Is your house ready for winter?

Is your house ready for winter?

Now the clocks have gone back, and Christmas is appearing in the shops in earnest, there is no avoiding the fact that winter is firmly setting in.

Many of us have dug out our winter coats, yet most people don’t consider doing anything to their home other than switching the dial up on the heating.

However, if you are planning to sell or rent your property, you should make sure that it is as cosy and welcoming as possible, and ensuring that it can stand up to a bracing British winter is vital. If people walk into a chilly property when they come to view, they are not going to leave with that warm glowing feeling!

There are some very simple things you can do to make sure that your house is the most welcoming one on the street, and some may even have the added benefit of boosting your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating – another significant plus to potential buyers. An EPC is a legal requirement when you are selling or letting your home and the more efficient you can make your property the better.

Simple steps to Winter Proofing

Bleed your radiators. This is very simple to do, although do make sure you have the correct tools before you start (you should have a bleed key with your central heating system, but if not you can buy these from most DIY shops) and are prepared with a bowl and a couple of old towels to protect your carpet!

Once you are sure that your radiators are free of any air blocks, make sure that your boiler is performing as well as it can. Many boilers have a visible presser gauge that can be adjusted, so make sure this is set at the right pressure for your property’s needs, and adjust it as necessary.

Installing cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and hot water cylinder lagging can up to double your EPC rating, so it is worth considering looking at these options if you are concerned about how your property may perform. Government funding has allowed for 90% of suitable homes across the UK to apply for grants for free insulation, so why not take advantage of this opportunity and try and increase your property’s score.

There is very little point having a toasty home, that is perfectly insulated with roaring radiators if your windows and doors don’t keep the warmth in. Replacement can be a costly procedure, however poorly maintained, drafty windows can be a real turn off for some buyers, so ensuring that your windows are fitted with draft-excluders (available from good DIY stores) will help keep in the cosiness that you’ve worked hard to maintain.

Although it won't make any difference to the cosiness of your property, if you are considering selling, many people look to get their property on the market in the spring, so the winter can be an ideal time to undertake any big projects that you want to get done. If you have been meaning to get round to freshening up the grouting in the bathroom, or the hall could do with a fresh lick of paint – when better to do so than when it’s cold and miserable outside! Spending the chillier months making your home look bright and sunny will make it more appealing to viewers when the time comes to launch it onto the market. Putting in the hours now could make all the difference in a couple of months’ time!

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