Whilst there’s no rule saying you can’t make a fresh start at any time of the year, the beginning of a new year is often the perfect time of reflection for most people. New Year’s resolutions are usually about change or cutting back and saving money, and a refresh to the essential parts of your property can do both.
Here are some things you can do to make your house feel as new as the year, and the benefits of doing so.
Especially around this season, with the changing of years and the cold of winter, the holidays may have given you a chance to notice or take a look at things that aren’t working as they should.
The ice-cold temperatures of winter can wreak havoc on many parts of your house. Your pipes and water systems may struggle, with the water in pipes prone to freezing and causing further issues if certain pre-emptive measures aren’t taken.
The drop in temperature will make any issues come to light that weren’t obvious a few months ago. With your boiler and heating systems suddenly awakened from their summer hibernation, you may or may not notice they aren’t working as they should – something that could be costing you hundreds in energy and heating bills.
With these problems in mind, some more noticeable than others, it’s the perfect time to think about getting your gas, electric and plumbing systems checked over by a professional.
This will help either make sure everything’s running as it should or identify and address any problems.
Taking care of these problems early (and not just early in the year), means not having to deal with nasty surprises and the higher costs of emergency repairs or replacing broken equipment entirely.
As attractive as “out with the old, in with the new” sounds, upgrading your equipment may not be necessary with good property maintenance. By keeping a good maintenance routine (such as getting your boiler serviced every 12 months) you’ll save money which could be used for an upgrade that you chose to have – instead of being forced to upgrade after a breakdown.
It’s not just about calling in the experts and spending a potentially large sum of money on a full refresh. If you are able to do this, great! But we are on call to fix problems both big and small, plus there are many things you can do yourself to keep your home as fresh as the new year. You’ll find that some of these tips are quite simple too.
As we go into the new year, we still have to battle with the bitter winter cold for a few more months. With your plumbing system potentially put under more strain than usual over the busy Christmas period, you may have started to notice issues with your plumbing. But if you haven’t yet, here’s some tips for what you might run into, how to prevent it and protect your plumbing from the ravages of winter.
The biggest issue is frozen water or maybe a build-up of disposed Christmas food causing a blockage in the pipes. Blockages can cause annoying sounds, weaker water pressure (meaning more water usage and higher bills if you are on a meter) and eventually lead to burst pipes and leaks if they aren’t dealt with.
Leaks and water damage can really devastate a property and be expensive to fix, so you’ll want to make sure your plumbing system is kept regularly and well maintained in order to prevent, notice and address these problems before they get bigger and more expensive.
You can easily purchase and fit foam insulating material from most DIY stores. These foam cylinders have a slit in them that allows you to simply push the material over the pipes, wrapping them with an extra layer and protecting them from the cold.
Experts say that running water regularly helps stop water from freezing as it’s much harder for running water to freeze. So make sure to run water on each tap regularly just for a minute or two so that they don’t go unused for too long and become prone to freezing up. Don’t forget outside taps for hoses, as these will be especially susceptible.
It might seem like the complete opposite to the above advice of letting water run regularly, but not addressing a dripping tap could also lead to issues like frozen pipes, as the slow trickling leaves the water more vulnerable to freezing. It’s something that can still cost you money over time if you are on a water meter.
To fix dripping taps, you may need to install new parts like replacing the washer. Washers are subject to lots of water pressure so wear down over time. Replacement can be done by yourself.
If your taps are leaky or you want to install completely new taps, this is something Able Group are on hand to help with if you need us. We can also perform completely new installations if you do fancy freshening up your bathroom or kitchen.
Simple additions like new taps or a new shower head can really make a difference, especially when you notice the improvement in function and water usage. They don’t have to cost too much or be too much of a hassle to install either.
For most boiler issues, you’ll need to get a Gas Safe Registered expert in to fix it. Any attempts made by yourself could be dangerous, illegal and invalidate the warranty of the boiler. Gas is a very dangerous substance to be tampering with if you’re not qualified.
As we suggested earlier, you should at the very least get your boiler serviced every 12 months. This is usually one of the conditions of keeping the warranty valid and some warranties can last a good number of years, almost as long as the boiler itself.
A boiler lasts 10-15 years, so check how old your boiler is in order to start planning and saving for a newer more energy efficient one in the future, whilst taking care of and maximising the lifespan you have left of your current one.
Make sure your radiators are heating evenly too, give them a feel and if you find cold uneven patches, you can try bleeding a radiator yourself. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to call a professional for a powerflush.
Heating and power is one of the biggest costs of the year for most households, so any way to make your usage more efficient by checking systems are working as they should will benefit you big time.
You should also check that your windows are in good shape. Able Group offer window repair and replacement services, with double glazing being a great way to insulate your house and save on heating.
Don’t do yourself a disservice by ignoring these problems, you and your home deserve to have things working in tip top shape and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, it saves you money instead.
If you don’t already have one, look into getting a smart meter in order to accurately track your gas and electricity usage and plan ways to cut down and save, leaving you with more money to refresh your home later down the line.
Keeping your house well maintained can end up saving you a lot of money this year, and next year too. So consider implementing some of these tips into your routine.
Able Group operates 24/7 for emergencies and specialise in 7 different trades, so we can use our expert knowledge to help you get the most out of your plumbing, heating and electrical systems, as well as upgrading your windows, providing locksmith services and even pest control solutions.
For more information about any of our services, contact us today.
Simply give us a call on 0330 108 4111