2021 has bought with it the roll out of the new Healthy Homes standards, which will ensure that all rental properties must comply with the new standards for heating, ventilation, moisture, drainage and draught-stopping by 1st July 2021.
As such, many investment properties are already undergoing the improvements required to make homes warmer, drier and healthier during the colder months. This is actually a timely reminder for everyone that the best time to prepare for the pitfalls of winter is during the autumn months, before cold and miserable weather sets in and while we still have some daylight hours in the evening.
Here are some top tips for making your home a healthy one:
Get your chimney cleaned
If your home is fortunate enough to enjoy the benefits of a wood burner, now is the time to get your chimney cleaned. Chimneys should be checked and cleaned annually to ensure there are no unsafe blockages or build-ups, as well as providing an opportunity to check for any structural damage or decay.
Check your smoke alarms
Colder months means more time spent indoors. Whether its huddling around the fire, using space heaters or cooking up some warm winter meals, checking smoke alarms should be a fundamental part of property upkeep. Ensure that you have smoke alarms positioned in every hallway, living area and within three metres of every bedroom door.
Change or clean the filters in your rangehood
This is another general task of home upkeep that, like checking smoke alarms, should be done frequently throughout the year. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact it is prudent to double check your rangehood filter before the colder months set in. Once compacted with grease, rangehoods lose functionality which can increase condensation in the home.
Clean your gutters
Throughout the year gutters can become clogged with leaves, debris and bird nests. It pays to have your gutters cleaned twice a year, both in autumn and spring. This allows your guttering to perform at maximum capacity in the wet weather months and can prevent costly repairs from over-burdened gutters in the future.
Clean your heat pump filters
Keeping your heat pump filter clean not only ensures the best performance from the machine but can also help prevent unnecessary power consumption. That’s why it’s a good idea to clean the filter of dust and debris on a regular basis, to ensure it’s running as efficiently as possible.
Have your dryer exhaust vent cleaned
Dryer exhaust vents should be cleaned at least annually, maybe even more often depending on how frequently you use it. A clean dryer exhaust means your dryer will work more efficiently, potentially reducing unnecessary power consumption, and (more importantly) reduces the risk of dryer fires. Dryers tend to be used more frequently in winter so it’s important to keep them running as safely and effectively as possible.
Check the seals, hinges and catches around your windows
Give your windows the once over and check for any loose or missing seals, as well as stiff or damaged hinges and latches. There are many reasons to keep your windows well-maintained. Loose or missing seals can create condensation, while stiff or damaged hinges and catches can let out warm air, let in a draught and in some instances, even compromise the security of your home.