Are you concerned about your utility costs in the South Australian winter? As a homeowner, it is prudent to take steps that will help you avoid increased costs. The key to making savings is through improving thermal performance. However, you also need to make sure your home is as storm proof as possible.
The potential for more severe weather in South Australia is not unrealistic. Wind and hail storms are of particular concern, as the damage to an unprepared home could be catastrophic. Having to carry out costly repairs and the risk of injury are very real scenarios, which many South Australian homeowners who neglected winterproofing can attest to.
Reduce Natural Hazard Risks
Trees are an asset to South Australian homeowners. They protect your home from the harshest rays of the sun in the summer. However, when winter rolls around your trees can become a liability. Your windows, roof, outhouses, and other structures are at risk of suffering serious damage if branches break off or a tree becomes uprooted in strong winds.
The solution to keeping your trees while protecting your home is branch removal. If a storm is strong enough having heavily branched trees near your home presents a hazard. If you intend on removing branches yourself it is important to ensure you are familiar with the tools and safe methods of removal. Alternatively, spend the money to hire a professional who understands the risks that branches present and can provide expert removal to safeguard your home.
When was the last time you maintained your gutters and downpipes? Remember, during autumn your trees will have shed their leaves, which means there is a chance that your gutters and downpipes are blocked. You want to ensure that water from heavy rainfall can drain effectively. Clean out any leaves and other debris from your gutters, downpipes and drains. You can then use a hose to simulate rain water flowing from the furthest end of your gutter into the downpipe. If water starts to back up, you may have a more serious blockage and may need to engage a professional drain cleaner.
Roof & Floor Maintenance Check
If there are problems with your roof you may not even need to go up there to investigate in the first instance. Floors are often the first casualty of a leaking roof as water begins to pool. You may notice staining or sagging in your ceiling, which is another indication of a roof that is letting in water. Regardless of whether you find signs of a leak in your home, it is recommended that you have your roof’s structure checked for damage. If winds reach sufficient speeds they can tear off a structurally weak roof.
Don’t allow draughts to reduce the effectiveness of your insulation. Make sure to seal up any gaps, no matter how small, to keep the elements out. Expanding silicone is ideal for winterproofing in small gaps; however, you should think about improving your home’s overall insulation if winter has had a significant impact on your heating costs in the past.
Energy Star Rated Windows
Installing energy star rated windows, double or triple glazing is a great way to save on your energy costs. Heat transference is controlled and you will also notice a reduction in noise levels – especially when there are heavy storms blowing outside your windows.
Hot Water System Health Check
You will likely find that you use your hot water system a lot more in the winter. That means additional energy costs in your monthly bills. Hiring a professional service company is a good idea, and it will save you money in the long term when you have a hot water system that is operating at maximum efficiency.