Get ready for winter in Finsbury Park
By LiseS | Saturday, October 09, 2010, 21:31
Last winter saw cold weather and heavy snowfall in N4, with school closures, travel disruption and reports of local councils running out of road grit across the UK. Long-range weather forecasts are already suggesting below-average temperatures in November and December, so it's vital to make sure your home is prepped for cold winter weather.
Make sure it all works now, before Jack Frost reaches N4
Insulating your home correctly is the best way to keep it warm and save on heating bills, and now is the time to do it. Start with curtains: heavy, well-fitting curtains at doors and windows will reduce draughts and keep heat inside the home. Draughtproofing around doors and windows will also help.
Loft insulation is a great way to reduce heat loss through the roof. Don't forget to lag your hot water cylinder and pipes, as well, including those in your loft. Older residents may qualify for a local council grant for insulation, draught proofing or even a new boiler - check here to see if you or someone you know is eligible.
The Islington Energy Centre on 222 Upper Street has lots more helpful information and advice on energy-saving insulation and home heating. Drop in between 9am and 5pm weekdays to pick up leaflets and a free home heating thermometer. Haringey's helpful heat map will help you see if your home needs more insulation.
Check your heating
It's important to have your heating system serviced annually. See our list of local plumbers and heating engineers to find a nearby professional, and don't forget to ensure whoever is working on your system is registered with the Gas Safety Register (www.gassaferegister.co.uk). This replaces the Corgi register which previously accredited gas servicepeople.
The recommended thermostat setting is around 21°C (70°F). Heat all the rooms you use in the day, keep your living room or main living space warm throughout the day, and heat your bedroom before going to bed. Use a timer to switch on the heating before you get up and off when you go to bed - in cold weather, it makes sense to set the timer earlier rather than turning the thermostat up.
Use a hot water bottle to keep warm in bed, and don't forget to wrap up warm, keep active and eat well. Keep an eye out for neighbours who may need assistance, especially during the winter months. Remember children can't regulate their own body heat as well as adults can, so ensure you have hats, coats, scarves and gloves at the ready before the cold weather sets in.
Older people can apply for a Winter Fuel Payment to help meet the cost of heating bills. Make sure elderly friends and relatives know how to apply for this valuable benefit.
Do you have any other winter heating tips or business recommendations? Let us know below!