We’re currently going through one of the hottest summers on record, so the last thing we want to be thinking about is preparing our homes for the winter, but now is the perfect time to act! A little bit of forward planning and preparation will help minimise the risk of any nasty surprises on a cold winters morning.

Get your boiler serviced
If you are a homeowner then all of your gas appliances should be checked once a year by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer, if you are renting then your landlord should be arranging this for you. These checks are important for a number of reasons, most importantly to avoid the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. A poorly performing boiler will also waste energy and cost you more money in bills.

Check the guttering
Blocked guttering is a problem that often goes missed. As leaves start to fall, gutters and drains become blocked. When it starts to rain the leaves get washed down the guttering and into the pipes. When pipes are blocked, water can overspill causing water damage to brickwork and other surfaces, so it is advisable to check your guttering before and during winter.

Check your energy supplier
Did you have high energy bills last winter? Have you found that even though you’ve tried to make improvements through spring and summer you still haven’t seen a major improvement? Then maybe you should switch before the winter months hit. Visit the Which? Energy Comparison Service to see which energy provider is best for you.

Protect your pipes
It’s very common for pipes to freeze and burst in the winter, which can cause a lot of damage to your home. To prevent this from happening, protect your pipes with lagging, this will reduce the amount of heat that is lost.

Around a quarter of the heat in your home is lost through the roof, so it’s important that your home is well insulated. Gas and electricity suppliers now have to help consumers reduce carbon emissions. This has been backed by the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which has been launched with the Green Deal. Under ECO and the Green Deal, grants and loans have been made available to cover all or part of the cost of insulation in your home. Visit Which? to find out more about the scheme and how you can benefit.

By preparing your home now you can sit comfortably knowing that you’ve done everything you can to ensure a safe, warm and cosy winter.

Image by Mateusz Stachowski