Follow our ten practical tips to protect your property and stay safe and prepared for the bitterly cold Winter weather.
1. Keep windows closed at night.
A drop in temperature can have a real impact on your well-being especially if you are over the age of sixty-five or have any health conditions. Ideally, your home should be at least 18 °C. Shut all windows at night as open windows can lead to a drop in the temperature indoors.
Don’t forget to check in on elderly neighbours and loved ones.
2. Avoid Freezing Pipes
Avoid the hassle of burst pipes and flooding by insulating your water pipes. When water freezes it expands and it can cause raised levels of pressure throughout your pipes and plumbing network.
Frozen water can crack copper and plastic pipes, this can lead to unwanted flooding.. Water pipe insulation will save you money by not only preventing damage caused by burst pipes and flooding but by also preventing heat loss.
Pipe insulation can be purchased in-store or online at Beattys.ie and is easily installed.
Insulating your attic can be an expensive step, but if it's within your budget, it's well worth considering. Up to three-tenths of your home’s heat is lost through the roof. You've got two choices for DIY attic insulation: loose fill or blanket insulation. Both types of insulation can be used in uninsulated attics or layered over the material already there. Decide which type is best for you and examine the material options and prices.
Our experts recommend Isover Spacesaver loft roll. It's a glass mineral wool that provides high-quality thermal insulation with thermal conductivity of 0.044 W/mK and an A1 fire safety rating. It's the obvious choice. https://www.beattys.ie/products/g3-attic-spacesaver-150mm-insulation-9-34sqm-1
Another culprit for heat loss is uninsulated walls. On average two-fifths of your home’s heat is lost this way. However, most homes in Ireland were designed with cavity walls, making them suitable for bonded bead cavity wall insulation. The Installation only takes a few hours and involves Injecting small beads into the wall cavity. Other homes with solid walls can use external insulation or internal dry lining.
If you are considering updating the insulation in your home. Check out Better Energy Homes Scheme online: https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-energy-grants/ or contact your local council for more information. Properties built pre-2006 may be entitled to grants that will go towards the cost of improving the insulation of your home. However, if you are not sure what kind of insulation to use or how much you need, ask our team at Beattys of Loughrea where we are more than happy to help.
4. Clear gutter
At the end of Autumn, plan to clear away any debris that may be clogging your gutters. Appropriate water drainage is essential to prevent any damage to your property. If rain and melted ice is not allowed to flow away easily, either can leak into your home and cause water damage.
For step-by-step instructions, check out Topline’s guide: How to Clean a Gutter.
5. Clean Vents and Chimneys
With colder months ahead it is likely that the fire will be lit more often. There is an increased chance that the deadly carbon monoxide poisoning will spread and lead to an expensive chimney fire. When carbon fuels like wood or coal lack enough oxygen to burn, a poisonous gas called Carbon monoxide (CO) is created. To prevent this odourless gas, ensure all chimneys and flues are cleaned regularly and that vents are never blocked. For peace of mind, Shop the wide range of carbon monoxide detectors/alarms we stock in-store or online at Beattys.ie. https://www.beattys.ie/products/kidde-kid7coc-carbon-monoxide-alarm
6. Reduce the chance of draughts.
One-fifth of your home’s heating can be lost through air draughts around windows and doors! This can be an expensive problem but luckily there is an inexpensive solution. We stock a ray of different draught-proofing products such as internal and external door seals, brush covers for letterboxes, and silicone for windows and expanding foam. Browse beattys.ie now.
The Exitex Mill Brush Strip is suitable for all types of doors. It has hard wearing resilient polypropylene bristle to stop draughts, dust, noise and more from entering the room. This versatile brush strip can adjust to irregular gaps and can be used over carpets. Suitable for domestic and industrial use./
- For all door types
- Stops draughts, dust & noise
- Can be used over carpets
- Domestic & industrial use
7. Maintenance of the heating system
Whether it's 'Servicing your Boiler' or 'Bleeding your Radiators', make this a priority before the Winter months. We need to care for the things that care for us. It's a no-brainer! A serviced boiler (Oil or Gas) can improve the performance of your heating system by one-tenth. You should save double what it will cost you to get a boiler service.
It’s the same with your Radiators. By caring for them and releasing the air trapped in your radiators, you significantly increase the efficiency of your central heating. You can also install an Auto De-Aerator for your radiators at €15 per valve. If this is not in your budget, just set a reminder on your phone and invest in a suitable Allen key set. https://www.beattys.ie/products/dargan-tools-9pcs-hex-set
8. Keep pests away
When it gets colder, pests begin to look for a warm home during the Winter. Prevent mice and rats from making your house their home by filling any holes and gaps. Food that is left out is a huge attraction for unwanted pests. Cover all food and store it in any container with a tight lid. Prevent pests from getting into your outside bins and making a mess by placing a heavy stone or block on the lid of your bin.
9. Be Ready for electric and water disturbance
It’s a good idea to have essentials at hand in case you must leave home quickly, due to power or water disturbance. It's beneficial to gather bottled water, candles, lighter, medicines, a torch, radio and batteries, copies of important documents, and a change of clothes. https://www.beattys.ie/products/ultralight-1-5w-led-rechargeable-torch
Don’t forget to get your car ready for journeys during the Winter months.
10. Prepare your car checklist
- Add the correct amount of anti-freeze to water and fill the water supply for washing your windscreen up to the max.
- Before commencing on any journey make sure you have good visibility out of your windows.
- If you find yourself in a rush, use a de-icer and a screen scraper in the car to help you clear your screen.
- Carry a first aid kit, torch, and batteries for emergencies.
- Check the tread depth and pressure in your tyres. Car tyres should be above the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm, and if you are unsure of the correct pressure (PSI) for your tyres, enquire with a mechanic.