Cold season - how to get your home ready

The Irish summer (for what it was worth!) is over and cold days and nights are just around the corner. Now is the time to get your home ready for autumn and winter, with our top tips:

Assess where heat is escaping

Take a look around your home for air leaks, also known as draughts. These can account for 20 to 30% of heat losses in the home so identifying where heat is escaping and fixing the issues can actually save you money as well as make you feel more comfy during the cold season!

Indoor air leaks often happen along gaps at the edge of flooring, where walls and ceilings meet and around doors and windows. Don’t forget to check for leaks on the outside of your home, particularly in places where two different building materials meet.

You should also investigate if the insulation in your house is sufficient for retaining heat. Get some tips from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland here.

Keep the heat

Once you’ve checked for draughts, think about other ways to reduce heat loss. Are your curtains or blinds keeping the heat in at night? Do you need to use a draught excluder at the bottom of your doors? Remember though to never block vents as air circulation is important for health reasons (blocked vents can contribute to carbon monoxide poisoning) and to prevent mould from occurring in your home.

Get your appliances checked

Solid fuel fired appliances work better and last longer when they are correctly installed, burning the right fuel and are properly maintained. If you have a chimney or flue as part of your appliance or hearth fire, make sure that you get it swept regularly by a professional.

Buy the right fuel

To get the best value for money, it’s important to burn the right fuel in your stove or open fire. Make sure not to burn fuels that are wet and always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on which fuel is suitable for which appliance. Check out www.bordnamonafuels.ie to find out the right solid fuel for you this coming cold season.

Get your roof and gutters checked

As well as colder temperatures, autumn and winter often mean the arrival of downpours or snowfall. Make sure that your gutters are cleaned of any leaves or other debris so that water doesn’t start to build up. Loose or missing slates on the roof can lead to leaks into your home so it’s best to be preventative in replacing them.