I have always loved the autumn months, here in the U K . There are many years when we have
what is called an " Indian Summer" which is a late summer.
This means we can have sunny days without the oppresive heat of real summer. Add to this
the wonderful colours created when the leaves on the trees begin to turn, means blue skies and
golden leaves and the appearance of a nip in the air and a distinctive smell of burning leaves and
These are all clues that winter is just around the corner. Don't ignore natures
promptings. Be proactive, make those preperations before the first snow of the winter.
Draught- Proofing - Check out all your doors and windows for cracks or
weathering of the seals.
If there are signs of wear, don't scrimp on this area, replace with new sealant. This will
keep the cold draughts outside your house and help to keep the heat in.
Central Heating Sevicing - If you are one of the wise ones that have service
contracts for your central heating system, now is the time to have them to come out and complete a
It is during the winter season that these systems face there greatest demands, you don't
want your system to fail on these cold frosty days.
Remember, prevention is better than cure.
Chimney Cleaning - Another area to have checked is the chimney.
One year we had a visit from our local firemen due to a phone call from one of our
neighbours who had noticed that our chimney was on fire.
This was simply because we had not had it cleaned for quite some time.
I also had a number of carpet cleaning jobs due to soot falls from chimneys. One was due
to a lightning stike and a number due to birds flying down the chimney and disturbing the soot.
This soot is so fine that it can make a mess of a normal vacuum cleaner and it takes a lot
of removing from carpets.
Clean chimneys tend to work more efficiently.
External Taps - Externally it is important to turn off all of your water taps
and to insulate them so that frost does not penetrate through these pipes into your house.
There are pre-formed foam tap insulators that can be taped around the external taps.
Pipe Insulation - The next area to work on is the water pipes which need
lagging with insulation to protect them from penetrating frost.
We forgot to lag some pipes that ran to an external tap, last year, and sure enough the
pipes froze and blew at one of the junctions.
Once the weather warmed up we had water spurting all around the back yard.
Attic Insulation - I spent quite some time and effort insulating our attic.
Not only did I spread out the recommended level of insultion material but I sealed this in
with attic floor boarding.
This had the extra benefit of creating a large storage space, which I needed for the boxes
of old accounts for my cleaning business.
Thermostats - Central heating systems work more efficiently when fitted with a
programmable thermostat which enables accurate regulation of temperature within your home.
If you want to go the whole hog, invest in thermostats for each individual radiator.
Alarms - As you are checking a number of areas leading up to the winter months,
why not check the batteries on smoke alarms and CO2 detectors, press the test button to ensure that
it is working, this little check could save your life.
There is no point of having these alarms if the batteries are flat.
These simple tips can help to prevent damage to your home through the extremities of the winter
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