There's a nip in the air. The nights are drawing in. It can only mean one thing - winter is coming.
Over the last few years the UK has suffered increasingly cold winters which, coupled with the steadily increasing cost of gas and oil, has led to an increase in the cost of heating the average UK home, by a whopping 63% over the last five years.
However, while we cannot do much about the weather, or the rising cost of utility bills, we can take steps to prepare our homes for the onslaught of winter. One of the first places to start is with our windows. Here are some tips from Eden Harper estate agents on the best way to prepare your windows for winter.
The Importance of Windows for a Warm Home
As you're standing at your living room window, peering out at the wind and rain, it sometimes feels as though you're standing in the middle of the storm. Sometimes this feeling comes from a draught, seeping in through a poorly-fitted, thin or old window. Brrr!
Moreover, no matter how high you turn up the dial on your thermostat, your house will never feel warm enough, and you could be wasting hundreds of pounds on your heating bill.
By spending a little time carefully preparing your windows before the cold days return in force, you can ensure your house remains nice and toasty throughout winter, saving yourself a significant chunk of cash in the process (always handy when Christmas rolls around).
Preparing Your Windows for Winter
As winter approaches, take a walk around your home checking the windows, inside and out, looking for any gaps in the window frames. Cracks can allow water (and cold air) in and, should temperatures hit freezing, can cause the frames to crack. If you find any cracks, fill them with sealant and cover with a coat of protective paint for maximum protection.
It's worth bearing in mind that some cracks are barely visible. A great way to test your windows for draughts is to stand next to them on a windy day holding a lighted candle. A flickering flame shows that you have a draught to deal with.
Small touches, like ensuring your windows are cleaned, can make a huge difference in the winter, allowing the maximum amount of sunlight into your home, keeping it nice and toasty. As can replacing those flimsy summer-weight curtains with thicker winter drapes to keep any draughts out.
If thin or old glass if your problem, buy some window insulation film. This clear plastic lies over your glass, rather like cling film, then a hairdryer is used to heat-shrink the plastic, to remove the creases and maximise the clarity.
Of course, the best way to prepare your windows for winter is to invest in some high-quality double- or triple-glazing. Although this involves a high initial outlay, it will save you money in the long-term and you will reap the benefits for years. Installing new double- or triple-glazed windows will keep out those draughts and help your home to retain its natural heat like nothing else. It also acts as an excellent sound barrier to keep out those howling winds.
As the nights draw in, think carefully about what you can do to prepare your windows for winter.