The winter days are looming yet what is on your mind is Christmas: celebrations and presents! It means you have less budget for holidaying too. Actually, traveling away from homes during the holiday season is not always a good idea. Everybody will agree that the winters have been much colder so unless you have family abroad, we recommend you to stay nice and warm at home. What about the holiday home though? You will want to make sure that it is all set and ready for the cold months too. The last thing you want during this period of the year is having to spend unexpectedly on repairs that can easily be prevented. So here is how to best prepare your holiday home for the winter!
Are you really ready for winter?
There are 3 main areas that you need to attend to ahead of the winter to minimize failure risks and those costly emergency calls!
- Boiler: how often do you hear someone saying: “can’t come to the office today, waiting for boiler repair”. At this time of the year, it will take longer to get someone to fix your boiler; They usually fail too because of poor or irregular maintenance. Boiler manufacturers recommend a yearly check, make sure you run these before the cold days. Less wait time in the summer of course but too late for this year now!
- Gutters: we tend to forget about these as you cannot always peek into them from upper floor windows. It is important you check them too before the winter especially if you have trees nearby. There will be some leaves stuck in there, you want to ensure this is clean so that water can flow. Failing that, it may become stagnant and froze, this can blow-up gutters of course!
- Insulation works: if you are into DIY, ensure that all windows are well insulated, you can do the same for doors. This will save you energy, it will also protect from the cold weather. Talking about heating, it is also a good time to bleed your radiators.
Additional tips for holiday homes
Now, we are talking about a holiday home here so we will give you some additional tips before your last retreat before winter arrives.
- Neighbourhood: When possible, leave a set of keys to neighbors or acquaintances in the area. That way they can give access to property if something happens. That also means you won’t have to travel there urgently. Believe me, this will matter on special days! Just remember to keep a record of their mobile numbers – as for the Christmas present, it goes without saying.
- Important numbers: You will have dealt with local providers when fixing your holiday home, make sure you have their numbers handy too. The best way is to save them on your mobile phone with their function e.g. Joe Waterman (Plumber).
- Outdoor furniture: if your holiday home is by the coast, we recommend you store it back indoors. There could be strong winds which can destroy your belongings by throwing them across the property. This will also prevent theft risks. If you cannot store them all indoor then make sure what remains outside is well tied. The last thing you want is a parasol through the windows of your helping neighbors.
- Regular heating: You will want to keep a minimum temperature even if you are away for a long time. Professionals recommend 10°C. That way your heating system will carry on running and this will prevent risks of pipe burst when temperatures go sub zero. Also ensure the vents are open otherwise you will get condensation and this can ruin window frame in the long run.
If you have followed those tips already, then your holiday home will be all set for winter. If not, it is not too late. At Sextant, we like to follow technology trends in order to optimize the running of your home. If you have missed our articles on connected devices: http://blog.sextantproperties.com/2016/10/25/cutting-down-energy-bills-with-smart-devices/ These will let you adjust the temperature remotely, now that is the most saving option. As long as you have internet in your holiday home that is.