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Getting your home ready for winter

As it gets cooler, it's a good idea to get your home ready for winter. It doesn't take much to keep your home warm and dry, and you'll save on your energy bills.

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Draft proofing

Fixing draughts doesn't cost much and is easy to do yourself.

Here’s what to do:

  • Check all the seals on skylights, pipes and ductwork
  • Look for gaps between floorboards
  • Check your doors and flooring for draughts by holding a lit candle near the edges
  • Check your windows. If they rattle or you can see daylight around the edges, you've got air leaks
  • Seal off unused fireplaces
  • Check for cracks or holes in your home foundations

You can fix most gaps and cracks with a caulking gun, available at your nearest Bunnings Warehouse. Adhesive weather strips are also great for sealing. You can also attach draught sweeps to the bottom of doors or use draught excluder door seals.

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Insulation

Insulation can help cut heat loss by up to 60%. There are lots of different types, and the higher the R rating, the more energy efficient.

Here's some tips to get the most from your insulation:

  • Don't squash or flatten insulation when installing it
  • The corners of ceilings, walls and floors must be properly covered - that's where most heat leaks through.
  • Don't leave any gaps - Even if you leave only 5% uncovered and up to 50% of the benefit goes.

When installing insulation, remember your safety comes first:

  • Get your wiring inspected by a licensed electrician to make sure it can be covered with insulation
  • Don't install insulation within 90mm of hot flues or exhaust fans
  • Leave a 200mm gap around recessed light fittings and install downlight covers
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Outdoors

Winter is hard on your home so it's worth spending a bit of time checking the outside to make sure little problems don't become big ones.

Some things to look out for:

  • Check your roof - look for cracked and broken tiles and rusted or loose roof sheeting.
  • Clear gutters and downpipes of leaves and rubbish so they flow freely - install gutter mesh to reduce the problem in future.
  • Cut back any old, rotten or overhanging tree branches close to your house.
  • Check your fences are nice and solid.
  • Make sure loose outdoor items like umbrellas, chairs, picnic tables, barbecues etc. are safely secured and not left out in the weather
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