Winter Preparations: Getting Your Home Ready For The Cold

Now that autumn is well underway, you will have no doubt noticed a big drop in the day-to-day temperatures. Well, that is only going to get worse as winter draws closer, sadly. Not only will it get colder, though, but there will be a whole load of inclement weather on its way.

You can enjoy the winter, no matter how cold it may get, by enjoying cosy evenings at home on your sofa. However, you won’t enjoy it so much if your house is cold and draughty! That’s why it is super important to start now and prepare for the winter so that you can stay snug at home. There are various jobs that you need to do now before the cold weather sets in. Both in your house and garden. Not sure what needs to be done? Then read on! I’ve compiled my top jobs that will get your home ready for this coming winter.

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Up The Comfort Factor Of Your Living Room

If your living room is extremely cosy and comfortable, you will find it easier to get warmed up when you are in it. The best way to up the comfort factor is to do what the Danish do and bring some hygge into your life! The Danish word hygge means cosiness, but the country’s concept of this word is extremely unique. It is all about creating a social atmosphere in a comfortable space. The best way to do this is to add plenty of soft furnishing to your rooms, as well as blankets and cushions. You can also increase the hygge in a room by adding plenty of candles to create a soft glow. Add some scented candles if you really want to relax. Scented candles are my jam!

Check Your Heating

Imagine waking up on the first truly cold day of the year and discovering that your heating is broken! That would be an absolute nightmare. So, to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, you need to check your heating system now to ensure that it is still working. After all, you won’t have had it on for the past few months, so some problems might have gone by unnoticed. The best way to test your system is to simply turn it on. If you hear any funny noises or see and visible faults, then you might have to call out a workman to fix it. If things are particularly bad, it could be best to simply replace your entire heating system. Don’t worry, though; this doesn’t have to be too expensive. Especially if you go with a furnace rental. Some heating systems will need servicing once a year. Remember to arrange one for your furnace or boiler if it is due.

Stock Up On Tissues

When winter is here, colds and the flu will never be too far away! And if you have a young family, then you are more at risk. So don’t forget to stock up on plenty of tissues next time you are doing your weekly shop. Leave a box in each room so that no one is ever too far from grabbing a tissue if they feel the sniffles coming on! It will also be worth buying some extra throat lozenges and nasal sprays. That way, you won’t have to leave the house for any supplies once you fall ill. I like to use essential oils to fight off bugs too – so worth stocking up on them too.

Prune Garden Shrubs

If you have any bushes or shrubs in your gardens, you should prune them within the next couple of weeks. There are a couple of reasons why you should do this. Firstly, it is because the plants will just look more attractive. And secondly, it will encourage more flowers and fruits to grow once the spring is here. You should also take care of any branches on nearby trees that are too close to your property. Simply cut these branches off. This is important as it will protect your house during a storm. If heavy winds split trees and branches fly off them, they could end up through your window. So make sure you cut your trees back now to protect your property and your family.

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Freeze Your Herbs

Do you have a small herb garden outside? If so, it is worth moving the plants indoors so that they will survive the winter. However, if this isn’t possible, you should freeze the herbs. The best way to do this is in an ice cube tray. Fill each cube with the leaves of your herbs. Make sure you don’t mix them up. Otherwise, you won’t know which herb is which! Then top the tray up with water. This will then freeze into ice cubes, and the herbs will be preserved inside. When you want to use some, simply take out an ice cube and leave it to defrost. Be sure to mark the tray so that you know which herbs are which.

Protect Your Pond

The winter can be a tough time for all the pondlife in your garden pond. Thankfully, there are ways you can help all the animals and fish survive the colder months. One of the best ways is to make sure that the water is as deep as possible. Fish live in the bottom of the pond during winter, as the deeper water is warmer. You should also try and stop the water from freezing completely over. If it does, fish will not be able to breathe. So be sure to always keep an eye on your pond and smash any ice that appears. It is also important to cover the whole pond with a netting. Especially if it very close to a tree. This will stop any dead leaves from falling in the water. If leaves get in, they will decompose and can contaminate the pond. That will make it a dangerous habitat for the various pondlife.

Check Your Insulation

Not looking forward to all the expensive heating bills through winter? There is one easy way to help bring them down. And that is by ensuring your home is efficiently insulated. If you have old windows in your home, it will be worth upgrading them to double glazing. Double glazed windows let out hardly any of the hot air from your house. It will also be worth seeing about getting a double glazed and plastic framed front door for the same reasons. When you have a spare few minutes, go up into your attic or loft space. Have a look and see how the cavity wall insulation is. If it looks like it needs updating or replacing, you should get that done as soon as possible before winter sets in.

Protect Your Pipes

No one wants to have to deal with a burst pipe in winter. The pipes in your home are much more likely to burst during the winter because of the cold temperatures. So it is very important to try and keep them as warm as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is to keep them insulated. You can buy specialist material that can wrap around the individual pipes. This helps to prevent the water from freezing inside the pipes. As the water freezes, it expands, which can cause the pipe to burst. You also need to be careful if you are planning on going on vacation during the winter. During this time, your central heating won’t be on at all, so your pipes could get too cold and burst. If possible, leave your thermostat at a low temperature for the entire time you are away. Alternatively, turn off the water in your home. This way, there won’t be any water in the pipes at all.  

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Sweep The Chimney

Are you lucky enough to have a working coal fire in your home? This is a great way to make your home feel instantly warm and cozy! But it also means you now have an extra job to carry out before winter! You will need to get a chimney sweep to clean out the fire and chimney for you. They will also check to make sure all the bricks in the chimney are intact. This is a very important job to do before you start lighting your fire again through winter. If you don’t, you could be putting your property at risk of a chimney fire. As chimney fires occur in a concealed space, they can be tricky to deal with and can quickly spread to other areas in the house.

Clean Gutters

It isn’t a very pleasant job, but it sure is an important one! Now is the time to get on your roof and clean out your gutters. If you don’t, they will become blocked up with dead leaves and other debris. This can turn into a disaster during a storm or prolonged period of heavy rain! As the rainwater will have nowhere to go, it will run down your property’s walls. This can cause significant water damage, which can be very expensive to repair. It may not be a nice job, but clearing out your gutters will certainly save you money!

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