WITH the cold snap well and truly biting, for some homeowners the frosty winter weather can be a real concern.
Poor insulation is one of the main culprits of heat loss, and winter-proofing your home will not only help the environment but will keep you warm and your bills lower!
Advice has been issued by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) – supported by member agent Harrison Murray – offering simple solutions that could save money and have a positive impact on a sale.
Harrison Murray managing director Nick Salmon said: “The NAEA has issued some sound advice encouraging people to think about winter-proofing as the cold weather kicks in.
“Many measures can be undertaken by home owners themselves at little cost.”
Here are a few ideas in how to winter-safe your home so that potential buyers see it – and feel it – at its best, whatever the weather:
- Moving furniture away from radiators can increase the feeling of warmth in a room by allowing the heat to move freely. Placing foil behind radiators on exteriorwalls to reflect the heat back into the room will minimize heat loss.
- Cavity-wall insulation can reap instant benefits of a warmer home and reduce energy bills. Also check your loft insulation is thick enough and in good condition. A depth of 11 inches is recommended. Loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and double-glazing can all help protect your home and save money on heating bills. You may be eligible for a grant to help with this work.
- Pipes – Icy weather can freeze pipes causing them to burst and flood your home when they thaw. Make sure you know where the stopcock is so that you can turn the water off if necessary. Investigate any new damp patches immediately.
- Heating – If you go away or your property is empty, leave the heating on low as this will help prevent your pipes from freezing. Also a warm home makes it more appealing to a potential buyer.
- Service your boiler – Try and get your boiler serviced professionally each year.
- Bleed your radiators – Bleeding your radiators gets rid of any air inside which may lead to increased bills if the radiators aren’t working efficiently.
- Roof – Homeowners with a tile or slate roof need to check that there are no loose tiles or slates. When the wind is strong, a loose tile can easily be displaced and that will let in the damp. You should repair or replace any broken or missing tiles immediately.
- Damp – If you notice damp, you need to dry out the affected area or use a de-humidifier to help stop condensation. If there is a lot of condensation in your house, it can harm paintwork and cause black mould spots.
- Windows and doors – Replacing with double glazing may be worth considering if you wish to improve the aesthetics of your home as well as save energy. However, this may be costly and a cheaper option could be secondary double-glazing or using rubber draught stripping.
Nick added: “Similar advice could also be taken on board by owners who have an empty property for sale, to avoid unnecessary misery and expense when winter setsin.”
“Simple but effective maintenance will not only protect your home, it could save you money and make the difference between a buyer making an offer or walking away.”