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5-step checklist: prepare your property for the cooler months

5-step checklist: prepare your property for the cooler months

Photography by Clay Banks

As the capital comes alive with the colours of autumn, it means frosty mornings and near-zero temperatures aren’t too far away, but is your home ready to face and survive the cold? Whether you’re an owner occupier or tenant, every home will benefit from ongoing minor maintenance to ensure a cosy, safe and warm winter season.


There’s no time like the present to check that your heating system is working efficiently before the temperature falls and the chill starts to set in. With either a ducted heating or reverse-cycle system, first remove dust and dirt from vents and filters and check that furniture, window furnishings and other household items are a safe distance away. Then, check that all vents open and close properly, and turn on system to check hot air is circulating as intended. Gas heating systems should be serviced regularly to ensure they are operating effectively and safely, and not leaking carbon monoxide, so be sure to have one scheduled every two to three years. With any electrical or oil heating appliances, check cords and plugs for cracks, fractures or faulty wiring and replace them if there are signs of damage or excessive wear. For wood-burning fireplaces, clean the chimney and flue of any old ashes and debris before use. If there are any signs that any heating systems or appliances are not working efficiently, call a professional to check and service.

Photography by Kislev


Insulation in walls roof and attic should be checked regularly, particularly in and around doors and windows. According to ActSmart, cracks and gaps around your home account for 10–15% of air loss, leaving homes colder than it should be, and causing heating system work overtime to regulate the temperature, resulting to unnecessarily high energy bills. Take some time to reseal any visible gaps and cracks around windows by using a good quality sealant, and install weather strips to the bottoms of doors or use tubular draught blockers. Installing carpet or using rugs to cover cold flooring and installing thick, lined curtains and closefitting window blinds will also help to keep cold air out and warm air in. Quality insulation will also pay dividends by keeping the house warm during winter.

Photography by Atlas Studio

Photography by Banks Photos

Hot Water

Hot water systems also should be checked and serviced regularly. Before winter arrives, check the hot water system is in good working order. look for leaks in the unit, and take note of any changes, such as supply or pressure, or if water seems to be getting colder quickly, this warning may indicate a leak or an issue with the system itself. If something is amiss, arrange for a professional to come out and check the system to ensure it is working efficiently and safely, because no one enjoys a cold shower in the middle of winter! Regular ongoing maintenance will help prevent unnecessary and costly repairs and replacements, and also prolong the life of your hot water system.

Photography by Mirerva

"Quality insulation will also pay dividends by keeping the house warm during winter."

Photography by Oleg Malyshev



A home should be waterproofed and ready to resist all kinds of wild weather or heavy rainfall, but if that’s not the case for your home, then now is the ideal time to undertake some essential checks and maintenance. The build-up of twigs, leaves and debris on your roof and in drains and gutters can wreak havoc during extreme winter weather, causing overflowing water, blockages and leaks inside your property. Call a professional to clean your drains and gutters, and check for any broken tiles or roof damage. An expert is able to install guards and filters to keep your gutters clean and clear all year round. Also, pruning trees near the roofline as another preventative measure. Regular inspections and maintenance are the best way to prevent unnecessary and costly repairs and ensure longevity of your roof, drains and gutters. If you choose to undertake any maintenance yourself, make sure to take all safety precautions.

Photography by KB Wills

Mould And Damp

The cooler months are the perfect breeding ground for mould, damp and condensation in your home due to reduced air ventilation and the constant clash of cold and warm air. One of the biggest problem areas is the bathroom, so it’s important that the extractor fan is in good working order. Leaving the fan on for a short period after showering will also reduce the circulation of moisture. It might be the last thing you want to do when it’s cold, but leaving windows slightly ajar on warmer days will help increase air flow around your home and reduce mould growth. A dehumidifier, which can be especially helpful during rainy periods, when drying laundry inside, or when it’s too cold to open the windows. If there is an existing mould or damp problem in your home, call a professional to assess it to prevent future spread.

Mould and damp not only present problems indoors, but outdoors too. Wooden furniture or timber decking needs protection from moisture, damage and rot, so with a coat of quality sealant or paint, this will help prolong its lifespan.

Photography by Ricardo Gomez

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