How to prepare your home for winter in Ireland

Now that the cold season is upon us, we’re all looking for ways to cut down on heating bills without compromising on comfort. 

In this post we’ll give you some tips to help you keep your home warm for Winter. Most of these tips can be done quite easily if you enjoy DIY.

1. Fix or replace worn-out weather stripping.

You’ll find weather stripping on doors and window frames. It’s usually a mastic type substance. Over time, these can become defective in keeping the elements out. Make sure your main front doors’ seal is in good working order. During the daytime, there should be very little light coming through the door frame. If you can see too much light, then you might need to adjust the door seal or replace it.

Take ten minutes to check all your external doors and windows to inspect the condition of the weather stripping.

2. Attend to holes in exterior walls.

Every home has some external holes in the walls to allow for services to enter the building. These are most usually for water pipes. These gaps should be filled in but over time, the filler can break down and eventually fall away. Take a walk around your home and see if this is an issue in your home.

3. Utilise doors and curtains

Heat lost through doors and windows can be as high as 30%. By closing curtains fully, you can help keep some of that heat inside. Keep all internal doors closed too. By keeping rooms closed off to each other, the heating system in each room can work more efficiently and you should certainly feel the benefits. You can even invest in some door draught stops if you want to go the extra mile!

Tips for your Home in the Winter - FF Conservation & Restoration

4. Move bulky furniture.

Make sure you’ve no large items blocking a heat source. Placing couches/cabinets/beds in front of radiators is costing you money. Allow the heat to flow freely to the entire room.

5. Bleed your radiators.

‘Bleeding’ your radiators is a great way to ensure they are ready for the winter ahead. A quick google search and you’ll find how easy it is to do it!

Trying to save money by avoiding maintenance costs can end up costing you a lot more in the long run. Ensure your boiler is serviced regularly and by a fully qualified contractor.

7. Set your heating on a lower heat

Yes you’ve read that correctly! Blasting your heating on full for an hour after work isn’t going to do you or your home any favours. High heat for short periods of time merely heats the air in each room. It can also cause increased condensation, cold bridging, and dry rot.

You want to heat the fabric of the building. You want the heat to get into the block/timber of your home. This is where you’ll really get the benefit. Once you get your building warmed up, maintaining that level of heat should be easy. Set your heating levels so they are at the mid-way point between the lowest and highest setting. Turn your heating on for longer periods of time at this level and you’ll notice a difference in your home comfort and your bills. As house construction and size varies, you might need to adjust heating levels and time periods until you get the correct fit for your home.

8. Use your BER report to see where you can improve the U-value of your home.

These reports a European wide initiative, compulsory for homes being sold and let. However, any homeowner can get their home assessed. The reports break your home down into sections indicating materials in the building and where heat is lost most. You can then use the report to see where you can make changes to make your home more efficient. Always seek professional advice before making any major changes to your home, IE changes in insulation.

9. Check your attic.

Roofing space can be a big culprit for heat loss. Ensure your attic is fully insulated and there are no missing roof tiles or repairs needed. You can visually inspect your roof from the ground outside your home, use binoculars if needs be! 

For more information or to get help with your next project, get in touch.