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Winter checklist – are you ready?

Check your boiler

It’s really important that, before it gets too cold, you switch on your heating to check everything is working as it should be. If you find any faults, you can report them to us on MyHome and we’ll come out to help you as soon as we can.

Boiler or heating breakdowns in winter can be extremely stressful and we always see a big spike in demand for repairs. We work really hard with our contractors to make sure we’ve got enough engineers and the right parts, but you can save yourself a lot of hassle by testing it now so that if there are any issues, we can fix them before you really need it.

You can find out how to use your heating system just here.

Look after your pipes

A burst pipe can have a devastating effect on you and your home, with water damage ruining floors, ceilings, furniture, electrical equipment and more.

Doing what you can to avoid your pipes freezing can save you a lot of hassle, and can be done in just a few simple steps. Take a look at our advice on pipe care and what to do if you have a burst pipe just here.

But before winter sets in, here's tow steps you can take right now to protect yourself against burst pipes.

  • Locate the stop tap and check it's working properly – if a pipe freezes and bursts in your home you need to be able to shut off the water supply quickly.
  • If your home is going to be empty for a while, turn off the water supply and leave the heating on low, about 14 degrees centigrade is enough to stop the pipes from freezing.

As well as knowing what to do if a pipe bursts, you can also give yourself some peace of mind by arranging for contents insurance which will cover the cost of replacing your possessions if they get damaged. There’s more on that here

Damp, mould and condensation

We understand just how stressful it can be to find mould in your home, and as the temperature drops, the chances of seeing it can increase.

If you do start to see signs of damp and mould at home, then let us know as soon as you can so we can support you through it.

Our guide to damp, mould and condensation can help you to prevent the build-up of condensation in your home, which is the biggest cause of black mould forming in areas like walls and windows.

Take a look here

Extractor fans

Typically installed in bathrooms and kitchens (e.g. in your cooker hood), extractor fans are a really good way to reduce condensation in your home.

If your having a shower or bath, your extractor fan can get rid of the extra steam from the hot water before it settles on colder surfaces. This can really reduce the risk of mould building up.

The same is true of an extractor fan installed in your kitchen, taking the steam from your pans straight out of the house. so if you're washing or cooking, it's a good idea to keep the fan running.

To get the maximum benefit, keep your fans running for a little bit longer after you've finished washing or cooking, for example until you've finished drying yourself or plated up your dinner.

Depending on how many watts the extractor fan uses per hour, they are usually quite cheap to run. You can work out how much yours costs to run here.

Drying clothes indoors

With the Great British weather and the price of gas and electricity, drying clothes indoors is a real conundrum for us.

While we all know that putting clothes on radiators can contribute to condensation and mould, we still need a way to wash and dry clothes when it’s raining without turning on the tumble dryer.

If you need to dry clothes indoors, it’s really important that you put them in well-ventilated areas or near an extractor fan if you have one. If you can, put your clothes out to dry in a room that you don’t spend much time in, open the window and close the door. This should give the moisture from your clothes somewhere to go rather than getting trapped inside, causing condensation.

You should also use an airer or clothes horse if you have one so that you can spread out the clothes and help them to dry faster.

Bathrooms and kitchens can be the best place to dry clothes indoors, as not only are they designed for moisture, but you can make use of any windows and extractor fans that you have fitted. If you’re drying clothes in a bathroom, an over-bath airer could help you to maximise the space to dry clothes as well.

There’s lots of other hacks and tips for helping to reduce drying time that you can find online, from using extra spin cycles on your washing machine to shake away excess moisture, to guides on dehumidifiers which can speed up drying times and reduce moisture build-up.