10 quick steps to winterizing your home
This November has been one of the mildest on record in the UK, but don’t let that fool you… winter is coming! With cold and wet British weather on its way, it’s worth spending an hour or two this weekend to winterize your home.
Here at The British Blanket Company, we’re all about spreading the joy of cosiness. Creating a warm home where you can hibernate away from the elements is the perfect way to start.
In this blog, we’ll explain the benefits of winterizing your home both indoors and out and give you 10 achievable tasks you can complete before winter sets in.
Winterizing your home outdoors
Clear the gutters: If your gutters become blocked, rainwater can overflow and run down the walls of your house. Water can seep into your home through wall cavities and gaps in brickwork, causing damp and mould. If it’s very cold and penetrating water freezes, brickwork and mortar may shatter and crack. Clear fallen autumn leaves from gutters and downpipes now to avoid problems later.
Sweep the chimney: An open fire or woodburning stove is a lovely cosy feature to keep snug on chilly winter nights. A regular sweep is essential for getting rid of soot, creosote, bird’s nests, and other blockages, reducing the risk of a chimney fire, and helping your fire work more efficiently. You should have your chimney swept professionally at least once a year, or more frequently if necessary.
Trim trees: Wild and windy winter weather is becoming more common in the UK with climate change. Fallen tree branches are dangerous and can cause costly storm damage to your house. If you have tall trees near your home, now’s a good time to call a tree surgeon to trim weak overhanging branches.
Reduce draughts: By reducing cold draughts from outside you’ll use less energy to heat your home, so you’ll save money as well as making your home snug. Many draught-proofing measures are cheap and simple to DIY in a weekend. The Energy Saving Trust has a helpful guide to draught-proofing each area of your home, from windows to floorboards.
Prevent freezing pipes: Water expands as it freezes, pressurising the pipe from the inside out. Insurance claims for a burst pipe can rise to around £7,500 during freezing weather so it’s well worth preventing them if you can. First inspect outside pipework such as heating drainpipes and overflow pipes for cracks and corrosion, then add insulating sleeves. And don’t forget your outside taps – you’ll find insulated tap covers at your local DIY store.
Winterizing your home indoors
Service the boiler: Getting your boiler serviced annually will ensure it’s running efficiently and safely. A faulty gas boiler can be incredibly dangerous and it’s estimated that 250 people are admitted to hospital in England each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Use this database to find a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Insulate your loft: A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is an effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills. Installed correctly, loft insulation should pay for itself many times over. You can even get natural loft insulation made from wool!
Swap your duvet: Pack away your summer-weight bedding and swap for a warmer duvet for winter. A duvet's tog rating is important as it relates to its warmth (but not its weight, which depends on filling). The higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet. A 2.5 – 7 tog duvet is perfect for spring and summer, while a 10.5 – 13.5 duvet is best for autumn and winter. Night time temperatures can be unpredictable though, so keep a king-size wool blanket to hand for when you want an extra warm layer.
Add warm blankets: While we’re on the subject of blankets, we love using them in the living room as well as the bedroom. Pure wool blankets are perfect for winter as they trap warm air between the fibres keeping you cosy. The British Blanket Company’s blankets are as stylish as they are practical so they’re perfect for adding some welcome colour to the sofa.
Cook slow food: The slow food movement encourages us to take the time to prepare and share wholesome meals together. The focus is not only on nutrition, but also the role food can play in promoting feelings of belonging and preserving culture and heritage. Winter is the perfect opportunity to get into slow food by preparing warming soups, hearty casseroles and rich stews.