As the UK braces for arctic weather, you might be wondering how to prepare your home.

Have you been putting off some household jobs? These may need sorting before the Arctic blast takes hold.

To help you out, experts from Barratt Homes have created a list of eight essential jobs that you should do before the cold snap hits.

Rhoddy MacKinnon, Construction Director at Barratt, said: “With temperatures about to plummet, it’s really important to get your home safe and energy efficient by doing some essential jobs.

“Tackling these tasks, such as inspecting insulation and boilers, means that you could avoid expensive, unexpected bills.

How to dry clothes indoors during the winter

“With energy prices rocketing, making your home warm and cosy will cut the cost of your energy bills. It’s not only a savvy move financially, but is also environmentally responsible.

“By taking steps to seal any draughts and optimise your heating system, you’ll be contributing to a greener, more sustainable future.”

How to prepare your home for a cold snap

Here are eight tips from the experts at Barratt Homes to help you prepare for the cold winter weather.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

You should check these detectors once a month to make sure they work correctly.

This will help you be alerted if a fire was to start in your home.

To test them, you’ll need to check and change the batteries in the back of the detectors and press the button on the front of them to trigger the alarm.

If you have a fireplace or log burner, it’s important that you check these are also working correctly. You should give them, and your chimney, a deep clean.

Check the attic and roof

Check the insulation in your attic for any damage to make sure your home is kept warm in the cooler months.

If you notice tears, draughty areas or musty smells, your insulation may be damaged or need changing.

When you go into your attic, check for any watermarks or dark patches as these can be indicators of rot, sagging or signs that sunlight is seeping in due to disrepair.

Remember to check the tiles and condition of the roof so you can fix anything before it gets more severe and costly.

The experts at Barratt Homes say the average cost for blanket insulation ranges from £125 to £420, whereas blown fibre insulation costs range from £1,375 to £4,125 with both depending on the size of your home.

Clean the gutters

Have you been putting off cleaning your gutters? Now is the time to do it because blocked gutters can hinder rainwater flow.

Cleaning them will remove debris such as leaves and moss. A hosepipe or jet wash will help you remove small pieces of debris that you might have missed.

They can also help you identify leaks in your gutters so look for any unexpected water drips or flows.

Barratt Homes recommends you use a verified company and says it would guard against using tradesmen who knock on doors to offer their services to avoid potential scammers.

In the UK, the average cost for replacing guttering around your home ranges between £480 and £720, as materials, size and shape affect the prices.

Check for draughts

You should check your windows and doors for draughts as any cool air seeping through could mean that the seals are damaged.

You can check this by running your hand around windows, doors and skirting boards. You could also listen for rattles or whistles when there are high winds.

Make your home draught free by applying caulk or a draught excluder around the window or door.

Heavy curtains at windows and using sausage draught excluders could help reduce the draughts and these items can be picked up quite cheaply at charity shops and discount stores.

Check your boiler

As it gets colder, the demand for plumbers increases so it’s worth checking your boiler as soon as possible so if you need to call someone out, you’re not doing it during the peak period.

Make sure you check the pressure gauge on your boiler – if it’s lower than one bar, your boiler isn’t working efficiently.

The average boiler repair cost is £300, so it’s important to check that it works properly.

If you need a new boiler, you could be eligible for the government’s scheme – you can find out more via the website.

How to prevent condensation in your home

Bleed the radiators

To know if your radiators need bleeding, check if they are heating up correctly and see if there are any cold spots either at the top or bottom of them.

To bleed your radiators, you’ll need to:

  • Turn your boiler off and make sure the radiator is cold
  • Insert a radiator key into the valve and slowly turn it anti-clockwise. You should hear a hissing noise and when you see water, you need to close the valve.
  • Place a container under the radiator to avoid water spilling on your floor.

Update insurance

Check what your home and contents insurance covers and update your policy if you have made any changes such as large purchases, for example, electronics and bikes.

Make sure your home insurance covers leaks or storm damage.

Recommended reading:

Install a smart meter

A smart meter will give you real-time information on how much energy you use so you can better manage your usage, saving you money and reduce emissions.

They also mean that no one will need to read your meter as smart meters communicate directly with your energy supplier.