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Energy saving tips for the winter

energy saving tips for winter

 

1. Keep doors and windows closed

As your grandma would say, “Were you born in a barn?” When you enter a room, make sure you shut the door behind you, keeping draughts out and heat in. Ventilation is important in both bathrooms and kitchens, but try to install an extractor fan, rather than keeping windows ajar.

 

2. Use only the rooms you need

If you’re finding that you have a room or two that are rarely used, such as a spare bedroom or office space, then make sure you keep radiators turned off in these areas. Heating rooms that don’t require it is a massive waste of energy.

 

3. Store bottles in the garage or in outside storage

Especially during the Christmas and New Year, we tend to have more food and drink in our homes. Storing bottles in your garage or outdoor storage units will keep them cool, but also means you aren’t overfilling your fridge, or having to run an additional one. Chin chin!

 

4. Wear extra layers

We don’t want to end up sounding like your parents, but before you turn the thermostat up another notch, why not grab a jumper or blanket and layer up? Before you spend money on heating costs, take a look in your wardrobe for cheaper insulation.

 

5. Boiler servicing

Having your boiler serviced can ensure it runs as smoothly as possible throughout the winter months, increasing efficiency and saving you energy.

 

6. Use LED Christmas lights

Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, are much more energy efficient than older style Christmas lights, so make sure you buy new this festive period.

 

7. Invest in thicker curtains or blinds

Time to update your home? You can do this easily with new curtains or blinds that really set a room off. When investing in new furnishings, make sure you take into consideration thickness, as a good quality pair of curtains can block out any annoying draughts, as well as keeping the heat in. You could also invest in a winter duvet to keep you warming throughout the night.

 

8. Repair any faulty locks, handles, or hinges

Noticed that you can’t quite get that window pulled shut? This is probably because you have faulty locks, handles, or hinges, which won’t go away without being repaired. If you’ve put this job off because you think you need the whole window replacing, think again. At Cloudy2Clear, we can complete these smaller tasks without having to take the entire unit out.

 

9. Use a timer for your central heating

Want to wake up or come back to a warm home? Instead of worrying about energy bills by leaving your central heating on 24/7, use a timer switch to ensure that your heating only turns on when required. With advances in technology, it’s easier than ever to control your central heating, even from your mobile phone!

 

10. Utilise heat from the sun where you can

Keep your blinds and curtains open during daytime hours, especially if it’s sunny. Gaining extra heat from the sun is a free way of keeping your home toasty. Keep them closed at night however, to eliminate any excess draughts.

 

11. Draught proof

This can be both a small or a large job. Insulating your loft or attic is a great way to keep precious heat in, saving on energy costs, but can be an expensive method. Use draught excluders along the bottom of your doors is a great and cheap way of keeping draughts at bay.

 

12. Turn down the thermostat

We’re not saying to put a complete ban on using the central heating, but if you’re feeling comfortable in your home, then why not knock the thermostat down by a few degrees? You’ll find that you won’t even notice the difference – except perhaps on your energy bills!

 

13. Be cooking efficient

Simple tasks such as cooking can actually have a big effect on the amount of energy you’re using. By keeping lids on pots and pans, food will boil quicker, and less water vapour will occur. You should also ensure that you’re using the correct size ring on your hob for large and small pans, as this can waste energy.

 

14. Repair failed double glazing

If you’re looking for a more effective way to save energy in your home, why not consider getting your failed double glazing repaired? If you’ve noticed that your windows are misted up or cloudy, whether standalone, in double glazed doors or conservatories, then they could also be affecting heat loss in your home. Contact your local branch of Cloudy2Clear today to speak to our helpful team.

Autumn window maintenance tips

There’s no doubt about it; Britain has some of the most unpredictable weather, as well as some of the most miserable.

It’s so important that we ensure our homes are well looked after and maintained effectively, both from a longevity and security point of view. Below, we’ve outlined some of our top tips for maintaining your windows during autumn, and into winter too.

autumn window maintenance tips

 

Improve insulation

Invest in some heavy curtains for these colder months as it will be a small change with a big difference. With a proper lining and thick material, curtains can actually provide more than just privacy and darkness, but also warmth and insulation. Think about blinds too; multiple layers of insulation will not only keep draughts out, they’ll contribute to locking in warmth and keeping your heating bills down as the weather gets colder.

Here at Cloudy2Clear, we also provide insulating glass when repairing any failed double glazing or even if you’re just looking for an upgrade.

