10 things to get your Cambridge home ready for winter?
With the days shortening, now is a good time to start thinking about getting your home into the best shape possible for the cold months ahead. Our tradesmen, like so many others in the Cambridge area book up fast, particularly chimney cleaners and plumbers. Do yourself a favour; get sorted and get organized to avoid disappointment and costly quotes.
Here are some things you should be doing to get your home ready for winter.
Check the boiler
Heating is probably the number one priority in the winter months. Get a qualified engineer to service your boiler. Heating engineers are very busy so if you want to have a reliably warm home and hot water this winter, book now for an appointment in the next few weeks.
Have the chimney swept by a professional, who should also check your flue? You don’t want to find that a feathered friend has been nesting there. Our sweepers are now booking for September – make an appointment here
Order logs and coal
Get your winter fuel delivered to store outside, within easy reach of the house, in a cool, dry place. Order from our local supplier here. It’s much cheaper to buy in bulk. Scotsdales and Cam Home and Garden sell wood stores or a good handyman can make a bespoke one for you.
Check door and window seals
If your heating bills are high, it may be because heat is escaping from your home. Studies show that gaps around windows and doors can be like keeping a window open 24 hours a day. A handyman can seal all the gaps for you and you may recoup the cost of the service quickly in lower energy bills. Alternatively, you can fill any gaps with caulk available from McKays. Check for any signs of damp as this could indicate that the sealant on the outside is failing.
Dirty windows can make short dark winter days depressing so clean windows inside and out, to maximize light during the gloomy winter months. Contact our local window cleaners here.
Check warning batteries
A new battery is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to protect yourself and your family from a home fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a year. The International Fire Chiefs Association suggests “change your clock, change your batteries”, usually around the first Sunday in November.
Heat rises, and poor insulation allows the heat to escape quickly so conserve energy by checking the ceiling and attic insulation.
Inspect the loft
Check for signs of damp, particularly in areas where the roof slope changes such as ridges and valleys of the roof, around chimneys, and on brickwork to gable ends. Darker patches, water staining and white streaks of powdery residue could indicate that rainwater has been entering the rood space. While up there, turn off the torch and check if daylight can be seen coming through another good and this is another good way to see where water could leak in.
Safeguard your pipes
Make sure that you insulate and replace any lagging on water tanks and pipes where lagging has slipped. Locate the mains water stop cock (usually under the kitchen sink) and make sure it can be turned on and off easily because if a pipe burst in the house, this would probably be the first thing to turn off. Hardware and DIY stores sell foam pipe sleeves that can be cut to fit.
Service your Aga
Most of the time Aga owners have ambient warmth and a kitchen that is the heart and soul of your home. But any AGA owner knows they are wonderful until they breakdown. So make sure your AGA is always ready to serve up a scrumptious feast by getting an annual service, book here.
scuseme fave five Cambridge hardware stores
- Kailash – Mill Road, CB1 3LP
- Mackays – East Road, CB1 1BY
- Cam Home and Garden – Arbury Road, CB4 2JB
- Cutlacks – Mill Road, CB1 3NF
- Scotsdales – Great Shelford, CB25 9JG
Dawn Giesler, is the founder of Scuseme Cambridge, a recommendation website that helps your family run smoothly. She has lived in Cambridge for over 20 years and offers advice based on her own experiences. For more information please visit: scuseme