Money Matters Team

Getting your home ready for winter

By Money Matters Team 29/11/2013

With the nights drawing in and temperatures dipping, here are some tips on how to prepare your home for the winter months.

There are few things which beat a toasty warm home after being out in the chilly weather. You take your coat off, put the kettle on and settle in for the evening, leaving Jack Frost outside to his own devices. You might be in your comfort zone – but is your home prepared for the winter weather too?

Start with the basics

There is little point tuning the central heating controls until you've taken steps to keep the heat in and the cold out. Here are a few:

  • Expanding your loft insulation from 100mm to 270mm can save around £25* a year on heating bills. Grants can be applied for via
  • Hang heavy curtains over windows to help insulate against the cold; this can particularly beneficial if you have single-glazed windows.
  • Seal those drafts out wtith silicone or foam sealant - between window or door frames , ari vents, boiler exhaust ducts, and cat and dog flaps.

Set central heating controls correctly reports that turning down your heating, even by just 1°C, could save you around £55 a year. However, it makes sense not to turn it down too low, not only for your own comfort, but to prevent pipes from freezing.

Conserving your home heating

There is much you can do to conserve warmth by maximising existing heat. Techniques include:

  • Don't set your thermostat too low during the day as the boiler will have to work harder to bring the home up to optimum temperature.
  • A space heater might be more economical to heat a small room compared with a central heating system.
  • Make sure doors and windows are kept closed. Ensure radiator valves are not tampered with, or have them locked.

Stay cool when faced with a deep freeze

The UK is no stranger to winter chills, especially the one we experienced in 2009/10, the coldest in 31 years, as reported by the Guardian. It’s always worth being prepared just in case the weather takes a particularly nasty turn:

  • Make sure you know where your stop cock is in case you need to disconnect your water supply in the event of a leak.
  • Do you have home insurance with emergency cover? This cover can be added as an optional extra on some policies and could include call out charges, labour and parts.
  • Stock the cupboards and freezer with non-perishable food in the event you get snowed in and keep bags of salt and grit handy, along with a snow shovel to clear paths and driveways.

Enjoy it while lasts...

The season doesn’t have to be a winter of discontent: Bright frosty mornings can be very photogenic if you're going for a winter walk, and the snow can offer ample opportunity for sledging and making snow sculptures with the children.
*Energy Saving Trust as of October 14.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.