Prepare your home for Autumn
As the days get colder, the nights darker, and we spend more time at home, Autumn is the perfect time to do some seasonal maintenance and ensure your home is safe and warm over the coming months.
- Give your boiler a health check
You should have all your gas appliances serviced once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Whilst the engineer is in your home ask them to carry out a tightness test of your gas installation pipework. The test will determine if you have any gas leaks in your house.
Now is also a great time to double-check any home insurance policy details and renewal documents. Do it now and you won’t have any last-minute panics if anything goes wrong.
- Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
As the heating gets turned on, and fireplaces are lit, it’s vital to test your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors to make sure they’re working properly.
We all know the dangers of not having a smoke alarm, but if you haven’t got an audible carbon monoxide alarm also installed in your home, do both now. Ensure that the alarm is produced by a reputable manufacturer and conforms to BS EN 50291 and displays the BSi Kitemark. If you do have one, ensure the alarm is installed correctly to the manufacturer’s instructions and the unit operates correctly by pressing the ‘test’ button. It’s a cheap and simple task that could be a lifesaver.
- Clean or replace your gutters
It’s easy to forget that our gutters sometimes also need some TLC, and with the leaves falling from the trees the potential for clogged clutters and drains is more real.
You want to avoid flooding and exterior damage so take a close look at your roof. Also look out for any damaged tiles or cracks as well as leaves and debris.
- Make your home more energy efficient
Most of us are putting our heating on more and more but 25-30% of it is being lost through leaks and drafts in windows and doors. To avoid unnecessarily high bills, check for leaks and gaps yourself, or arrange for a professional to do it.
Check windows and doors by feeling for drafts around the edges. A handy tip is to run a lighted candle around the edge – if the flame flickers, you’ve most likely got a draft.
The two simplest ways to do the repairs yourself is to either install weather stripping around the frames or to caulk them.
You should also check if your radiators need bleeding as this is another cause of high energy bills. Buy a radiator key and use it to release the air that has become trapped inside, which improves the efficiency of your heating system and makes your home warmer.
Signs that your radiators need bleeding include gurgling noises, a radiator taking a long time to heat up and the top part of the radiator feeling colder than the bottom.
- Update your home!
Create a cosy home with a few simple changes.
Take some time have a good ol’ clear out! Tackle the kitchen cupboards, file that paperwork, and donate any unwanted clothes.
Bring Autumn indoors
Making small changes around your home can do wonders for your mind-set. Treat yourself to some Autumnal flowers, or buy a cosy new throw.
- Give the garden some love
Although your lawn may appear to stop growing during Autumn, its roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Give it one last cut to keep it looking neat over the next few months.
Prune your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth, and make sure you trim any tree limbs that are close to power lines or your roof. Snow and ice can cause damage in the winter.
Autumn is also a great time to invest in a waterbutt as it is a perfect opportunity to collect water ready for the warmer months. It's also a good time to purchase a composter in readiness for Spring.
- Let there be light
It’s important to check the lights inside and outside your house to make sure they’re working properly. If you have small children, you’ll know they sometimes get frightened by the dark, especially in Winter.
Warm lighting that’s evenly distributed throughout your rooms will bring a romantic ambiance to evenings at home. Consider a reading corner illuminated by a floor lamp, for example, or add some pendant lighting in the kitchen or dining room. Of course, candlelight is the ultimate in shimmering ambient lighting; just make sure you stay safe by blowing them out before bed.