Thames Water has revealed its top 10 tips to help customers get their homes ready for the cold winter months, save money and avoid expensive repair bills.
Keeping homes well insulated during the winter can help reduce energy costs and protect water pipes from damage. The UK’s largest water company’s top 10 quick and simple steps are:
- Insulating water pipes with a foam tube called lagging. By also covering hot water pipes, the water stays warmer for longer, reducing energy bills.
- Keeping homes warm by closing curtains before it gets dark to stop warmth escaping, putting draught excluders on doors or sliding a sheet of card covered with tin foil behind radiators to reflect heat back into the room.
- Bleeding radiators that aren’t heating to the top, using a radiator key to open the valve and release air build-ups.
- Keeping drains and gutters clear from leaves. This will help to prevent blockages and also stop leaks and damage to the walls and roof.
- Locating and knowing how to operate the stop tap, as your water may need to be turned off quickly in an emergency.
- Changing the washers in dripping taps. These drips can freeze, while fixing a leaky tap can also save up to one litre of water a day.
- Ensuring boilers are serviced about once a year. If a boiler breaks down it can be expensive and disruptive.
- Checking the condition of loft insulation. Blanket style insulation should be 250 to 270mm thick.
- Keeping the heating on a low setting when out of the house or away. This will help keep the house warm and prevent pipes from freezing. If going away for a while, turning off the stop tap and draining the system will ensure there’s no water in the system to freeze.
- Being prepared for any issues. Keep the name and number of a qualified plumber to hand and check home insurance covers things like your pipes. If it doesn’t, consider taking out home emergency cover.
Kieran Ingram, Thames Water’s head of water networks, said: “The last thing anyone wants in the dark winter months is a burst water pipe in their home. As the weather starts to get colder, there are a lot of small things we can all do to keep our homes warm and reduce the risk of pipes becoming stressed or even bursting.
“These little changes don’t just keep the water flowing where it should be: our taps, toilets and home appliances, but can also save money on heating and energy bills.”
Find more tips on being winter ready here.