With Covid19 the main worry in people’s minds, home maintenance may have taken a back seat recently. However, now that autumn is upon us, it’s a good time to think about preparing your park home or holiday home for the cold weather…
New park homes and holiday caravans are generally much better insulated than new brick-built homes these days, thanks to increasing regulations and the fact that they are factory-built, with strict quality checks. This means fuel costs that are generally much lower than with traditional housing. However, if you live in an older home, you may feel the effects of colder weather, so here are a few low-cost tips to help keep your home warm this winter.
1 Steamy windows
If your home has single glazed windows that gather condensation in winter, one low-cost way to improve their insulation level and to cut back on draughts is to fit the special clear film over them, which is often applied using a hair dryer to make a good fit. This can be bought from DIY stores and it’s a good idea for windows that you won’t be opening much over the winter, since you can then apply the film tight to the edge of the frame, also cutting out any draughts here. The plastic film itself has insulation properties to reduce the heat loss through cold glass. You could also consider fitting large Perspex panels as a cheap type of secondary glazing, over windows that you rarely open in winter.
2 Mind the gaps
A quick way to make an instant improvement to an older park home is to fit some of the draught excluding products now available from DIY stores, from letter box draught excluders to door bottom draught excluders. These are usually either foam, or with bristles, and you just need to make sure that you’ll be able to fix them to your door. For instance, it can be a little tricky to fix some bristle-type draught excluders onto modern uPVC doors, though these usually have their own built-in excluders anyway.
3 Roof and chassis insulation
If you have a bit more money to spend, there are specialist companies who can add extra insulation both to the loft and to the underside of your park home, which can make a real difference when winter sets in. If you can access the loft space in your park home, then extra loft insulation is a relatively cheap way to improve the heat loss from your home during winter. Likewise, insulation the underside of you home can result in a floor that feels much warmer to walk on in winter, again saving on heat loss and fuel bills, plus also adding some extra sound insulation to you home.
4 Avoid frozen pipes
When you’re insulating your home for winter, don’t forget your water pipes. This is especially important if you have an outside water tap which you plan to use over winter, or any exposed water pipes under your home. Your pipes should have been insulated when the home was originally assembled on site, but insulation can deteriorate over time so it’s worth checking. You can buy pipe lagging from DIY stores to cover up any water pipes that run under or inside you home, and fitting it is a relatively easy DIY task.
5 Stay safe and save money
As you start to make increased use of gas boilers and heaters that haven’t been used much during the summer, it’s worth getting them checked out and serviced by a professional. Getting your gas boiler serviced will make sure the pilot and main flame are burning correctly, meaning the boiler runs at its most efficient (saving on gas) and doesn’t give off excessive levels of carbon monoxide. Modern ‘condensing’ combination boilers are much more efficient than older models, so even the expense of a new boiler, to replace a really old one, could save money in the long run. Better to replace in early autumn, rather than in the depths of winter when heating engineers are in big demand.