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Does the prospect of soaring winter heating bills give you the chills? You can slash the cost and prevent emergency repairs with these simple home maintenance tips.
Prevent frozen pipes by caulking and sealing gaps in the insulation and crawl spaces that will expose pipes to cold air. Insulate pipes which touch metal framing beams that go outside. Ensure that all exterior pipes are well insulated and that hoses and outdoor spigots are drained.
Give your fire and heating system an annual checkup. Get a Gas Safe engineer to service your boiler and check your ducting for gaps, rust and holes. Clean filters and check that vents are not blocked by furniture. Cleaning or replacing your filters regularly could save 5-15% on your energy bill.
If you have a home with radiator heating, bleed the radiators to let any air escape to improve efficiency.
Caulk your gaps to prevent that precious warm air from leaking out and check lighting fittings, plumbing openings, doors and windows for any gaps that you can seal.
If you are checking lights, ensure that your switches are insulated especially switches mounted on exterior walls. Uninsulated switches are basically holes in your wall through which heated indoor air is escaping. Check seals around doors and windows for cracks or gaps and consider installing storm doors and windows to reduce drafts and improve the efficacy of your building envelope.
Check that your fireplace flue is in good working order and have your chimney cleaned. Store your wood in a dry place away from the home. Wood that is packed up against the exterior walls of your home may encourage termites and other pests.
Flush your water heater annually to remove the layer of sediment that often accumulates on the bottom of the tank. This will help to improve the efficiency of your heater.
Clean your gutters of leaves so any snow melt can run off instead of freezing and creating ice dams.
Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and change the batteries.
Treat your exterior door locks with powdered-graphite lubricant so that they don’t freeze or stick when the cold weather comes.
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