Winter is a tough month for many of us and this winter promises to be tougher than ever before with soaring energy bills leading us to cut costs wherever possible. That includes trying to keep the heating off. But it’s not just you and your family that might be affected this winter.
Your home’s contents may be adversely affected by winter conditions, and they may even be damaged. Whereas problems with your frozen pipes and other assorted winter home ailments might be covered by your landlord, your home’s contents are your responsibility, so you must take the initiative when it comes to protecting them.
What can be damaged by winter conditions?
Everything from your laptop and smartphone to your kettle could potentially be affected by the cold. These things are not designed to withstand extreme temperatures and that’s true of both warm and cold weather. You’ve heard of computers overheating but they can also seize up if the temperature gets low enough.
If you leave an LCD screen in a cold environment for too long, for example, the liquid within it can start to fail. Batteries are also not designed to withstand cold temperatures. Also, if you have left your gadgets in a cold car and then decide to bring them inside where it’s warm, condensation can build up and cause long-term winter damage. You know when you come inside from the cold and your glasses fog up? Imagine that happening inside your electronics.
5 ways to protect your home during winter
Of course, the best way to protect your home contents from the cold is to ensure your home doesn’t get too cold in the first place, alongside taking out tenant’s content insurance so you’re covered just in case. So, here are a few top tips to keep your home warm this winter without using too much energy.
- Keep an eye on your pipes and taps. Your landlord should be willing to insulate your pipes if you ask them, but you should also be checking your taps regularly. If they refuse to budge or very little water flows from them there could be frozen water in the pipes.
- Block all your windows and doors with draught excluders to keep the rooms of your home where you keep your more valuable items safe.
- Get all of your heating appliances serviced and your chimney swept. Again, your landlord should be able to help you out with this.
- Set your heating such as your cheap bathroom radiators to a steady heat of around 18°C. This is a generally comfortable temperature for most people and won’t lead to exorbitant bills or freeze gadgets.
- Draw the curtains when it gets dark to keep the warm air in and consider investing in thicker curtains if your existing ones aren’t quite cutting the mustard.