Get your home ready for winter

September is a good time to start preparing your home for the cold months ahead. Here is a list of projects you should consider in order to be ready for the winter...
Man fixing tiles on roof
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You should arrange to have your chimney cleaned if you have one. This will make sure it's safe to use in the coming winter months, after all you don't want the house to be full of smoke the first time you light the fire.

Prepare for the worst. The country seems to get caught out each year but you don't need to. If there's snow or ice around you want to make sure you can at least get out of the house. Have you got salt and sand at the ready? What about a good shovel? Now's the time to find out.

Fill any holes around cables or pipes that come directly through the walls and into your home. It's not just draughts that you need to worry about, mice may be able to fit though those small openings too.

Check for bare patches of wood on your walls or anywhere where the paint has become damaged and peeled during the summer.

Check the outside of your house and see if there is anything that needs to be done. Look for any cracks or tiles that have come loose. If you have wooden window frames it's a good idea to take a look at them now in case the wood is bare or untreated.

If you have a garage then you should be cleaning it. It's easy to let a garage turn into a storage room if you park on the street most of the time. In order to protect your car from the frost, wind and rain it would be much better off under cover.

Is your home properly insulated? If not then you could well find yourself shivering through the cold months. In order to make your home snug there are certain rules you should follow:

* Fit a curtain across the front door. A heavy, well-fitted curtain will provide insulation and reduce draughts.
* Properly insulate your home and loft to reduce heat loss.
* Lag your hot water cylinder and pipes.
* Make your windows draught-proof by sealing the gaps around the window frame and between the frames.
* Fix draught-proofing around the sides of the doors and draught excluders to the bottoms of doors.
* Have heating systems serviced annually. Some gas or electricity suppliers offer free safety checks.