Tips for settling in to your new home

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Things to remember after you move in

  • Check all your appliances and electronic devices to make sure they are all in working order. Any damage incurred during the move may need to be referred to your insurers in a limited time period.
  • Get all your utilities up and running. Call the current supplier with the meter readings for your gas, electricity and water as appropriate and set up billing information.
  • If you have children, find them a new school and get them registered as soon as possible. The sooner they can establish a routine in their new surroundings, the easier they will find it to settle in.
  • Update all your contact information with your bank, employer (if you have not also changed jobs as a result of the move), DVLA, and if you have moved to a new area, register with your local or borough council to vote and pay council tax. You also need to get signed up with new healthcare providers, such as a local GP and dentist, and if you have pets, a vet.
  • Don't forget to update your address details with your car insurance provider, mobile phone company and any other relevant contacts who need to know you've moved. 

Heating your home

The first step is to seal your home as much as possible, as cracks and crevices will only cost you money in higher heating bills in the long run.

Windows are the biggest source of draughts, especially in older houses that may have less efficient frames. To spot a draught, get hold of an incense stick and light it, holding it near the window to see if the smoke shows up where air is getting in.

Use a sealant gun to fill any gaps in the frames. Windows that face the sun should be taken advantage of by opening the curtains to allow sunlight to heat the house. Conversely closing the blinds at night will add a little extra insulation. Keeping cold air out is good, but of equal importance is keeping hot air in.

Make sure as much of your house is as insulated as possible - that means, walls, floor and ceiling, as well as the loft floor to stop heat escaping through the roof itself. A big problem which occurs during winter in badly insulated houses is icicle formation. This happens when heat escaping through the roof melts snow, which runs off into gutters and either refreezes there or on the edge of the roof.

Your exterior walls are also prime locations for insulation. Cavity wall insulation can be installed for relatively little cost and will make a big difference to the amount of retained heat and as a result, your heating bill.

Windows and doors can also be a liability when it comes to retaining warm air. Windows should be double-glazed and filled with insulation, usually argon gas, between them. To stop draughts getting in through the frame, insulate each edge of the frame and test the seal by holding a match near the window - if it flickers, air is still getting in.

Another area to check on is telephone or TV entry points into the house - if you've had satellite television installed they will most likely have had to drill a hole through your wall to run the cables, so check these are properly sealed too.

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