Preparing your Home for Heating this Autumn
As the year rolls around once more it is time to welcome the autumn season and all that it will bring with it; leaves changing from shades of green to reds and browns and yellows, the migration of all kinds of birds and Halloween (and even Christmas) decorations starting to appear in the shops. As summer ends, autumn signifies the waning of the year.
But when does autumn actually start? Actually, it all depends on which autumn you’re asking about. The two most common ways of judging the start of autumn (and the rest of the seasons), are through the meteorological calendar and the astrological calendar.
The astrological calendar is defined by Earth’s axis and orbit around the sun, and the seasons each begin on the relevant solstice or equinox. The meteorological calendar is defined by fixed dates which are set by meteorologists to split the four seasons into equal periods. The dates of the astrological seasons can change slightly each year (though rarely by more than a day or two), whereas the meteorological seasons always have the same dates. Meteorological autumn is already well underway, having started on the 1st September, but astrological autumn aligns to the autumn equinox, which this year fell on the 23rd September.
None of this, of course, impacts the fact that as the year wanes, the nights grow longer and the weather grows colder. Whether it’s digging your gloves and scarves out of the wardrobes or stocking up the cupboard with seasonal delights, as the weather changes, it’s advisable to take stock of your home and make sure that you are set for autumn, and the Winter that will follow it. So we’d like to share with you 10 things you can do to make sure your home is ready for the autumn.
1. Review your energy tariff and provider
Energy is essential to keep a modern home running, but it can also be one of the best places to look to see if you can cut your household costs. As the Autumn sets in it is worth reviewing your current energy provider’s tariff, and looking around to see if you might be able to get a better deal by changing.
2. Maintain and service the heating equipment in your home
With news that the coming winter may be one of the coldest on record, ensuring that your heating and hot water systems are in good working order is extremely important. Whether you’re looking at individual heaters or a house wide system, now is the time to check all is in order before you turn it back on.
3. Consider your thermostat
Thermostats measure the temperature of the room in which they are installed, using this as a measure for the entire house. If the thermostat is placed in the coldest room of your home, therefore, you run the risk of overheating the rest of the house in order for the thermostat to reach the set temperature. Conversely, if your thermostat sits in the warmest room in your home, then the heating may be turned off before the colder parts of the house have been sufficiently warmed. It is worth reviewing the location of your existing thermostat in preparation for the colder weather, and potentially moving it or even swapping to a remote thermostat.
4. Review your heating programme
As autumn comes it is worth reviewing your heating programme to check that it’s going to be working most effectively for your household. Consider whether anyone has changed the pattern of their working hours, or if living habits and patterns have developed, and check that the heating and hot water programme is giving you what you need, when you need it.
5. Test it before you need it
Though the weather is starting to change, there should be a further period of milder weather before the cold really sets in. So it makes sense to thoroughly test your various heating solutions in the home to make sure they are working well. Should you identify any problems, then you will have the time to get them fixed before the cold really sets in.
6. Fix any draughts to improve efficiency
However efficient your heating, a draught can let cold air in and warm air out, resulting in wasted energy and more expense for you. So take some time to check your windows and doors for draughts and renew your rubber or brush excluders. In many cases this is something you can do yourself, but if the job is a bigger one you can contact a professional to carry out the work for you.
7. Review Home Insurance
As weather patterns seem to be growing more extreme, autumn and winter risks like flooding and frost damage to water pipes become a real possibility. It is worth taking some time to review your existing home insurance policy to make sure you have protection against possible problems.
8. Prepare to combat moisture
With the colder and wetter weather, relying on the bright sun and warm breeze to dry your clothes is no longer an option, so many people will be forced to dry clothes and bedding in the home instead. Laundry drying indoors and increased usage of heating may cause moisture build up in your home. A dehumidifier or other solution can help you avoid mould and condensation, as well as assisting with speedy drying of laundry in the colder weather.
9. Clearing gutters
Outside preparations can be just as important as inside ones, and now is the time to make sure everything is in order outdoors. Clearing the gutters to ensure they provide effective drainage reduces the risk of weather damage to the roof or walls of your home.
10. Be prepared for a powercut
The recent national grid blackout was the most serious in the last decade, but has prompted additional safeguards to be put in place. Nonetheless, powercuts can still occur, and in the colder months it makes sense to be prepared for them, just in case. Finding a drawer in your home to keep a torch, some candles and matches, and even a wind up radio to listen for updates, can give peace of mind and ensure that, if there is an outage on a cold autumn evening, you can stay comfortable instead of scrabbling in the dark.
There are many things to look forward to this season, from Halloween celebrations, coffee shops offering autumn twists to their hot drinks, to marshmallow toasting and fireworks bursting in the night sky. Taking the steps above will help to ensure that your home stays a safe, warm and welcoming space throughout the autumn and on into the Winter.
If you would like to find out how our products can help you keep warm and cosy this autumn and winter, take a look at our wide selection of portable heaters, electric fires, installed heating and dehumidifiers.