Preparing for the cold winter ahead
By Anonymous on April 30, 2016 has outlined (30/04/2016) a few simple autumn jobs that can help everyone prepare for the winter ahead.

1. Insulation
One of the most cost effective way to make your home warm and comfortable is good home insulation. As a fully insulated home needs about half of the heating of an uninsulated one, you will reduce heating bills too. Most heat in the the home is lost via the roof so check the ceiling cavity first. Even though it can be tricky to retrofit insulation into the walls, it might be worth it as a quarter of heat in the home is lost through the walls. Underfloor insulation should be considered too as it prevents damp cold air entering your home. There are various home insulation funding programmes available through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority's website. Free underfloor and ceiling insulation is available to low-income people with health needs living in a cold damp house. 

2. Check smoke alarms
Check that all smoke alarm batteries are working. The New Zealand Fire Service recommends long life photoelectric smoke alarms in every bedroom, hallway and living areas on all levels of a house.

3. Service an open fire
Chris Kennedy, Harcourts NZ CEO, recommends getting chimneys swept and pellet or wood fires serviced so that a fire in winter burns more efficiently.

4. Keep safe
By clearing paths, decks and driveways, especially on the shady side of the house, you reduce the chance of mould which can cause the paths to become slippery over winter.