Prepare your home for Winter

Is your home Winter ready?

From heavy rain and strong winds to freezing temperatures and snow, the colder months bring new challenges to homes and gardens. We want to ensure our tenants and residents are prepared for the weather and temperatures that lie ahead and using our top tips you can help to make sure your home is safe, secure and warm this Winter. 

Prepare your radiators 

Many residents won’t have used their radiators over the summer months, so to make sure they are working efficiently, you should always bleed your radiators to remove any trapped air. Once you’ve done this don’t forget to top up your boiler pressure. You can follow our handy DIY video to help you to bleed your radiators here

If you notice any weeping leaks on your radiators, please report this to our repairs team so we can attend your property to rectify this. 

Check your boiler pressure

A working boiler is vital to help keep your home warm during the Winter, so ahead of the colder months we'd always recommend checking your boilers pressure to make sure it's at the correct level. You can do this by locating the pressure gauge on your boiler and checking it is in the green zone. 

If you notice you are constantly having to top up your boilers pressure, please report this to our repairs team so we can repair this. You can also find all of our boiler manuals can be found here

Prepare for freezing temperatures outdoors

In Winter, keeping your home healthy outdoors is just as important indoors.  Before the freezing weather arrives, it's important to check your gullies to make sure there aren't any blockages that could freeze over. If there are any blockages, they should be reported immediately to our team. 

Your condensate pipe can be found outside your home too, often they can freeze over causing your boiler to stop working. If this does happen and the pipe is easily and safely accessible, you can unblock this by pouring warm water over it. Please make sure you do this safely and away from children. 

Only pay for what you use

Get into the habit of taking a gas and electricity reading every month and give it to your energy supplier via the telephone or their app or website. This will make sure that your bills are always correct, and you’re paying the right amount. An easy way to do this is to speak to your energy provider to get a Smart Meter installed in your property. 

Save money on your bills

The Governments Warm Homes Discount scheme is available to people on low incomes or some pension credits, meaning they could be eligible for a one-off discount on their electricity bill between September and March. 

You can also save money by making sure you're on the best possible energy deal, switching to another provider could help you save hundreds on the cost of your gas and electricity bills. 

Keep your home warm

Tucking heavy curtains behind your radiators can help to keep your home warm, but make sure they don’t cover the thermostatic valve as this could affect its how well it works. If you can, we also recommend keeping your home heated between 18oC and 24oC. 

Help to prevent condensation 

As the weather gets colder it means condensation can be more likely to build up in your property. There are lots of things you can do to help prevent this, including keeping the internal kitchen door closed and the window open while cooking and if you have one, using your extractor fan when showering. More details and tips to help control condensation are available here. 

Test your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms

We rely so much on our boilers during the winter, which makes us vulnerable to carbon monoxide. This is extremely dangerous and can kill. You should test your carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month to make sure they are working. While you’re there, check your smoke alarms too – it could save your life.

Know what to do in an emergency

It is important to familiarise yourself with the location of your water stop-tap and electrical controls, so you are able to switch them off quickly in an emergency situation

We know Winter can also bring a financial strain on some households, with higher energy bills, festive spending and other costs quickly adding up. If you're a tenant, you can also benefit from the specialist advice and support offered by our specialist Money Matters Team. Covering everything from energy saving advice and benefit entitlement, to budgeting and debt advice, the brilliant team is available to help support you with a wide range of issues to help you make the most of your money.

If you would like to report a repair to our teams, please call 0191 525 5000 and select option two. You can also report a repair online via MyGentoo.