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Preparing your Home for Winter

Fans of Game of Thrones know this phrase oh too well and it’s especially true for home owners as the chill starts to set in.

A little bit of effort now will mean the difference between being snug and warm with a cup of hot chocolate and sitting sniffling wrapped up in a duvet and a onesy with your teeth rattling.

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Fireplace maintenance

Do you have a home with a fireplace? Lucky you! Nothing makes for happiness more than staring dreamily into the fireplace cuddled up with your loved ones. So you better make sure your fireplace is in great shape for winter.

If you have the money, invest in switching to gas. A gas fireplace is more energy efficient, easier to keep clean and will heat the room up very nicely.

If you have a woodburning fireplace you will need to do some inspecting and cleaning. Wood that burns builds up a residue in your chimney and if you allow this to build up your fireplace will be inefficient, smoky and you even run the risk of a chimney fire. Clean your chimney and make sure it is in good working order and not damaged.

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Put your ceiling fan in reverse

If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch you can use it to make the fan turn in a direction so that warm air (which rises naturally) is blown down instead of up. Sounds weird, right? But by doing this your ceiling fan can help keep the heat recirculating throughout the room.

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Window inspection

Carefully clean and check all your windows. A small chip or crack may have developed that can let cold air in. Get that broken window fixed and keep winter’s tendrils out! You can also use tape to insulate the edges of windows where they are not air tight, although if your window putty is in place and your window frames are in good shape this should not be a problem.

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Leaks around the piping

A surprisingly large number of homes have badly fitted piping where cold air can come in. Inspect the piping in your kitchen and bathrooms to make sure there are no gaps between the pipes and the walls. Fill any leaks with insulation foam to keep winter out.

You can also insulate your pipes to protect them from freezing: get some foam from a hardware store and wrap with tape.

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Wall panel heaters

These are brilliant for taking the edge off a cold room. Easy to install, panel heaters are an economical and relatively safe room heating option. You can buy them just about anywhere (hot tip: get the one with the easy access power switch).

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Geyser blanket and ceiling insulation

Insulate your geyser with a geyser blanket (available at hardware outlets). This is a great way to make your geyser more economical and will help conserve heat energy.

Make sure you have insulation in your ceilings: it’s incredible what a difference this can make to the heat conservation of your home.

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The Rainy Cape Winter

If you live in an area like the Cape where winter means rain, you will need to not only cope with the cold but also with the wet.

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Clean your gutters

Make sure your gutters are in good condition and cleared out so that no sleet or rain accumulates. Fix any cracks or damage so that the gutters do their job: take cold water away from your house!

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Waterproof your chimney

The Cape of Storms can really give your chimney a beating and water damage is more common than you think. Inspect and fix now before the rains set in.

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Your turn: do you have any winter preparation tips?

Share by commenting below and let us know if you have any tips for staying warm this winter