While many of us may want to cling to the last signs of summer, there’s no denying autumn is here, and with it, the prospect of some wet and windy weather. Even new-build homes can benefit from some preventative action to reduce the risk of damage from more extreme weather and help minimise your heating bills. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Check your boiler service date: Gas boilers should be serviced every 12 months to ensure they are working safely and effectively – this is normally a condition of your boiler warranty. Check when your service is due as it may differ from your home’s legal completion date – and don’t forget to check the back-up batteries in your carbon monoxide alarms too.
- Clear out your fireplace and chimney: If you have a wood burner or open fireplace in your new home, check any recommendations from your builder about how frequently the chimney should be swept. Always clear out the debris from previous fires before lighting a new one to minimise fire risk.
- Protect your pipes: As we head into winter, it’s important to protect your water pipes from damage. Rather than switching off your heating and hot water before going away, it’s better to set both to come on, even at a low temperature such as 10 degrees, to reduce the risk of frozen or burst water pipes if temperatures take a dive.
For more home tips, including what to expect from your new build home, visit our website www.consumercode.co.uk