As we start heading into the cooler months it’s important to make sure your home is ready for winter. Unfortunately winters in Australia bring a range of safety hazards – heavy rainfall, severe storms and freezing temperatures. For your own comfort, health and safety you should prepare your home for the months ahead.
Below are some tips for getting your home ready for winter –
- Check for leaks and drafts – sealing air or water leaks around your home, is a simple task that will help prevent cold spots and improve energy efficiency by stopping heat escaping. Check your homes windows for damaged seals or gaps and look under your doors for signs of daylight, or other large openings that should be sealed off. If you want to find *harder to find* leaks use the candle test….. walk around your home with a candle and place it where you may think there is a leak/draft – if the flame starts to flicker you have found a spot that needs attention.
- Empty your guttering – once the trees have shed their leaves it’s time to get on top of things and clear out your guttering before storms begin. Blocked gutters prevent rain from draining away – this can result in leaks inside your home, or damage to your foundations. Making sure it’s a good day, using gloved hands scoop debris into a bucket, and hose the gutters down once complete to clear anything you may have missed.
- Get Storm Ready – be prepared for problems by putting together an emergency kit, stock up with essentials such as candles, matches, batteries, first aid kit and even some extra blankets in case of a blackout or storm.
- Clean and replace Air Vents and Filters – Before you start heating your home it’s important to clean out the build up of dust and allergens in your air vents and filters to keep your family safe and healthy. Clean air vents using a vacuum with a brush attachment and wipe with a microfiber cloth to remove any remaining dust or mould. If you have a fireplace this is a good time to have your fireplace looked at by a professional to avoid needing repairs in the middle of winter. Replace batteries on your smoke alarm and test any electrical heating appliance such as electric blankets or heaters for any faults or damage.
- Cover Hard Floors – If you have hardwood firewood, tile, laminate, lino or concrete floors cover them with a rug for added warmth. Hard floors don’t hold any heat in them, and, they are also cold to walk on. Adding a rug will help with heat retention and make your room cosy.
- Cover your windows – in winter up to 40% of the heat inside your home escapes through uncovered windows. Keep your windows covered to prevent heat loss and insulate your home. It keeps your home warm and helps save on your heating bills.
- Stock up on firewood – don’t wait till it really starts getting cold, start stocking up on your firewood now so you are prepared for winter. There are many good reasons to stock up on firewood today.
- In summer/autumn firewood is often a little cheaper with many sellers offering discounts.
- Delivery of firewood is a little more relaxed and easier to schedule. There is no pressure and no rush, the chances of a delivery made at a more convenient time for you are greater.
- If you stack your own wood when it arrives, with longer daylight hours you can see what you are doing, plus you’re not out in the cold stacking wood. When the cold does come, you’ll be inside enjoying the warmth of your fire, not stacking wood.
- Seasoned firewood burns better – more efficiently, more effectively and more evenly.
- Peace of mind – you’ll have your firewood there, all stacked up and ready to go, this means you can spend those colder days doing something else.
- Think of the satisfaction you’ll get when you walk past your stack of wood, you’ll know you have your wood and you’re all set to go. If winter comes a little early, your wood is there, ready for use.