While most of Australia may not see much snow during the winter months, many of us will experience drops in temperature, as well as increased rain and wind. With the coldest drops in temperature hitting us in July, now is the perfect time to begin preparing your home and garden for winter 2020.
Here is the ultimate guide to know what to do now so that you and your home are ready for the cold weather.
6 Tips for Preparing Your House for Winter 2020
1. Book in a heater and air-conditioner service.
For those with ducted or split-system air conditioning, the consistent use of your unit over the warm summer months will leave you with a build up of dirt, allergens, pet fur and other debris in the ducts and filter. So, just before winter is the perfect time to book in your yearly service.
You’ll also want to keep all of your unit’s parts clean throughout winter too with a monthly DIY filter check. This will save you money on your heating bills as it will help stop dust and other particles from blocking the airflow, helping with the energy efficiency of the unit.
2. Reverse your ceiling fans.
For those who don’t have an air conditioner or prefer to minimise its use, but do have ceiling fans, we have a great way to prepare your house for winter by warming up the air.
Have a look at your ceiling fan and find the cord or switch to reverse the direction of the blade. By setting the fan to rotate clockwise at a low speed, you’ll be pushing warm air upwards. As a result, the room will be warmed up, cutting down your heating bill in those colder parts of the year.
3. Clean your gutters and drains from debris.
Your homes gutters and external drains are designed to prevent water build up around your home, so keeping them clear is important. With the winter months bringing some hefty wind and rain, even those without trees on their property will find their gutters get clogged up with sticks and leaves.
When your gutters get blocked, it can also cause excess water to find its way into our roofs or wash up our carefully looked after garden beds. If you haven’t yet, add cleaning your gutters or hiring someone to do it for you to your list for preparing your house for winter.
4. Check for leaks and drafts around windows, doors and walls.
Prepare your home for the cold and weather by taking the time to look for any openings around the house. Gaps in our roof, windows, doors and even walls are an easy way for the cold winter air and rain to get inside. This can cause damage to our homes, especially if it makes its way into untreated wood where it can cause rotting.
Take the time to check around your windows, door frames, roof and walls and ensure there are no openings. If you do find any, some silicone, putty or fresh paint can help cover up many of the smaller openings. Those larger openings in your roof may require a professional roof repair specialist to fix them up.
We’ve included a search bar at the bottom of this blog, so you can easily find a local roof repair specialist and compare quotes. Some even offer gutter cleaning and repair services, so you can check two tasks off your list at once.
5. Get your winter clothing and blankets ready.
Bringing out your winter clothes, blankets and extra bedding from storage is one of the simplest tasks on this list. When the first cool nights hit, you’ll be thankful you have your quilts and jumpers out.
While you’re at it, make sure your pets also have warm bedding and a cosy winter jumper ready, if they’re a short or thin-haired breed. Actually, you’re on a roll, so now is also a great opportunity to declutter your wardrobe to donate any old items and store away the clothing and accessories you won’t need until the warmer months.
6. Check your smoke alarms.
Winter is the time for electric blankets, warm candles or fireplaces and plenty of hot oven-cooked meals. This means it is incredibly important to check our smoke alarms are working as expected too.
While you should already be giving your smoke alarms a test every month, it’s also a great time to clean and replace your batteries. During your weekly clean throughout winter, you should also give your smoke alarms a dusting or vacuum to remove any buildup of dust particles
3 Tips for Preparing Your Garden for Winter 2020
1. Remove weeds from the garden.
Bindiis, dandelions, fireweed and other invasive weeds can build up in our gardens during the growing season, so winter is a good time to get rid of them all.
Whether you prefer to hand weed or use sprays, you should add the process to your list for preparing your garden for winter. Not only will this keep your plants and lawns healthy during winter, it’ll be giving them the best start once spring and summer come.
2. Prune before the cold weather hits.
While each plant will prefer to be pruned at different times of the year, many garden plants—such as perennials and flowering shrubs—will benefit when pruned before winter hits. This is because they have stopped most active growth for the year, so it is best to clean them up before they begin to grow again once spring comes.
It is best to prune on a dry day before the air becomes too cold, as disease and other infections can spread easily through water and cold temperatures can shock the plant.
3. Protect plants from cold weather.
Prepare your garden for winter by protecting plants from the colder temperatures. Plants that prefer warmer temperatures—such as herbs and bulb plants—should be moved to a spot inside or under shelter where they can still receive sufficient sunlight.
Other garden plants which can survive cooler temperatures should be given a layer of mulch to keep their roots warm. This is also the perfect time to give each plant a good drink and helping of nutrient rich fertiliser, to keep them healthy during winter.