Colder weather – Simple ways to guard against the cold.

It’s continuing to get colder and colder as we get further into the winter months. You may need to heat up some old homes without disrupting your tenants. There are ways several easy ways to go about helping heat a home (especially older ones, which definitely suffer during this time of year). 

The first piece of advice is making sure the heat from radiators (plus other ways of heating rooms) aren’t just making sure you have hot walls. You can check this very easily by just feeling the wall behind and around the radiator and seeing if it’s hot to the touch. If it is then it’s simply fixed, just get a thin sheet or card or board and wrap it in insulation foil and then slot this behind the radiator. This will make sure all the heat provided is reflected back into the house, whilst it’s not even visible as it’s between the wall and radiator. 

The second is to install some pipe lagging around the house. This will guard against losing heat for the radiators, something that will affect the efficiency of the central heating a surprising amount. As well as making the central heating better it can also be used to improve the hot water for taps, which is useful for hot water bottles (and will generally keep tenants happy!). What’s more this simple step can be completed with a quick trip to the local DIY store and with zero tools. 

Thirdly, a classic piece of advice, be not to be ignored or overlooked. Make sure you draught-proof your rental properties. This will make sure all the hot air within the property stays within the house and you aren’t heating the back garden. This might mean filling a few gaps or buying and fitting a drought excluder for doors and windows, however sometimes you can get just as effective results with draught taping. 

Another piece of advice, make sure you aren’t leaking heat from the floor. The floor will get very cold, especially around this time of year, and you are losing money as it pours out from the house around your feet. Investing in carpets, or even just a rug or two, will effect the heat of the floor and hence make the house warmer over the cold winter months. Carpets would be more of an investment than a rug or two, however remember that they only need to be on the ground floor. 

Make sure that unused rooms are being left with the heating on (preferably on a timer during the times that tenants are actually within the house). If you do make the choice to isolate the room, make sure that the doors are closed and that the heat generated within the rest of the house doesn’t go to heating empty space. On top of this make sure that the windows are securely closed and that you occasionally check the condition of this room until someone starts renting it. This is a completely free method of saving money but is very much worth it. 

Finally, a very specific piece of advice for older homes. If you have a chimney, which is out of use, then get a draught balloon from the internet to ensure that the heat from the room in which the chimney is situated isn’t lost. This may cost around £20, but is great if you have a house with a colder room near a chimney (which tends to be a communal area, such as a siting room – possibly someone’s bedroom in certain HMO properties). 

We hope this helps make sure that you can have the maximum heat retention within your proprieties. 

Nick Fox started his property investment career 10 years ago and his portfolio has grown to one of the largest in the UK. Nick now mainly focuses on HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) and works to help others achieve property success too. Visit here to find out how he can help you.

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