 

Repair faulty locks, handles, and hinges

Windows that don’t quite shut properly, or those that can’t open for ventilation to reduce condensation, can be a hinderance throughout October – March. Ensuring that you check each and every window for stiffness, sticking, or broken / faulty locks is an important window maintenance task. This will prevent unnecessary draughts, improve security, and make sure you have that all important ventilation, especially when you start putting the central heating back on.

reparing locks, handles, and hinges

 

Clean away mould

Mould is an annoyance, as well as potentially affecting yours and your family’s health. Making sure you remove this safely and effectively is important for not only the aesthetics of your windows and home, but also for the ongoing health and well-being of your family. You can prevent mould from growing by removing moisture from your windows regularly; keeping furniture away from windows; and using ventilation techniques, such as extractor fans and keeping a window open when cooking or showering.

mould on windows

 

Protecting frames and seals

When preventing or removing mould during the autumn, make sure you use the correct cleaning products and techniques to avoid unnecessary damage. Scouring pads may seem like a good idea, but they can break up your seals, potentially causing your double glazing to fail, as well as damaging the look of your uPVC frames.

how to maintain your windows during autumn

 

Streak-free shine

That watery, autumnal sunshine can magnify the smears and streaks on your windows. For clear glass that will be the envy of all your neighbours, check out our top tips for cleaning your double glazed windows. Cleaning them on regular basis will stop a build-up of residue throughout the autumnal / winter months when the weather becomes more erratic.

 

Repairing failed double glazing

Although we can repair cloudy or misted up windows any time of year, autumn is particularly popular for our customers as it allows them to get all of those home improvement jobs out of the way before Christmas comes around (only 9 weeks to go!).

steamed up double glazing

If you’ve noticed that your windows are becoming increasingly condensed, or have stiff locks, handles, or hinges, contact your local branch of Cloudy2Clear today for more information. With autumn in full swing and winter just around the corner, it’s the perfect time of year to treat your windows to a bit of TLC.

Top three window and door faults to look out for

Even with modern window products and materials, faults can be common. Although many issues are usually harmless and won’t affect the effectiveness of your double or triple glazing, some can become bigger problems in the future, so it’s important to look out for them and be aware when they need addressing.

condensation

 

 

Windows and doors not opening / closing properly or sticking

Although you may view this as an inconvenience more so that a serious problem, if you have difficulty opening your windows or shutting them, this may make them more susceptible to thieves. Even a slight gap in a window can catch a burglar’s eye; it’s simply not worth putting the job off.

uPVC windows and doors are notorious for expanding and contracting during very hot, as well as very cold, weather. In the UK, our weather conditions can change at the blink of an eye, so if your windows and doors are sticking uncharacteristically, it’s worth making a note of the climate before you make any assumptions about ongoing problems with your windows and doors.

 

bad weather affecting windows

However, most windows stick or don’t close properly because of the locks, handles, or hinges (and if you’re really unlucky, all three!). Not being able to open your windows properly can lead to poor ventilation throughout your home, which could lead to black mould and other unpleasant problems.

 

mould on windows

At Cloudy2Clear, we offer a comprehensive window lock repairs service for these particular assets; just contact your local branch today to arrange a free, no obligation quotation. We would recommend you call the experts before you try and fix any issues yourself, as sometimes this can worsen the problem and be more expensive in the long run.

 

Condensation between the panes

Not only can condensation between the panes of your double glazed windows affect your view, it can also affect the energy efficiency of your windows. It can be tempting to leave this kind of issue; after all, you might think it’s only the view from your window that you’re missing out on, but there are potentially more serious issues at stake.

 

condensation

Blown double glazing could lead would-be thieves to believe you’re lax with your security as you don’t look after your property as well as those who have faultless windows. Fully-working double glazing can actually be seen as a deterrent to criminals. You’re more likely to have a working alarm system and will have locked all your windows with keys.

Misty or cloudy double glazing, in the form of condensation between the panes, also could mean that you’re at risk of losing heat from your home, reducing energy efficiency, and potentially increasing your electricity or gas bills over the winter.

 

gas bills increase over winter

 

Dirty windows and window maintenance

We know – cleaning your windows inside, and especially outside, can be a laborious and time-consuming process and not something you’re going to look forward to doing. However, window maintenance is extremely important for ensuring the longevity of your double or triple glazing, as well as deterring burglars.

Clean windows are an indication that you look after your home, you’re up on your security, and you’re proud of your assets i.e. you’ve ensured that your home is protected.

You can read our window maintenance guide here for more information on how to prolong the life of your double or triple glazing.

To address the issues above, see our range of window services below:

Double glazing repairs
Double glazed door repairs
Insulating glass
Conservatory window repairs
Caravan window repairs
Locks, handles, and hinges
Broken window repairs
Velux Window Repairs
Commercial window repairs
Soundproofing & noise reduction

Landlords’ guide to tenant inspections

The property market has seen a gradual fall in sales and more properties are being made available on the rental market. If you have decided to rent a property and become a landlord, there are many things to consider. Make a good start by reading our short guide to carrying out a tenant inspection.
man and woman in front of a property

 

The right paperwork

Having the correct paperwork in order might sound like a very basic need of a successful landlord/tenant relationship but this is often ignored and forgotten about. Having the right documents and policies in place protects you as a landlord, as well as covering the rights of the tenant, providing both parties with a peace of mind. By formally signing documents together, it shows the commitment made by both. Templates for basic tenancy agreements, property inventories, and contracts are readily available online.

