frostBrrr… no sooner had I finished the Autumn blog than the temperature dropped along with the wind and now we are into our first winter freeze.

There’s lots of advice out there about what to do to protect you and your home over winter but it never hurts to repeat some things.

Boilers – we all know they have a habit of breaking down at the first sign of a frost, so if you haven’t had yours serviced during the summer months think about adding Home Emergency cover to your insurance policy. We offer this at a really competitive premium of only £30.00 a year. Then, if your boiler should break down, you can get someone out to fix it without ringing around all the local plumbers who will be too busy to fit you in!

heatingHeatingbills – As the temperature drops the bills go up. You might feel that putting the heating on for less time, telling the kids to wear extra jumpers and to run around a bit more will help keep the costs down, but trying to save a little by turning on and off the heating doesn’t always work and it can be more cost effective to leave it on constant but at a lower temperature during really cold weather.

This will have the added benefit of reducing the risk of pipes freezing and then bursting.

dripping-tapStop cock –As well as knowing where it is, make sure you can turn it on and off. It may sound silly but you don’t want to wait until you have water pouring forth to find out the last person to handle it turned it so tightly you can’t move it.

Use your loft – if you go away, leave your loft hatch slightly open to allow warm air to circulate. As we all know, it’s the coldest place in winter and where most of us have our water tank.

plumberLove thy neighbour – if you go off on a winter break and your home is going to be empty ask a neighbour to pop in at least once a day and leave them your contact number. Also, don’t forget to leave them the name and telephone number of a good plumber, just in case you aren’t always contactable.

sweepSpare a thought for Santa! – we all love a real fire but if you have an open fire or wood burner and you haven’t used it since last year or even before that, remember to get the chimney swept first.Damage caused by soot fall or a chimney fire are no joke and just what you don’t need during the festive period.

Always keep the telephone numbers of your insurance company, home emergency helpline and a useful neighbour nearby just in case!