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Home improvement tips for winter
As winter will soon be setting in, now is a good time to think about getting any improvements done to make sure your home is prepared for the season. Before the weather gets colder and the nights draw in, getting some basic improvements and maintenance done now could save you trouble in the long-run.
Upgrade the central heating and insulation
One job that your home may benefit from is a boiler upgrade, especially if your current model is over 10 years old. An inefficient boiler may be pushing up your heating bills, so replacing it with a modern condensing boiler could be a good way to save money in the long-term, especially as you start to turn the temperature up in the colder months.
These boilers can be a pricey investment, so if your budget won’t stretch to that, look at getting a boiler tune-up instead. A reputable technician may be able to do this for you depending on the model.
Another way that your home could be losing you money through expensive heating bills is if it’s not properly insulated. Check round your home to see if there are any areas where draughts are coming in. If you can feel cold air when you put your hand against a wall or closed window, heat is escaping there.
Getting your loft or cavity walls insulated could make your home more energy efficient, which can cut heating bills, as can replacing single-glazed windows with double-glazing. Even something as simple as putting down a draught excluder can help keep more hot air inside your home. It’s worth checking that pipes are well lagged, especially in the loft, as a burst pipe can be both messy and costly.
Make sure your gutters are cleaned out frequently and the drains are running freely, as they can start to fill up with leaves at this time of year. It’s a lot nicer to do this now than when it’s pouring with rain, cold and dark and your gutter is overflowing!
When the days start to get shorter in winter, turning on the lights can make your house feel more cosy. This can start to get expensive though, especially if you frequently leave lights on in several rooms. One way to cut your energy bills is to replace old light bulbs with energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
Keeping your floors toasty is another way to make sure your home feels warm this winter. Cover laminate or floorboards with carpets to stop your feet feeling cold on your flooring or, for a less permanent solution, put down rugs.
Decorating with ‘warmer’ colours may also make your rooms feel cosier, even if it doesn’t make an actual difference to the temperature. Whilst you probably won’t want to paint your walls a different colour every season, you can give a room a fresh and warm look by getting a few home accessories in reds, oranges, or browns.
Saving up throughout the year is one way that you could cover the cost of these home improvements. Another option is taking out a home improvement loan to pay for your essential DIY jobs. If you decide to go down this route, make sure that you can afford to make these payments, especially if it’s secured against your property – which could be at risk if you do not keep up with repayments.