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07 Jul 2020

Is your home ready for winter?

We’ve just come out of our coldest June in more than 5 years! It’s literally FREEZING! Soft snow has blanketed parts of the South Island and Middlemarch plunged to a bone-chilling -12.3 degrees - the coldest in the country so far. Even in some parts of Auckland, people have been waking up shivering to sub-zero temperatures.

With the very sunny and warm autumn it feels like winter took us a little bit by surprise, so in case you have forgotten to set your house up for winter – make sure you do so now!

We put together a little list for you that you can check to see if you still have a few things to tick off.

Check your gutters

Remove any leaves or debris from your gutters and clean any mold or algae. Once they are clean, run some water down your gutters and check for any leaks. Please bear in mind the water restrictions in some areas of the country so use waste water to do this. If you do find any leaks, you can seal them by using caulking. You should clear your gutters at least twice per year, once in the spring and then again before winter or when the trees have shred.

By clearing your gutters, you will prevent overflowing water running down the exterior of your house. Water can quicken the rate of deterioration to your house and can cause even more (expensive) problems further down the track.

Check your chimney

This is never a fun job but it is a necessary one. If you are cleaning the chimney yourself, make sure you wear old clothes, as you can get dirty, and wear a mask and safety glasses too. Now you are ready to examine your chimney by looking both from the inside and outside.

Make sure there’s nothing obstructing the cap. Remove any leaves or sticks that are near the cap and check for bird nests. Chimneys are a favourite nesting spot for birds. Inside, inspect the flue damper and make sure it can seal properly. Using a high-powered torch, look up the flue and make sure there are no cracks or rust. If you think your chimney is in bad shape, please hire a professional to replace it. Remember to order firewood if you haven’t done so already!

Check your drainage

There’s nothing worse than walking outside and seeing a pond where your drain should be after a heavy downpour, like the ones we have seen lately.

So how can you ensure your drainage system is working properly? Cut back any leaves or tree limbs that are hanging close to your drain. Don’t plant any invasive plants such as magnolias and willow trees near your drains.

If you can clear your drain of debris; or call in the experts to clear them for you.

Cover any outdoor furniture

If you haven’t done so already, now is the best time to cover all your outdoor furniture. When you do, make sure that the furniture is dry to prevent rot and rust. You may need to wait for a sunny day to do this, or if you have a garage you might be able to take the furniture inside to dry up. Covering your furniture can extend the lifespan for another season so definitely worth doing - you can get covers from your local hardware store.

Check your smoke alarms

If you use heaters or fireplaces to heat your home, don’t just assume your smoke alarm is working. Dust or vacuum around your alarm to prevent any false readings. Replace your alarm's old batteries with new ones and then press the button to ensure it is working. Don’t forget to check the expiry date on your alarm. This is placed usually on the bottom of the alarm.

Replace smoke alarms every 10 years, you can find them at your local hardware store and they range between $10 - $75. Checking your alarm is super important because when you are sleeping you lose all sense of smell. Your smoke alarm is literally a life savior. Please check out the Fire and Emergency website for info on how to properly install them.

Check your home’s ventilation system

Without proper ventilation, you will probably wake up to weeping windows and stuffy air every morning, especially after those really cold nights.

A home ventilation system ensures that fresh, dry air is coming into your home and replaces the damp, moist air. This prevents mould and mildew buildup that can happen as a result of excess moisture, making your home a healthier place to be for you and your family. Dry air is also quicker and easier to heat up, so you will ease the workload of your heat pump or other heat source.

Unovent has a wide range of home ventilation systems for every part of your home, so if your home is in need of fresh, dry air, contact us and one of our customer care specialists will help you choose a system that is suitable for your needs.

If you have checked all these things off your list; well done you! Give yourself a pat on the back and make yourself a nice cup of tea. If you still have some things to tick off, you have your weekend plans set. And if you need help with your ventilation system; contact us today for a no obligation quote..

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