Tips to winter-proof your home

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Man cleaning house gutters

Winter can be an expensive season. Extra costs such as heating or using your tumble dryer can add up over time. Follow these handy RACV tips to keep safe and warm in the colder months.

How to winter-proof your home

It’s time to:

  • Clear gutters to prevent blocked drains, leaks and overflows.
  • Consider RACV Emergency Home Assist for peace of mind.
  • Check your power switches aren’t overloaded.
  • Change your smoke alarm batteries.
  • Go over your insurance policies and check they’re up to date and that you’re not under covered.
  • Check your insulation, more than 45 per cent of heat loss can occur from poorly insulated homes.
  • Create an energy savings plan: heat only the rooms being used, reduce the temperature on your heater’s thermostat by a couple degrees, and instal an energy-saving showerhead are a few ways to reduce energy consumption.
  • Service your hot water tank: hot water tanks needs to be serviced every three years. If it’s solar – it’s every two years.
  • Service heaters: to help energy efficiency and prevent possible electrical or gas faults that put your home at risk, get your heaters serviced by a professional.
  • Insulate your hot water tank: bring energy bills down with a low-cost energy blanket which insulates your hot water tank.
  • Check roof tiles: before the winter storms arrive, check your roof tiles are not broken, missing or need replacing. This maintenance will minimise problems occurring down the track such as leaks and insulation loss.
  • Cover the pool: have your pool cleaned and use a pool cover to stop leaves and debris getting into the pool to prevent an algae outbreak while it’s not in use.
  • Spare keys: use this opportunity to make sure a neighbour, relative or close friend has a set of spare keys to prevent you being locked out in the cold.

Draught control

  • Before reaching to turn up your heater, check where the chill is coming from.
  • A poorly sealed window or gap under a door can create a draught.
  • Place a draught snake where the cold air is coming into your home.
  • Install new rubber weather-sealing strips around window frames and door surrounds.
  • Invest in double-glazed windows or heavier layered curtains.

Heat wisely

  • Only heat rooms that are being used, and close doors to the unused parts of the house.
  • Service your heating systems so they are working as efficiently as possible.
  • Keep in mind that every degree above 20C on your thermostat could add another 10 per cent to your power bill.

Wasted energy

  • Consider items in your home that might be wasting electricity.
  • Poorly sealed fridges can leak cold air and have to work harder.
  • Dry your washing in front of a heater instead of using a tumble dryer, when it is safe to do so.
  • Consider using your washing machine and dishwasher at off-peak times where electricity rates are lower (check with your provider).
  • Everyone loves a long hot shower in winter, but heating water can be costly. To minimise energy and costs, take advantage of a low-flow showerhead. The less water you heat, the less energy you use.

Save throughout winter with RACV Discounts

As an RACV member, you can get discounts at many retailers in Melbourne and regional Victoria. With your RACV membership card you can:

  • Save 5% on Woolworths WISH Gift Cards*
  • Save 15% off regular retail prices and 5% off discounted prices at Snooze*
  • Save up to 30% on movie tickets when pre-purchasing through RACV*
  • 40% off electricity usage charges and 25% off gas usage charges with Simply Energy*

Aaron Flavell, general manager RACV Home Services said: “We live in one of Australia’s coldest states and with energy costs on the rise, we want to help Victorian households be better prepared for the cold and wet days ahead.”  

“We know that things can go wrong. Last year our Emergency Home Assist team tended to more than 5000 call-outs for damages to roof, gutters, downpipes and heater-related issues and many of these things can often be easily prevented."

*Conditions apply

Written by RACV
June 11, 2017