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Prepare your home for winter

Can you beat winter? As it gets colder, it’s important to prepare your home for all that the season will throw at it.

Watch our videos and follow these tips to get your home ready for the chilly winter months.

1. Protect your pipes

Use pipe insulation to cover pipes inside and outside your home, as well as in your loft and basement. This keeps them warmer for longer and prevents pipes from freezing and flooding your home. It could save you money on your energy bill as well as preventing emergency call outs.

Leaving your heating on low also helps to keep your house warm and cosy and prevent pipes from freezing.

If you’re going away for a while over winter, think about turning off your water and draining the system.

What if my pipes are already frozen?

You can usually spot a frozen pipe by the light coating of frost around it. The water from your taps may also slow down to a trickle or your drains start to smell.

If this happens, don't worry – there are steps you can take to thaw them slowly and safely.

How to thaw frozen pipes

2. Get insulated

Make sure your loft insulation is in good condition. It should be around 10 inches thick – that's about the size of a big school ruler.

Apply draught excluders to doors to keep the cold out and close the curtains earlier to keep rooms warmer.

3. Look after your radiators

If your radiators aren’t heating all the way to the top, it’s likely they have air in them.

To remove the air, buy a radiator key from a DIY shop (about £1). Use this to open the little valve at the top, or on the side.

Hold a cloth next to the valve and listen out for the air hissing. As soon as you see a drip of water, close it up again.

If you’re feeling creative, you could also cover some card with foil and slide it behind your radiator. This will reflect heat back into the room, warming it up faster and making your home more efficient. You can also buy ready-made radiator reflectors.

4. Fix drips and clear drains

Replace washers and fix dripping taps to save water and stop yourself paying for water that you’re not using. If you need help with leaking taps, you could find a local plumber who could fix them for you.

Keep your drains and gutters clear from leaves to help prevent blockages, leaks and damage to your walls and roof.

5. Learn how to find and use your stop tap

Make sure you know where your inside stop valve is. This will help if you need to turn your water off quickly in an emergency. Most are under the kitchen sink.

Keep the name and number of a qualified plumber, so you can call them quickly if you need to. Also check your home insurance covers your pipes.

A boiler breaking down over winter can be a pain, let alone the cost of a plumber to fix it. Prevent breakdowns by getting a service every year.

Relax, we’ve got you covered this winter

Plumbing and Drains cover from British Gas for just 99p* a month

  • No additional call out fees
  • All parts and labour included
  • Excess applies

Get covered

A pair of feet in thick warm wool slippers in front of a warm fire.

*99p a month for the first year. Sign up by 31st May 2022. Homeowners and new customers only. £30 excess per completed repair. Terms and Exclusions apply, see website for full details.