Make the most of your home this winter

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When summer ends it can take a little bit of adjustment to get used to spending more time indoors. With that in mind, why not start taking some steps now to make the colder months as enjoyable and problem free as possible?  This might mean taking precautions such as taking out boiler insurance to make sure you stay warm, but there are plenty of other things you can do too.

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Have a tidy up

If you’ve had a hectic summer you might have allowed your home to become a little less tidy than you’d like. Therefore, it’s worth having a good clean and putting any items you’re not likely to need over winter in to storage. If you’re feeling particularly bold you could even look to sell some of your possessions, as this is a great way to make a little extra cash. Why not list your unwanted goods on websites like eBay or Gumtree as people are always on the lookout for good quality second hand goods?

Reduce energy waste

There are plenty of good reasons to save energy, from helping the environment to saving cash, so it’s well worth looking in to how it can be achieved. During the winter months heating bills can sky rocket, so it’s well worth checking your heating system is functioning as it should be. Some boiler cover policies include an annual service from a fully-qualified professional as standard, so consider whether this might be of use to you. Once this is done you can try to reduce wastage still further by covering your boiler with an insulation jacket, which the Energy Saving Trust says will cut heat loss by as much as 75 per cent! These typically cost around £15 to buy and fit and will leave you £45 better off each year. It’s also worth insulating your pipes, as this will reduce the likelihood of cracks or bursting occurring, which could cause some serious headaches for you and damage to your home. Double glazing and draught proofing will also reduce heat loss, with both measures likely to pay for themselves over time.

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Make things cosy

In recent years Britain has experienced some harsh winters, so when the temperatures drop it’s worth having plenty of items in to make things a little warmer without the need to turn up the heating. Duvets and blankets are perfect for snuggling up under while watching TV or reading or reading a book and wearing plenty of layers should keep your energy bills a little lower. Many homes have done away with carpets in favour of wooden flooring, so why not invest in a rug and draw the curtains for a cosier feel?

Be prepared

It’s worth preparing a list of emergency numbers, including your doctor, electrician and plumber so if something does go wrong you can get in touch with them as soon as possible. Power cuts can happen so avoid being left in the dark by keeping a torch and candles in a safe place and ensuring your mobile phone and laptop have enough battery to notify others of your situation. It’s also a good idea to locate the stop valve for your water so if a leak does occur you can take action quickly. You should also find out how to turn off your gas supply and electricity in case of emergencies. Similarly, check carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are in full working order and make a habit of checking them fairly regularly.

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