The shorter days are here, and with them freezing temperatures that can damage your home and increased energy use that could put money in your pocket.
Our goal is to address some of the issues your home could be experiencing and to find the best way to prepare to avoid those issues during the winter months.
1. Reduce condensation to prevent moisture and mold
Condensation is moisture caused by everyday life. It's a common cause of dampness in homes, and if condensation is left untreated, black mold can develop. Condensation is more likely to occur in the colder months between October and April.
Condensation occurs when warm, moist air meets cooler air or a cold surface. When there is too much moisture in the air and it has nowhere to go, it settles on cold surfaces like glass or walls. Condensation is more likely in a building with poor ventilation (ventilation is a way of circulating fresh air through a room).
"Did you know that an average house produces between 7 and 14 liters of moisture per day?"
Condensation can be identified by water droplets/surface moisture on windows and walls, black mold stains, mold spores and musty smells. You're more likely to find condensation in places where there is moisture-generating activity, where there's poor ventilation, like the kitchen and bathroom, or on cold surfaces like windows.
What can you do to reduce condensation?
- Open the windows to let out moisture while bathing, cooking or washing.
- Use drip valves if you have them.
- Do not block air stones or vents.
- Avoid cluttering your belongings, especially around window sills and in the corners of rooms.
- Don't try to push furniture against the walls; Periodically move beds, closets, sofas, and other furniture away from the walls to allow air to circulate behind them.
- Use mechanical exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens and make sure they are kept clean and in good condition.
- If possible, avoid drying clothes indoors.
- In colder climates, try constantly heating your home to a lower temperature rather than having it on a high temperature for short periods of time. This keeps building materials warm and prevents moisture build-up and could even save you on heating bills.
What to do if you find mold in your home?
If you find mold stains in your home, chances are it will continue if you do nothing. Remove black mold stains whenever possible. The best way to remove black mold is to use a fungicide. Fungicides are substances that destroy or stop mold spores from growing. You can buy fungicides from your local hardware store or some local supermarkets. There are many different antifungal detergents and paints that are designed to stop mold growth in the future. Some examples are Cuprinol Fungicide Spray and Polycell Mold Cleaner.
If you feel your condensation issue is out of your control or you need further advice on moisture management or cleaning, please contact ourCustomer service on 0300 123 3456.
Be sure to open windows to let out moisture when bathing or cooking.
2. Check if you need to bleed your radiators to increase efficiency
A great way to efficiently heat your home is to flush your radiators. From time to time, air can enter a central heating system and prevent the radiators from running at peak efficiency. Bleeding a radiator releases trapped air and ensures hot water fills it completely, making the radiator more efficient.
To check if your radiators need to be bled, turn on the heater and wait for the radiators to warm up. When a radiator is hot at the bottom and cold at the top, air can be trapped inside.
How to bleed a radiator
Bleeding radiators can be a bit of a tricky job. So it's important to protect the area around the radiator when it starts to bleed. Remove soft furniture and protect the floor with old towels. Have a jug or saucepan and kitchen paper ready to wipe up any spills. Old water from the radiator can be very dirty and you don't want it spilling on something that can be easily damaged, such as a kitchen sink. B. on a light carpet.
The first step is to make sure your central heating is turned off. Radiators should not be vented while the heater is still running as very hot water could spill. Not only is this dangerous, but it can also cause the system to accidentally suck in more air.
The next step is to locate the radiator bleed valve, which is a small square plug usually found on the side of the radiator. If you have an older radiator valve, you will need oneRadiator bleed valve wrench, which are available at most hardware stores. If you have the new type of valve, you can use a flathead screwdriver. However, a bleed valve wrench should also work, and a bleed valve wrench gives you a bit more control, so this is recommended over a screwdriver.
