Winter is coming – and we don’t mean another Game of Thrones episode. In the North East some would say we experience cold weather 10 out of the 12 months in a year, nevertheless we have put together our tips on how to prepare your home for winter. After you’ve dug out your electric blanket and your thick coat, consider taking these next steps:

1. Utility Suppliers
It’s the time of year when the dreaded utility bills will be higher, so before the cold weather hits why not compare suppliers and make sure you look for a company that’ll offer you a bigger discount. There’s no disruption in service; the switch is easy, and will be practically unnoticed so why not?

If you are interested in how much you could save on bills this Winter head over to free comparison sites such as Comparethemarket, to find a suitable deal for your household.

2. Condensation and Damp
Another dreaded feature of winter – if you have rooms that are prone to condensation and a little damp ensure you move any furniture away from the walls to help air to circulate in-between objects and for the room to stay a more consistent temperate throughout.

3. Backyard Sweep
Do you have an outdoor table set or a BBQ? Well, you won’t be needing them anytime soon. Make sure you move all your garden furniture into a shed or covered area to protect from the unpredictable UK Winter weather.

4. Heating and Ventilation
The weather in Newcastle is as variable as anywhere else in the UK so please make sure you leave some form of heating on in your property. In extreme bouts of cold weather pipes can freeze and once thawed out could burs, which will cause even more problems.

We strongly recommend that you set your heating systems to provide a minimum of three hours’ heat per day – this doesn’t need to be at a high temperature just enough to keep the property warmed through and considering the temperature drop at night perhaps the setting might be better suited to come on at variable times.

5. Floors and Doors
If your house is blessed with wooden flooring or tiles, it’s a good idea to look into getting a large rug to help keep your house snug and warm. Consider getting outdoor and indoor mats for your front and back doors, which will not only help keep your house tidy but also add safety for wet or freezing conditions outside.

6. Bleeding Radiators
How to check if you need to bleed your radiators? Simply turn your heating on and ensure they are fully heated. If the radiators are colder at the top than they are at the bottom, this means you have air trapped inside causing cold spots.

By bleeding your radiators, you can vastly improve the efficiency of your heating system, resulting in a warmer home and cheaper energy bills. For a step-by-step guide on how to bleed a radiator read here.

7. Cracks and Crannies
Heating full blast, woolly socks and plaid PJs on, sipping hot chocolate, but you’re still cold? Check every door and window to ensure everything is sealed and closing properly. If you find any cracks you can either seal these gaps with self-adhesive draught strips, for any gaps under doors get a draught excluders shaped like a snake.

8. Boiler Check-up
All rental properties with gas central heating should by law have all gas appliances safety checked every 12 months, which you should have been provided with at the start of your tenancy. This safety check is crucial to ensure your boiler is in a good working condition. Get in touch with your landlord, or letting agency if you are experiencing any boiler problems – the last thing you want is to be freezing in Winter.

9. Bonus tip
Stock up on ridiculous amounts of hot chocolate – there’s nothing better than snuggling up on the couch with a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate watching Home Alone during winter.