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Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Bryn Evans of Home Instead Senior Care in Sheffield.
In this instalment, I will be sharing some tips that will keep you warm and protect your home from the inevitable cold days of winter. Although it may seem like summer has just ended, the days are getting shorter and colder and it’s time to start thinking about ways to winter proof your home.
Get your boilers looked at: A poorly maintained boiler wastes energy and creates added costs. It also runs the risk of leaking carbon monoxide. So, it’s a good idea to service your boiler every year. As everyone starts to switch on their central heating, the surge in gas consumption can lead to a big increase in boiler breakdowns.
Bleed the radiators: A great way to warm up your home is to bleed your radiators. This releases any trapped air, allowing hot water to fill every part of your radiator and warm your home more efficiently. Guttering: As leaves start falling, gutters and drainpipes will start to get filled with loose foliage. Once the blockage becomes too much, water will start to back up in the guttering and leak into the roof and down the walls of the house. Make sure your gutters are completely free from grime and dirt to minimise water blockage.
No entry for draughts: Those chilly winter will try everything they can to slip through the nooks and crannies of your home. Check the edges of your doors and windows for draughts, and you can either seal these gaps with self-adhesive draught strips, or get one of those funny draught excluders shaped like a snake or a dog.
Keep your pipes warm: Burst pipes are common during winter due to rapid freezing and thawing, potentially causing massive damage. The best way to stop this from happening is to keep your pipes warm with their own foam cardigan (called lagging), which will reduce the heat lost and insulate the pipes to stop them from freezing.
Sweep your chimneys: If your chimneys are in use, make sure that they get swept every year. This will remove the build-up of dirt and grime from your chimney walls. Bonus tip: Stock up on hot chocolate and other warm drinks. It doesn’t matter if it’s pouring down with freezing cold rain, in the middle of a blizzard or gale force winds, sitting down on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate in winter is one of the best feelings ever.
We know it can be tough to keep everything in your home running smoothly during the colder months, but hopefully some of these tips will help and it is always best to start preparing your home for the winter months early.
To make a suggestion for a future topic, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Home Instead Senior Care, Haywood House, Hydra Business Park, Nether Lane, Ecclesfield, Sheffield, S35 9ZX. Alternatively, you can also call me on 01142 469666. Bryn Evans