Hold a kitchen towel or rag under the bleed valve (to catch any leaks) and turn the wrench counterclockwise about 1/4 turn (or turn the screwdriver counterclockwise if using the new valve). If there is air in the radiator, you will hear a hissing sound as it escapes. As soon as the hissing stops, a drop of water will come out of the radiator. Now close the valve by turning the wrench or screwdriver clockwise very tightly. You have now purged all air from the radiator and can proceed to the next.
3. Make sure your boiler is checked for safety and efficiency
Be sure to check your boiler before it gets cold. The failure of your central heating in the winter months can be very unpleasant. A reliable boiler to provide hot water and heating during the winter months is essential so it is important to check and test it to ensure all components are working. As well as identifying potential problems with your boiler, an annual check can also ensure your boiler is operating at peak efficiency.
When booking a boiler overhaul, make sure you always hire a qualified technician. If your stove is improperly installed, poorly maintained, or not maintained regularly, it can produce harmful carbon monoxide.
If you are already a Peabody tenant and amunicipal boiler plant, then it is Peabody's responsibility to ensure that the proper controls are in place.
However, if you have a single combi boiler system for your home, then it is your responsibility as a tenant to have the appropriate boiler tests carried out.
4. Make sure you're adequately covered for the unexpected
Sometimes the weather can bring out the best in your home, so making sure you're covered for winter-related damage is very important. Make sure your home insurance offers adequate coverage and that you are covered for winter-related property damage such as floods, mold and subsidence, as well as fire and theft. You may also need to look into coverage for accidental damage such as punctured water pipes or storm damage as some home insurance policies do not include this as standard and you may need to add it to your policy.
Building insurance for shared apartments
Buildings insurance covers damage to the structure of your home, such as the exterior walls and roof. It covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it is damaged.
When buying from Peabody we generally own your home and therefore need to ensure it is adequately insured. When building new homes we have log building insurance in place covering all of our properties within that particular development. In this case, buildings insurance is usually included in the service fee paid to Peabody for your property.
Because we require insurance for so many properties, the premium you pay is reduced and we are able to pass those savings on to you.
Secure content for shared apartments
Home insurance covers the loss or damage of anything in your home that isn't part of the structure or building, allowing you to replace or repair it without spending a fortune. As a co-owner, you have the same rights and obligations as an owner-occupier as a tenant and not as a part-tenant.
Therefore, take out your own contents insurance for your home. We do not cover the contents of your property. It is important to have insurance that protects the contents of your belongings against theft or damage so that in the event of an unfortunate incident you are not in dire financial straits.
Make sure you have home insurance to protect your belongings against damage and theft.
5. Make sure you have the best energy supply for your needs
If you haven't already, now is the time to review your energy prices. During the winter months, you are likely to use more gas and electricity to heat and light your home during the short, cold days. It's always worth checking that you're getting the cheapest electricity rate, as providers are constantly changing their rates.
Customers can often save on their annual electricity bill by simply switching suppliers. This varies from person to person, so check your utility bills regularly and keep an eye on supply.
What else should you consider?
Make sure the windows are sealed
If you have drafty windows, it may be because there are cracks and gaps in the seals. You can use gaskets to seal these gaps and retain heat to reduce your energy bills. Putty is relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and available at most hardware stores.
Make sure your gutters are clear
If you live in a house, make sure your gutters are free of any interfering objects. Leaves can collect in gutters and drains, which can cause clogs and overflows, so it's best to clean them regularly. Consider investing in gutter guards to prevent your gutters from clogging. When cleaning gutters, be sure to take proper safety precautions.
Take reasonable precautions when leaving your home unattended
If you're going away for the holidays, be sure to take the right precautions to ensure your home is well looked after while you're away. You might want to enlist the help of a close friend to visit while you're away to keep an eye on the house. It is also good practice to purchase a light switch timer. This makes it appear as if someone is home while you're not there, while also ensuring the lights aren't left on all day, resulting in high electricity bills. While you're away, it's also a good idea to turn off your electrical appliances, such as microwave ovens and televisions. According to the Consumer Energy Center, many devices use energy even when they are turned off.
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