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Keep the cold out of your house this winter

Created: 29/10/2015

It’s that time of year again. We’ve got some ideas to protect your home during the winter months, and maybe save a few quid at the same time.

There are a number of easy tricks to spruce up your home for the winter. Some easy things include a new coat of paint to seal your walls, insulation wrap for your windows, or portable, hand-crafted draught excluders for your door frames.

But if you are feeling a bit more ambitious this year, there are a number of projects that can yield a major difference in how your home reacts to the colder temperatures. Some of these tactics can be completed with some focused weekend DIY. If you aren’t comfortable, however, call a licensed and experienced London handyman to get the job done for you.

winter in London

Filling cavity walls with insulation

If built between the early 1930s and 1982, most likely you have cavity walls. By filling these cavities with insulation, you can help stop the inside heat from being lost. According to estimates from British Gas, filling the gaps can save up to as much as £160 each year on your energy bills. As much as 35 percent of your home’s heat can be lost through un-insulated walls.

In the process, insulation is blown into the wall cavity from the outside of your property. Holes are drilled holes from outside, allowing a variety of materials to be pumped into the cavity. The most common types of insulation are mineral wool, polystyrene beads or foam. When the cavities are filled, the holes are then repaired with materials that match your house’s exterior facade.

There are a number of companies that will hire equipment to complete the process. Additionally, there are a number of available grants to help pay for insulation. 

cavity wall insulation

Extensive draught-proofing

The long hand-sewn tube of sand at the bottom of the door is a good start, but there are a number of products that can help you greatly reduce draughts in your homes. Done properly, you can see a great deal of savings on your energy bills.

For practical purposes, draught-proofing should include the sealing of windows, doors, loft hatches and any pipework that leads outside. Letterboxes and any entrance furniture that allow air in should also be addressed. There are self-adhering products that attach to windows and sills. There are also permanent products that can be installed to the lower thresholds of your doors.

For exterior pipes, special crack filling products can be used. Often they are expanding foam that you spray in and around the pipe to create a draught-free seal. For very little effort and expense, reducing draughts can greatly improve your comfort this winter.

holes around pipes

Upgrade your heating system

If you have a boiler that does its job, and your radiators warm the house, then you are more than halfway there. If you have sealed the drafts, installed a bit more insulation, you are doing even better. The last key to making sure your home is winter ready is to ensure your thermostat is up to the task of maintaining the system.

If you have an outdated thermostat – one that's not used to accurately regulating the internal temperature – your heating system may turn on every five to 10 minutes because it cannot keep an accurate temperature.

Additionally, with so many technological advances and the coming of the “smart home”, installation of new hi-tech heating controls could be the right choice for you. Recently, Tech Advisor took a look at the most popular and forward-thinking heating systems on the market today. With automation, you may find savings through more efficient scheduling of when your boiler is running, and not running.


Image Credit: Damian CugleyMetro CentricMok9[a.d.]Antonio Silveira

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