Organising your home for winter can seem like an annoying and perhaps unnecessary chore but a little preparation now could save a lot more hassle later.

Clear your gutters

Roofing gutters should be cleared to avoid water build up and overflow – otherwise you risk costly damage to your roof and property interiors. Damp, mould and even flood damage can result, not to mention damage to building foundations if water is not flowing correctly away from a dwelling.

It can be a dangerous job so perhaps consider hiring a professional.

Prune overhanging tree branches

When overhanging branches come into contact with roof cladding they can scratch, gouge and even puncture roofing materials. When pruning branches, remember to stay safe and keep clear of any power lines.

Again, it may be worth hiring a professional to assist.

Gaps under doors and windows

Sealing gaps around doors and windows can make your home feel warmer and save money on your energy bills. There are many different types of weather strips to deal with these draughts so the best and most cost effective action in this instance is to head to your nearest hardware store.

Cover up hard floors

If you have tiles, wood or concrete floors, rugs are an easy and effective way to cosy up your home in winter. Hard floors are not only chilly underfoot in winter they also don’t help hold in any heat, so unless you have underfloor heating, it’s time to invest in a rug or two.

Downlights

Draughts can be a real problem with older style recessed downlights. The best solution is to replace these old style downlights with modern LED downlights that can be insulated.

Insulation

If your home isn’t insulated or the insulation is old or needs topping up, you will struggle to stay warm. You may be eligible for free insulation under Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes (find out more at www.energywise.govt.nz)