Alternatively, ask your solicitor for advice or consult with an estate agent. You might decide that the best option for yourself is to let your property through an estate agent or management team. This can relieve the responsibility of the stress of renting and provide you with the advice and guidance you may need.

Property inventory

As mentioned above, the property inventory is a vital document when carrying out an inspection of your rental. It is essentially a snapshot of the property and its contents upon being made available. This doesn’t include the tenant’s belongings, but all the fixture and fittings, any appliances or furniture. Make sure that you also include driveways, outside spaces, outbuildings, and garages that your property might have. If you don’t feel comfortable completing this yourself, then there are companies who specialise in these surveys. For more information we recommend watching Direct Line’s dedicated video.

 

Man looking a cupboard

 

Co-operate with the tenant

Co-operating with the tenant is a very important factor to a successful and productive relationship between a landlord and renter. By law, a landlord must give the tenant of a property at least 24 hours’ notice before an inspection or visit. This must be carried out at a ‘reasonable time of day’ or whenever convenient for the occupant.

As a landlord, you should also be respectful of a tenant and their privacy. Mid-term tenancy inspections are common place on most lets, especially with shorter agreements. If you have a good, trusting relationship with your tenant you may wish to carry out inspections with a custom timeframe that suits your needs.

Take pictures of meters

Taking pictures of any meters in the property is a useful and easy way of keeping track of expenses and can help produce a helpful resource for you as a landlord. This depends if bills are included or excluded in the tenancy agreement, however it’s a clever idea to take pictures before the start of a tenancy and at its conclusion. This approach helps avoid disputes over bills and energy and water consumption.

taking a meter reading

 

The inspection

After showing a tenant around and agreeing the contract and let period, the first inspection after moving in can be a quick visit to make sure things are in order. Take the time to answer any questions that your tenant might have and make them feel at ease. It’s best to be approachable and listen to any concerns. Tentatively make a date for the second inspection, but it might be best to be more flexible and agree a date over phone or email.

Additional inspections should be carried out with enough notice and be conducted in a suitable time, there’s no need to take an hour over a 10 minute viewing.

Dilapidation report

A dilapidation report is carried out by a neutral third party to asses the condition of a property or if it’s found to need repair at the end of a tenancy agreement. This process is often overlooked, but as a landlord you should be aware of the procedure, especially if you think the tenant has breached their terms. This obviously affects the deposit, but it must be said that it is quite rare for a tenant to damage a property they are letting. It’s just another measure to protect yourself in case things go wrong.

Cloudy2Clear support landlords and homeowners needs through a variety of services. If you would like the best for your tenants, or your own home, please read about our services page for advice on replacing failed double glazing. If you are still unsure about renting your property, more information on what to do can be found here.

Looking after your conservatory

Looking after your conservatory properly will allow you to enjoy it to its maximum potential. Lazy brunches in the summer, entertaining friends and family with a birthday barbecue, or just relaxing with a good book. Get the most out of your conservatory with our handy guide to caring for this valued, social and relaxing space.

Picture of a conservatory with patio, doors open

Keep it clean

Cleaning your windows regularly is a great way of prolonging their life. Warm, soapy water combined with a soft sponge and a light hose down is best practice for cleaning thoroughly. Internally, use a soft cloth and some specialist glass cleaner for maximum effect. There’s no need to use a power/pressure washer, as this can have a detrimental impact on your glass.

 

Open the windows and doors

A lovely feature on most conservatories is the wide, open doors they have. Opening these brings in the summer air and helps cool your property during the hotter months of the year, creating a lovely, fresh environment. However, when their hinges or handles fail or get a little stiff, it can be very frustrating. Take a look at our locks, handles and hinges repair page to see what we can do to improve your windows and get them in full working order.

 

Decoration and presentation

A conservatory is the gateway to the garden, bring some of those flowers indoors and transcend the gap between your home and the outdoors. Flowers make for a happier home and create a gentle, relaxing atmosphere. If you want to create the illusion of a bigger garden or space, place a mirror or two around the room to fully exploit the natural light, and accentuate your flowers, conservatory and lawn or patio.

Glass elegant chandelier in creative conservatory or sunroom

Can’t enjoy the view?

If your windows are looking a little hazy and have misted up, you’ve done your best to clean them and it’s still there, it’s probably because the double glazing has failed. At Cloudy2Clear Windows, we only replace the pane, not the frame, saving you time, money and hassle. Visit our conservatory double glazing repairs page to find out how we can help you!

Replacing failed double glazing makes your house more energy efficient and means that you can get back to enjoying your conservatory quickly. Check out our double glazing repair page to learn more about the benefits of replacing failed double glazing or contact us to book a free no obligation quote.