All homes benefit from a bit of preparation as we head into the colder months, particularly this year with higher energy prices and overall costs for materials and maintenance going up as part of the wider increase in cost of living. For those of you moving into a recently completed new-build home, there are a few extra things to be aware of which can give your home a helping hand.
Here’s six suggestions to help keep your home in good shape during cold and wet weather.
- Make the most of heating controls: Set your heating to come on when you need it most and use room thermometers – and individual radiator thermometers – to manage the temperature. Aim to keep the inside of your house between 18-20oC – nudging the thermostat up too high in a newly-built home could accelerate the natural drying out process and lead to superficial plaster cracks as well as impacting your heating bills.
- Put your home furnishings to work: Simple tips such as closing curtains and blinds in the evening to help keep heat in, adding warmth to hard floors with rugs and repositioning furniture so that it doesn’t block your radiators can all help to keep your home warm.
- Insulate and ventilate: New-build properties are generally very well insulated, although there may still be improvements you can make such as adding draft excluders to keyholes and letterboxes. But while it’s important to keep heat in, it’s also essential to ventilate your home, particularly during the first year. Make sure the vents in any double-glazed windows and doors are open whenever possible to allow air flow and make use of your extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms to reduce the risk of condensation.
- Protect your pipes: You might be tempted to switch off your heating and hot water before going away, but setting both to come on, even at a low temperature such as 10 degrees, will reduce the risk of frozen or burst water pipes if temperatures take a dive while you’re away.
- Clear out your gutters: Even new-build homes need regular maintenance. Keeping your gutters clear of leaves and debris will allow your pipes and gutters to do their job and minimise the risk of water ingress.
- Secure loose and lightweight garden materials: When high winds are forecast, take a moment to secure any lightweight outdoor furniture, plant pots or other loose materials that could cause damage if left to blow around.
These are just a few quick tips to help protect your home in the winter. Keep an eye out for further information and advice from our Warranty Providers – Checkmate, LABC Warranty, Premier Guarantee and NHBC – which we’ll be sharing on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages.