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Get ready for the cold

Mon 5th Apr 2021

Prepare your home for winter.
Prepare your home for winter.

When the leaves begin to change colour it's a clear indicator the cooler weather is fast approaching. Just as we pull out the winter woolies in preparation for winter, there are steps we can take to ready our home as well.  Here are eight tips for your humble abode so you can properly prepare this winter.

Check window and door seals

Gaps in and around windows and doors cause unwanted draughts. What happens when there is a draught? You feel cold and turn up the heat. So considering the cost of heating (and cooling), it's important to seal the gaps. Installing weather seal tape and weather door strip seals around your door frames will help eliminate unwanted draughts. There are a number of step by step tutorials online, but if it all seems too hard - contact your local handyman. Door snakes are an easy option; a cost effective one too.

Clean air conditioning filters

Homeowners often disregard the importance of maintaining their air conditioning units which can not only be a costly error, but a hygienic one too. A dirty filter will block normal air flow making the unit work harder than it needs to. This can result in unwanted dollars being added to your electricity bill and increasing the likelihood of an expensive repair or breakdown. A dirty filter also means trapped dirt particles are distributed around your house which is especially troublesome if you are an asthma or allergy sufferer. Most units will have step by step instructions on how to clean filters. However, if your air conditioner needs more than a regular filter clean i.e. coil or drain filter, hire an air conditioning professional.

Roof Insulation

Roof insulation not only keeps your home cooler in summer but also makes it warmer in winter. Depending how old your home is, now might be a good time to check the condition of your roof insulation - perhaps you don't even have any up there! A quick assessment is surely worth the potential dollar savings and extra comfort this winter.

Save on electricity by rugging up in cozy, stylish blankets.
Save on electricity by rugging up in cozy, stylish blankets.

Clean your fireplace and order firewood

Granted, most of us in Australia experience a relatively mild winter, so homes with fireplaces are few in comparison to other parts of the world. However, if you do have a fireplace it's definitely time to clean out last year's soot.

Clean window coverings

During the warmer months, your windows are open most of the time and dirt and pollen particles fly in and settle on your blinds and curtains, so now is a good opportunity to get them nice and clean ready for the more hibernated season. A cleaning tip for vertical blind owners - make a mitt out of an old sock and wipe down each slat. Also, the static properties of a dryer sheet actually repels dust particles, so use one to wipe down each slat to help keep them cleaner for longer.

Work smarter not harder

Before you reach for the air conditioning remote, think about getting some nice throw-blankets and rug up first. Not only will you save on your electricity bill, you will give your space a cosy and inviting winter revamp. If you have tiles or hardwood floors, rugs are another great option to save money as they will help hold in any heat - and help keep your tootsies warm too. Curtains act as a great barrier against the cold of glass windows so if you've been thinking about new curtains, now might be a good time to look into it.

Clean your gutters

Ideally you should clean your gutters a couple of times a year. Once before winter, after the autumn leaves have fallen and the other before summer. Clogged gutters can result in unwanted pools of water overflowing into or around your house. Gutters retaining water over a long period of time can cause a rust build up resulting in erosion. The flow-on effect of this is a leaking gutter which can cause flooding and potential replacement costs. Cleaning gutters can be a rather nerving job and dangerous, so call on the expertise of a local handyman to be safe.

All of this can be tackled quickly if you commit yourself to working hard over a weekend  - perhaps you could get the whole family involved and get it knocked out in a single day. Good luck!

To get started with your winter preparations, find qualified, experienced tradies Buy Search Sell.

By Kirsten Jakubenko