7 ways to beat the winter weather

Winter is coming, and that means colder temperatures and more potential problems with your home and car. So here are seven ways to get ahead...

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1. Insulate your pipes

Cracked and burst pipes on a cold December morning are the last thing you need, so before falling temperatures start putting stress on your pipework, now is the time to insulate them.

Wrapping them with insulation, which you’ll find at your local DIY shop, will protect them against the elements. Pay particular attention to joints and bends.

2. Get your boiler serviced

Your boiler’s probably gone unloved for most of the year. Now is a good time to give it some attention. If you haven’t already switched the heating back on, you’ll soon have to – marking the start of your boiler’s busiest time of year.

Repairs can be really expensive, so boiler cover - which usually includes an annual service - is a good idea.

3. Bleed your radiators

Boiler and pipes taken care of, the last part of the heating to sort out is your radiators. Bleeding them regularly will eliminate excess air, leaving more room in the pipes for water and, as a result, making them more efficient.

And talking of efficiency, make sure you’re on the best energy tariff for your needs. You can run a quote in a matter of minutes, with savings of up to £199 available for many households.

4. Check your tyres

Snow, ice and water reduces the friction between the rubber and the road – which is bad enough when you have sufficient tread on them, but it’s downright dangerous when your tread is near or below the legal minimum limit of 1.6mm.

Watch how to check yours in this short video.

5. Check your wiper blades

Dirty or obscured windscreens and the low winter sun are a dangerous combination. Make sure your wiper blades are in good condition (free of tears and cuts) and top-up your screenwash now – adjusting the ratio of screenwash to water for colder temperatures as directed on the bottle.

6. Check your oil

In colder temperatures, oil thickens and your engine is forced to work harder to do the same job. You can help it out by giving your car some fresh oil and/or keeping it topped-up to the necessary levels.

7. Check, charge or replace your battery

The chemical reaction which makes your car battery work is slower in low temperatures. As a result, it’ll be more difficult for the battery to hold its charge. It’s why there are more breakdowns and non-starts in winter than any other time of year, especially when keys are hung up for several days around Christmas and New Year and cars sit idle.

You can buy a battery tester to check your current levels, a mains charger to re-juice a low battery, or you can simply replace your battery if your, er, current one has passed the point of no return.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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