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Preparing your home for the winter season includes cleaning the fireplace, clearing the gutters and checking the roof and ceilings. Picture: SUPPLIED/DISCOVERY INSURANCE
Preparing your home for the winter season includes cleaning the fireplace, clearing the gutters and checking the roof and ceilings. Picture: SUPPLIED/DISCOVERY INSURANCE

Winter seems to be sneaking up quickly this year, and as we prepare for the colder months it is important to make sure our homes are in good condition.

The change from warm summer weather to the cool air, colourful autumn leaves and longer nights is upon us. 

Preparing for such times means making sure you and your family stay warm, and ensuring your house is in good condition to withstand the effects of colder weather.

It is also important to consider alternative and innovative ways to keep our home warm, given the environmental changes, load-shedding and the rising price of fuel and electricity. 

Here are some easy tips to keep your house in good condition:

1. Clean your gutters

As the seasons change and the autumn leaves fall, it's a good idea to check your gutters for debris. Try to remove as much as you can with your hands, and then use a garden hose to spray away any remaining dust and dirt. This will prevent the gutters from being clogged which causes damp, mould and potential damage.

2. Check the roof and ceilings 

As we say goodbye to the summer rain, it is the right time to check your roof for any damage and fix leaks. This will ensure that the main structure of the house stays in good condition and prevents water damage and rot. This will save you a lot of money in the long run and ensure your house can withstand the next summer rains.

3. Check the windows and doors 

Have you ever felt that breeze while sitting indoors with all the windows closed? A small crack in the window or a gap in the seal can cause an uncomfortable draught, making it difficult to keep the home warm. Seal off windows and block the gaps in the door frames.

4. Clean the fireplace 

Nothing beats snuggling up by the fireplace on a cold winter's night. Before starting up your fire, clean out the ashtray, check that there is nothing obstructing the chimney and remove any flammable items around the fireplace. 

Smart ways to save energy and keep warm: 

1. Geyser blanket 

This is a great way to save energy and keep the water warmer for longer. A geyser blanket insulates the geyser and retains the heat, thus using less electricity to heat up the geyser. 

2. Gas heaters and stoves 

Gas is an easily accessible source and effective use of energy that can be used to heat up a room or warm up food. It is important that cylinders are properly closed after use and kept out of a child’s reach.

3. Winter sheets, furniture and accessories

You can bring in some style and warmth into your home by using some winter home décor. Investing in quality winter sheets, cosy throws and adding some rugs will also bring in extra warmth into your home. 

4. Alternative energy sources 

With the increased chance and occurrence of load-shedding, you don’t want to be left in the cold and dark. Exploring alternative energy sources such as a generator, solar panels, an inverter or UPS will help you keep your home lit and warm.

Ensure that you and your family are comprehensively covered with Discovery Insure’s building and household contents insurance. Discovery Insure’s building insurance includes: 

  • No excess for theft- and weather-related events (on the Classic and Purple Plans);
  • Cover for accidental damage to the building structure, as well as fixed glass, mirrors or sanitary ware;
  • Emergency security or alternative accommodation;
  • Emergency plumbing, electrical and locksmith services; and
  • Cover for accidental loss or damage to swimming pool filters, boreholes, or other water pumps.

Household contents cover includes: 

  • No excess for theft (due to forced entry to your property) or weather-related events (on the Classic and Purple Plans);
  • Power surge protection with the option to purchase more comprehensive cover;
  • Emergency security;
  • Emergency plumbing, electrical and locksmith services; and
  • The Online Vault to store important documents, such as proof of ownership or valuation certificates.

Learn more about Discovery Insure's comprehensive home insurance cover, as well as find additional details for add-on benefits to tailor your plan even further here.

This article was paid for by Discovery Insure.