How to prepare your home for winter

“Winter is coming” and it’s been another amazing summer season. Some of us will be embracing the cold weather while the rest of us are already looking forward to the next summer. But, there’s no getting around it, unless you choose to run away for the winter period and enjoy summer on a tropical island somewhere.

If you’re stuck at home, however, it’s time to start preparing the home for winter.

Leak check and fix

There’s nothing worse than having to deal with leaky roofs, windows and other areas of the house in winter. It’s cold, the weather is miserable and all you want to do is stay in your warm bed. Which you can’t really enjoy because of the drip-dripping of water in the empty bucket down the hall.

So, before your fingers start turning white in the fresh air, you need to go around the house and do a leak-check. Then you need to grab the caulk, weatherstrips or any other substance that is going to repair the hole and stop the leak. The earlier you do this, the less you have to worry about playing handyman all through winter.

Sort out the gutters

Gutter maintenance is something that, unfortunately, needs to happen regularly during winter. The worst of it will happen at the end of autumn, just before the real winter begins, with all the leaves that need to be cleared. Then it becomes general maintenance of keeping the gutters clear so that winter rain and snow has somewhere to go. A backup in the gutters will lead to roof damage and a buildup of water.

It would also be a good idea to extend your downspouts and direct the runoff away from the house. You can choose to collect this water in a drum or favour a garden bed and watch it flourish. What you don’t want is to end up stepping outside right into a puddle on your way to work in the morning.

Let the sunlight in

Your house needs all the warmth it can get and if you have windows facing the morning-til-noon sun, open your blinds or curtains and let the sunlight in. There may only be a handful of these clear winter days during the season, but your home will appreciate the extra warmth. As will the people living in it.

Insulate the geyser

Before you get insulator-happy, check for any insulating warnings or suggestions based on the type of water heater or geyser you have. Once in the clear, cover your geyser with insulation blankets and, while you’re at it, you can insulate your hot water pipes as well.

By doing so, you will encourage your shower water to warm up quicker and even last longer. Common courtesy, however, is if you live with more than one other person, to keep your hot-water showers timed.

If you hate it when you’re ready to jump in the shower but realise there’s no hot water left, then so does everyone else. Yes, one of the best parts about winter may be the long steaming hot showers that turn you into a lobster, but you need to think about the people who shower after you.   

Towel rack warmers

If you don’t have towel rack warmers already, you’re about to revolutionise your winter showers. So, we spoke about the steaming shower and lobster skin, but what about when you whip your towel off the rack and whimper at the chill of a slightly damp towel around your body? Completely defeats the purpose of warming up in the shower, doesn’t it?

Solution? Turn on the warmers a decent amount of time before you shower and they won’t only be dry, but toasty too.

All the blankets

Beds become layered with blankets in the winter-time. It’s probably the reason why they always look so inviting during this season. Fluffy blankets, thick sheets, feather-duvets and even an electric blanket to top off from underneath. Beds and winter are the ambassadors for “series and chill” with hot chocolate, knee-high socks and a variety of beautiful blankets.

But the beds aren’t the only piece of furniture that can benefit from winter blankets. Your lounge suites could do with a throw blanket or two to keep you warm when everyone comes together in the living room.

Indoor heating system

Another way to prepare the house and its inhabitants for winter is to install wall heaters, reversed ceiling fans, heated floors, programmable thermostats or an indoor fireplace. Certain areas of the country are simply colder than others. Same with people. Some people get cold extremely easily, no matter how many layers of clothes they’re wearing.

By installing indoor heating systems, such as those just mentioned, you’re guaranteeing a warm welcome from your home. This way it will only take seconds to go from freezing to cosy and everyone will appreciate it.