escape or cold air to sneak in. This can mean your heating system has to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature and costs you more money.
One really easy way to check for drafts is to hold a candle around windows and doors. If it flickers, you’ve found a draft. To be safe, weatherstripping can be purchased for a few dollars at the hardware store and can prevent costly air leaks around the home.
So, for comfort and safety, these tips can help get yourself ready for the cold months ahead. You’ll be warm and toasty, and your home will be ready for the extra wind and rain.
For the peace of mind, considering home and contents insurance will simply help protect your house and assets all year round.
9 Dec 2020