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Ten Jobs to do this Autumn

1. Gutters, Drainpipes and Facia Boards
Now that all the leaves are starting to fall, gutter and drainpipes will start to get blocked and covered in debris. Clearing your gutters will prevent water from being diverted and leaking into the roof or down the walls of your home. Whilst you’re up the ladder, it is also a good idea to check that your facia boards are still securely fastened.
 
2. Prune and cut back hedges and trees
Paying a little attention to your plants and trees in autumn will help to maintain your garden and prepare it for the weather ahead. Autumn provides the best time to prune and cut back deciduous trees. Carrying this job out at this time of year once the leaves have started to fall, presents an opportunity to avoid shocking the trees. Although it is tempting to trim evergreen trees and hedges so that they are presentable throughout the winter months, we would advise leaving them as they are until the spring. Pruning an evergreen in autumn deprives the plant of its ability to feed efficiently during the winter months.
 
3. Insulate your loft and outdoor pipes
With almost a quarter of heat generated within a home being lost through the roof, it will pay dividends to insulate your loft or inspect the level of insulation and replace if necessary. As the temperatures drop, it is also worth directing your attention to any outdoor water pipes that are likely to be exposed to the cold. Lagging with insulation will help to prevent the risk of flooding due to burst pipes.
 
4. Service your boiler
By having your boiler serviced before winter, you are reducing the risk of your boiler breaking down when you need it the most and you will also be saving money in the long run, as it will run much more efficiently.
 
5. Check your detectors
Keeping your smoke alarms and detectors in good working order is paramount for you and your family’s personal safety. Check that your batteries work and replace as necessary and also ensure that the detectors are functioning as they should. Clean your smoke alarm once every three months using the soft brush of your vacuum cleaner to remove any excess dust or insects.
6. Check central heating – bleed radiators
As autumn will be the first time you turn your central heating on since earlier on in the year, it is good to carry out a check of the system to prevent any leaks and to ensure that all radiators are working correctly. The first time you turn on the heating, check all radiators after 15 minutes to make sure they are heating up as they should do. If any are failing or not heating up evenly, the chances are the radiator will need bleeding to release any trapped air.
 
7. Compare utility bills
Now is the time to dig out your paperwork and find out when your deal ends. If it is within the next six weeks, do a comparison search and switch as your existing contract expires. By not checking your utility costs regularly, you could be paying up to £100-£200 extra per year. If your household is powered by oil, now is also a good time to check your tank levels and order your supply to get you through the winter months. Ordering in autumn can save you money as the price will fluctuate and increase with seasonal demand.
 
8. Clean and test chimneys
Prior to winter, having your chimney swept will clear out any debris that has built up such as creosote, nests or other flammable substances. A full chimney sweep will remove any hazards and increase your fires’ efficiency, ensuring your home is heated evenly throughout the winter.
 
9. Replace your halogen light bulbs
Time is nearly up for halogen lighting, with all but a few types of the gas-based bulbs scheduled for phase out on 1st of September. What better time to audit your spotlighting and replace those outdated bulbs with the newer more efficient LED’s.
 
10. Secure your home with timed lights
The clocks set to go back on Sunday 28th of October, but it’s already getting darker earlier as we head towards winter, so it’s time to take action now to protect your home. If your lights are off in the early evening, you are sending out a sign to burglars that you are not home. Set timers on any plug in lamps that you have so that they can turn on intermittently while you’re not there, making it look more likely that you are at home.