Getting through winter

Tips and advice about preparing your home for the cold winter months.

 

Has your boiler condensate pipe frozen?

 Please watch this video to learn how to unfreeze it.

Video from Worcester Bosch

Coping with the cold weather 

Check your heating and taps

Consider insulating outside taps and pipes and repair any leaks to stop the frost getting in. As a precaution you should also make sure that you know where your water stop valve is so that you can shut off the supply quickly if you need to. If you’re going away during the winter months, you may want to ask a close friend or neighbour to drop by to keep an eye on your home. 

You could also check that your home is retaining heat by looking to see whether there are gaps or cracks around your windows or doorways, leading to draughts.  If you're still in your Defects liability Period (DLP), you can report any issues via Clixifix. If you’re a tenant but your DLP has ended, please let us know

  • Review your energy deals
    Energy suppliers regularly change their rates so it's worth checking whether you’re on the cheapest energy tariff. Comparison websites like Go.Compare or MoneySuperMarket list the latest deals so you can monitor what's on offer and consider switching your supplier if you see a better rate. You can find more money-saving tips here.

Have you had a gas safety check?

You should have a gas safety check each year to ensure that your gas appliances are working as expected. If you're a tenant, we'll organise this for you. 

Homeowners, including Shared Ownership residents, are responsible for maintaining gas pipework, heating, and hot water systems as well as gas appliances. We recommend that you get your boiler serviced annually to ensure that it continues to work efficiently and safely. Most manufacturers will withdraw a boiler's warranty if you don't get it serviced at least once a year. 

  •  Read more about gas safety checks here.

Test your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms

You should check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to ensure that they’re working properly. To do this, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and press the ‘test’ buttons.

Minimise condensation

Condensation takes place when warm, moist air comes into contact with cooler air or a cold surface. This is more likely to happen between October and April when the weather is colder and it can be worse in a property with poor ventilation. There are ways, however, that you can reduce condensation and prevent damp and mould. You can:

  • Open windows to let moisture out when you are cooking, bathing or doing washing.  
  • Use extractor fans or trickle vents if you have them
  • Try not to dry your clothes indoors
  • Regularly pull beds, cupboards, sofas and other furniture away from walls to allow air to circulate.


You can find out more about preventing condensation, damp and mould here

Get contents insurance

 At this time of year, your home can be more prone to burst pipes, escapes of water and other unexpected issues so we recommend that you put contents insurance in place. This will cover loss or damage to items that aren’t part of the structure or building, for example, carpets, clothing, furniture, electrical items and valuables. 

It's worth shopping around to get the best deal as policies may vary. There’s a wide range of quotes on these money comparison websites:

•    Go.Compare

•    MoneySuperMarket

•    MoneySavingExpert

You can find out more about contents insurance on the MoneyHelper website.