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Protecting your home during the cold weather

Posted in Insurance, Tips on Jan 07, 2019

It hasn’t been a terrible winter weather-wise but temperatures have dipped in recent days and the next period of extreme cold might be just around the corner. The team here at GMHD.ie have compiled a list of helpful tips to help you protect your home.

Extreme cold can wreak havoc on your pipes, damage the exterior of your house and drive up your energy bills. Hopefully these pointers will help you protect your property and perhaps save you a bit of money in the process.

Your pipes

Cold weather can put a real strain on your pipes. Here are some ways of looking after them during the cold winter period.

  • Insulate your pipes with lagging, especially ones on outside walls and unheated rooms.
  • Use the central heating for short periods of time to keep the house warm.
  • Keep the attic hatch open to allow warm air in.
  • Keep the cupboard under the sink open to let warm air get to the pipes.
  • If you think one of your pipes is frozen, turn off the inside stop tap (it may be in an airing cupboard or under the kitchen sink).
  • Thaw out pipes slowly. You can use a hairdryer or hot water bottles. DO NOT use direct heat.
  • Take pressure off the frozen pipe by turning on nearby cold taps.
  • If a pipe bursts, turn off the mains water supply as quickly as possible by using the stop tap and contact your plumber.

Your fire

If you’re making use of your fireplace during the cold spell, or even candles in the event of a power cut, be sure to follow this advice:

  • You should have a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Be sure to check that your alarms are working on a regular basis.
  • Make sure your chimney is clean before lighting a fire.
  • Use a fireguard and never leave a fire unattended.
  • Keep candles in a suitable holder and away from any flammable materials.
  • Keep electric heaters away from furniture and do not use them to dry clothes.


Your bills

To reduce energy consumption (and save a few euro while you’re at it), take heed of these helpful tips:

  • Open curtains and blinds on south-facing windows and close them when the sun goes down. This will lock in some heat for the cold winter nights.
  • Wrap up in warm clothing and accessories.
  • Make sure your house is properly insulated and any cracks on the exterior are filled.
  • Draught-proof your house by sealing (where practical) windows and hatches. Use draught-snakes to stop the draught coming in under your doors.

We hope you find these tips helpful and you have a warm and pleasant start to 2018.

Happy New Year,

The team at GMHD.ie

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