Winter-proof your home
Nov 6, 2023
It’s worth spending some time getting your home ready for winter before the cold weather really kicks in. These top tips from British Gas will make your home more energy-efficient which will help to cut your energy bills.
INVEST IN YOUR INSULATION
Did you know that up to a quarter of your home's heat escapes through the roof? And even if your loft’s insulated, it's worth checking it meets the recommended 250mm to 270mm depth before winter sets in.
If fitted properly, loft insulation can last up to 40 years. It typically costs a couple of hundred pounds to install, so it'll pay for itself many times over with the savings you’ll make on your energy bills.
DECLUTTER YOUR GUTTERS
Clearing out the gutter might not be your idea of a fun weekend. But now is a good time to clear the debris left behind by high winds and rain. Good drainage prevents a multitude of water-related problems, from seeping damp to major leaks.
Proper gutter maintenance is a good idea for insurance purposes, too.
KEEP YOUR PRESSURE IN CHECK
Give your boiler pressure a check before things turn icy. It will run best at around 1 to 1.5 bar, and you can check this via the gauge on the front of your boiler unit.
GIVE YOUR RADIATORS SOME ATTENTION
Bleeding radiators will increase their heat efficiency, and could save money on your heating bills. It's quick and easy and relatively disruption-free.
GET A HOME HEALTH CHECK
Making your home as energy efficient as possible this winter is key to keeping on top of your energy bills. But while you may want to make your home greener, it can be confusing to know where to start.
Enter Home Health Check, your personalised plan to help cut your home’s carbon footprint – and your energy bills. A British Gas expert will do a home visit to give you a detailed assessment of your home’s energy efficiency using thermal imagery. They will give leave you with some tailored tips for improvement, answer questions and leave a detailed report of their recommendations.
SERVICE YOUR BOILER
LAG YOUR PIPES
Insulated tubing costs very little, and you can buy it from most DIY stores and fit it yourself. Wrap those pipes up warm to prevent freezing and heat loss. Focus on the pipes that take hot water from your boiler or cylinder to your hot water taps.
These can be found in airing cupboards, next to your boiler (between the boiler and hot water tank), or under your kitchen and bathroom sinks.
DRAUGHT-PROOF DOORS AND WINDOWS
Even with your heating running efficiently and your roof insulated, you can still lose heat through your doors and windows. Draught excluders are a cheap and effective way of winter-proofing your doorways.
To seal up gaps around your windows, you could use caulk or buy a simple DIY window insulation kit.
SERVICE YOUR ROOF
Cracked or missing roof tiles can lead to leaks and flooding, and can even invalidate your home insurance if improper upkeep leads to weather damage.
Try to spot issues in advance from street level or from a neighbouring property. For peace of mind, source additional windows, locks, roof and pest insurance cover.
If you don't feel comfortable climbing a ladder? Call in the professionals.
MAKE A PLAN B
Do you know where your stopcock is? In the (rare) event that your pipes do freeze, you'll want to prevent a build-up of pressure forming behind the blockage and leading to a burst pipe.
So familiarise yourself with the whereabouts of your stopcock and make sure that you can access it easily. It’s the little tap or lever on your copper pipes, often found under your sink.