As we approach the depths of winter and the cold weather comes in hard, we all like to wrap up warm and dry. But it’s not just you and your family that feel the cold – your home does, too.

Just like the winter can cause you all kind of problems like dry skin and bad circulation, so your house can suffer a great deal throughout the colder months. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of those impacts and reveal what you need to think about with regards to protecting your home at this time of year.

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Frozen pipes

Once the temperature outside drops to a certain level, there is a good chance that your pipes will freeze. It’s a huge threat and can result in a spectacularly expensive repair job if you are unlucky. The first step to ensuring your pipes don’t freeze is to keep your house warm as much as possible. But you also need to check for any exposed pipes in external areas, in your attic space, or in your basement. These can freeze even if you have your heating on, and if it happens you need to move fast. Turn on your hot water and turn on your faucets slightly – allowing them to drip will cause the water to move in your pipes and raise the temperature a little.

HVAC

It’s not just your water pipes that are at risk – your HVAC unit is also susceptible to freezing. And depending on how thick the build up of ice is on your unit, it could cause significant damage that needs air conditioning repair. Try defrosting your equipment first by leaving it switched off, but you might be a victim of a frozen evaporator coil. Using the system while this is frozen could lead to significant damage to your compressor, which will cost a fortune.

Gutters

Be honest – how clean are your gutters? If you haven’t cleaned them of debris before the winter started, make sure you do it now. Any build up of moss, sticks and leaves will cause blockages, and that water is going to freeze and expand. And that could result in burst gutters that cause potential leaks – which can lead to all kinds of issues like damp in your walls. Time to get that stepladder out and clear up your gutters, perhaps?

Chimney fires

FInally, don’t forget that the fires we light in winter are always dangerous, no matter how good you are at making them. And while a small, controlled fire can be – literally – a lifesaver if your heating or power goes out, there is always a risk. One of the most common issues to watch out for are chimney fires, which are especially dangerous as you can be completely unaware they are happening until they have taken hold. You must make sure your chimney and fireplace are clean, and it’s a good idea to have a professional inspection once a year. And always use a screen in front of an open fire to stop sparks from burning wood spreading.

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