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Get your home ready for winter

Winter is the season of crisp snow, cosy evenings, and festive spirit in the air.

However, with winter’s arrival comes plummeting temperatures and harsh weather conditions resulting in challenges, particularly concerning maintaining a warm and comfortable home.

Ensure your home is winter-ready by following this helpful video and guide. We'll walk you through the steps to prepare your home for winter, so you can embrace the chilly season.

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Get a professional boiler service

Lady Checking Boiler

Your boiler is the heart of your home during the cold months, as it provides the warmth and comfort you rely on. To ensure that it's in top working condition, it's crucial to schedule a professional boiler service by a gas safe registered engineer every winter before the freezing months arrive.
A professional technician can check for any issues, clean the system, and make necessary repairs. Regular servicing not only prolongs the lifespan of your boiler but also ensures it operates efficiently, helping you save on energy bills.

If you’re a Places for People customer, we’ll get in touch with you to arrange an annual service. If you notice a fault with your boiler before your appointment, don't wait for a breakdown in the dead of winter – get in touch with us to report a repair at any time.

For more information, check out our handy guide on how to get your boiler ready for winter for more tips.

Bleed your radiators

Releasing Water From Radiator

Radiators are a common source of heat in many homes, but over time, air can become trapped in the system, preventing them from heating your rooms effectively.
When you notice that your radiators are not heating evenly or making gurgling sounds, it's time to bleed them. Bleeding the radiators releases trapped air and allows hot water to circulate freely. To bleed your radiators, follow these simple steps:

  1. Ensure the radiator is off
  2. Insert the radiator key into the valve, using a bowl or an old towel to catch any water
  3. Gently turn the radiator key anti-clockwise, you should hear a hissing sound as air escapes. The average radiator should take around 20 – 30 seconds to bleed
  4. Once water begins to trickle, turn the key clockwise again to close the valve
  5. Finally, start your boiler to check the radiators are heating up normally

This simple DIY task can significantly improve the efficiency of your heating system, making your home warmer and reducing your energy consumption.
Take a look at our full guide on how to bleed a radiator.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Testing Fire Alarm

Winter is also a time when the use of heating appliances, fireplaces, and candles increases, and a faulty boiler can release toxic carbon monoxide gas, making it a crucial aspect of fire safety that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order.

These devices are your first line of defence in case of a fire or carbon monoxide leak, which can be deadly. 

Test the alarms at least monthly, weekly if possible,  and replace batteries if necessary. To ensure both your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working, press the test button. If there’s no sound after 20 seconds, you can assume it’s not working and depending on the model, replace the batteries or the whole alarm as soon as possible.

You should also consider installing new alarms if your current ones are outdated, even if they seem to be working.`  If you are a Places for People Customer, speak to our Customer Contact Centre  (01772 666 091 in England and Wales or 0131 657 0600 in Scotland) to arrange a replacement as soon as possible   

Insulate your pipework

Radiator Thermostat

During the winter months, a vital aspect of getting your home ready for winter is preparing your water pipes, as they’re vulnerable to freezing. If they do freeze, they can burst. In turn, this could cause water damage and costly repairs.

There are a few easy steps you can take to prevent frozen pipes:

  1. Insulate using foam pipe lagging
  2. Check taps for leaks, including outdoor taps
  3. Encourage warm airflow using your heating system

For more in-depth tips, why not read our full blog on how to prevent frozen pipes and taps this winter?

Tackle pesky draughts

Placing Draught Excluder

Another way to increase your energy efficiency, reduce your energy bills, and get your home ready for winter is to tackle pesky draughts.

Identify draughts around your home and seal the gaps using draught excluders, caulking, and weather stripping, which can be affordably purchased from most DIY shops. This will prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from creeping into your home during the winter months. 

Check out our full list of draught-proofing tips for your home