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5 tips to get your home ready for winter

Winter is coming … but with these simple tricks, your home will be safe, warm and ready for the cold

cold person bundled up

If the thought of trading out your sunnies for scarves has you feeling down, fear not: with these five simple tips, your home can be a toasty respite from the cold.

Tip 1: Bleed your radiators

“Bleeding” your radiators is a simple task anyone can do to improve their central heating system’s output without actually turning the heat up. Use our step-by-step guide to bleeding your radiators to release trapped air to improve overall efficiency, which means a warmer home and cheaper energy bills.

Tip 2: Draught proof your house

By following a few simple tricks to stop cold draughts making their way into your home, you could save 10% on your energy bills.

From keyholes to letterboxes, skirting boards to loft hatches, there are dozens of ways cold air is creeping in and dragging down the temperature of your home.

So, if you’re finding that turning up the thermostat just isn’t staving off the cold, check out our easy to follow guide to draught proofing to find out the best – and often free – ways to cut out the cold air.

Tip 3: Spring for a smart thermostat (or get one free when you switch to npower*)

Get better control over your home’s heating with a smart thermostat (not to be confused with smart meters, which will be in every British home by 2020).

Smart thermostats cost anywhere from £70 to £250 and allow you to remotely control your central heating system from anywhere via your smartphone or a desktop app.

 

nest smart thermostat

Set a more tailored weekly schedule and get the ability to switch your heat on or off from virtually anywhere; with this smarter control you could save up to 31% on your energy bills.

Find out more about how smart thermostats work and the different types available.

*Switch to npower’s Intelligent Fix 2018 fixed price dual fuel energy plan, and get a third generation Nest (pictured). Run an energy comparison now and select “Points, rewards and extras” in the filter  for more info on this deal.

 Tip 4: Don’t get caught out with a bum boiler

There’s nothing worse than an icy shower in the dead of winter. If you think your boiler is on the brink of disaster, you have two options:

  • Buy a new boiler before disaster strikes. Find out if it’s time to replace your boiler and how much it could cost in our guide to buying a new boiler. If you need further incentive to act before winter arrives, British Gas are offering £400 off a new boiler, which includes their 5 year warranty — but only until 31 October, so act fast to get the deal.

Tip 5 Compare and switch your energy supplier

Quite possibly the easiest and most effective tip of all: compare energy deals to ensure you’re on the cheapest gas and electricity plan before winter arrives.

With cheap fixed deals disappearing as we head into autumn, and energy suppliers raising prices in the Brexit aftermath, make sure you’re not caught out in the cold by grabbing your energy bill and spending 10 minutes comparing all plans on the market and switching to the best one for you.

You could save up to £679^ per year by switching your gas and electricity.

energy bill comparison compare switch

Bonus tip: Don’t forget to be gas safe

This one applies year-round, but one to be particularly aware of  as your boiler gets more use this winter, and worth reminding of. First, make sure you know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a gas leak, such as nausea, dizziness, headaches and tiredness. Second, read up on our 10 tips for gas safety in the home.

If you have children or pets in the house, consider getting a carbon monoxide alarm. Similar to a smoke alarm, it detects harmful levels of carbon monoxide and alerts you to the danger. Animals such as cats and dogs, and small children, are particularly vulnerable due to their size and their closeness to the floor, where leaking poisonous gasses collect.

^Between 1 March 2016 and 31 May 2016, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with uSwitch saved £679 or more.

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