How to get your home ready for winter

18 Aug 2018

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Winter is on its way and as the temperature drops and the days become shorter, here are some jobs we should put on our to-do list to complete before it hits.

That's right... It's time to get your home winter-ready! There is nothing worse than battling cold winds and rain in early June, doing jobs you could have finished in the previous months. So, it's time to get organised!

Prepare your heating
Whether you will be using a traditional fireplace, gas or electric heater, keeping your house warm in winter is essential.

If you have a fireplace, grab a torch and look inside for potential build up, bird nests or obvious cracks. If everything looks good, do a general tidy for maintenance purposes.

Keep in mind that you should consider having your chimney professionally cleaned every other year just to make sure everything is in working order. Remember to stock up on wood and kindling too while you're at it, and then you'll be ready for a cosy winter by the fire!

If you have an electric or gas heater, time to do a check to ensure it's still functioning as it should be. Has it been a while between services? A once over by a professional can give you peace of mind.

There are some warning signs your heater could be malfunctioning and may require a service, such as if you are having difficulty lighting it or keeping it alight, yellow flames, unusual smells or noisy fans. Don't ignore these issues, get in touch with a professional.

Clear out the gutters
Can you remember the last time you cleared out your gutters? With winter nearing, most gutters are filled with autumn leaves, so it's time to get up that ladder and clear those gutters out. A build-up of plant debris can be a fire hazard, and it also stops rain water from draining away properly after a downpour, which can potentially lead to damage to your home.

Remember to take safety precautions before attempting to clear out your gutters yourself and do not pick a stormy or otherwise windy day.

Prepare for a possible winter storm
Perth doesn't often see extreme weather, but the past couple of years have shown we aren’t immune to a bad storm every once and a while.

If you have overhanging trees or branches, it is best to use this time before winter hits to avoid possible damage during a storm. Also, assess any trees that may be coming too close to powerlines and trim accordingly. Your local council is usually responsible for trimming trees on the street verges, so give them a call if any are creeping up towards the powerlines.

Lock away any lose items that could become airborne during a storm. Bicycles, deck chairs and patio umbrella should be packed away or fixed to ensure they can't do damage. 

In case of a bad storm, ensure you are prepared by always having a fully-stocked emergency kit on hand. Include batteries, a torch, candles, matches and lighter, warm clothes, blankets, a battery powered radio, non-perishable food items, water, and a first aid kit. Be sure to include adequate amounts for every member of your family and store in an easy to reach place (yet out of reach of children).

Insulate
Even with the fire or heater going, there could still be a slight chill in the air around your home. The key is to insulate. Is your couch or dining table next to a large window? If so, consider investing in some insulated window treatments to help heat up the area. Long, heavy curtains are a great way to stop the heat escaping through windows (not to mention they will help to keep the heat outcome summer time!).

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