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Winter Weather Wisdom

14 July 2017

With the cold snap hitting the country, we’ve put together a few winter tips to help you look after your home and car.

For your home:

  • For those in more southern climes, snow straps on guttering will help support them if there’s a heavy fall.
  • As you leave your holiday home – or your home to go on holiday – turn the water off and clear the pipes so they’re water free. This will avoid the pipes bursting when any frozen water inside defrosts.
  • Unless your windows are in direct sunlight, keep your drapes and blinds closed to hold the heat in your home. Draught stoppers on doors and windows are a simple, cost effective solution to keeping your home warm.
  • Don’t place heaters in areas with restricted airflow because they may over heat. It’s also important that high wattage appliances, like heaters, don’t overload powerpoints or multi-boards as they may cause a fire.
  • Remember the heater-metre rule – always keep furniture, curtains, clothes, and children and pets at least one metre away from heaters and fireplaces. Never cover your heaters or store items on them.
  • Outside, disconnect and drain garden hoses to prevent icy water leaking onto paths or into a soggy garden. Empty birdbaths and fountains too.
  • Avoid slippery paths and steps by spraying an ice and water repellent solution on before they freeze. You can also use sand, clay-based kitty litter or rock salt on your paths and driveway, but be aware salt can damage grass and plants.
  • Nearly one in two Kiwis (47%) think heat pumps a ‘must-have’, so if you’re considering a heat pump for your place, Canstar Blue have put together some useful consumer reviews and tips.

For your car:

  • If you can’t unlock your car door, don’t try to force the handles, as they can easily snap. Instead, try using a de-icer or warm water on your locks – but only do this occasionally, to protect your locks.
  • You can also use a de-icer or warm water along the edges of the door seals if they are frozen to the metal frame.
  • Turn off all accessories, such as your radio, heater, or window wipers, before trying to start your car, to prevent draining battery power. When it’s running fine, turn on the heater to clear ice from the glass and mirrors.
  • Don’t pour boiling water over your windscreen as this may cause cracking. The best way to remove ice from glass is a good quality plastic ice scraper, or a chemical de-icer. Covering the screen will prevent it icing up in the first place, but make sure it isn’t wet, or made of a fabric that will leave fibres.
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