SIMPLE STEPS TO SAVE WATER, SAVE MONEY AND PROTECT YOUR HOME THIS WINTER
This winter, we want to help you stay warm and protect your home. We know how difficult these months will be for so many, so we have prepared some hints and tips to help where we can. From defrosting frozen pipes and knowing where to find your stopcock to avoiding expensive leaks, saving money by reducing your water use, and binning waste to avoid costly winter flooding – there are lots of things we can do to get through winter together.
PLEASE YOUR PIPES - THAW FROZEN PIPES
Pipes, new or old, don’t like the cold, they can freeze or burst, which causes unwanted damage to homes. This winter, more than any other, no one needs any unplanned burst pipes flooding the kitchen floor or for your heating or hot water to break down. Scottish Water’s advice on properly insulating pipes to keep water pipes from freezing has never been more vital.
Insulating pipes now can save a lot of hassle and money later. And fewer bursts can save water, which is good for the environment.
KNOW WHERE YOUR MAINS WATER STOPCOCK IS
If your pipes freeze or burst, you must locate the stop valve and turn it off immediately. The stop valve controls the water supply entering your home – it can also be known as a stopcock or stop tap. Your stopcock can be found under the sink (kitchen or utility room), in a garage or close to the hot water system (wherever the mains supply enters your house). Knowing where the stopcock is in your home and that the stopcock isn’t leaking and moving easily can prevent frozen pipe bursts from damaging your home further this winter.
If you have a holiday home or an empty property, consider draining the system and switching off the water supply at the stop valve.
HEAT YOUR HUMAN NOT THE HOME
As many of us are still working from home or hybrid working, heating our homes through the day can be expensive. All advice points to heating the human, not the room – so lots of hot drinks throughout the day. But only boil the water you need – a mug of water will boil quicker than a whole kettle full that you don’t use and have to re-boil, and it’ll be cheaper too. Hot water bottles can also provide a comforting heat.
Only boil the water you need – which is always less than you think for a hot water bottle – save energy and water.
Winter walks are perfect to get some much-needed sunlight and fresh air – great for the mind, body and soul. Please take extra care around waterways at this time of year, rivers can be faster moving than usual due to heavy rainfall or snow melt upstream.
Reservoirs and lochs may look frozen, but it’s impossible to tell how thick the ice is, so both you and your four-legged friends – admire from afar.
IT ALL ADDS UP - UNFREEZING PIPES TO SHORTER SHOWERS
Shorter showers can reduce your energy bills and save water, which is a win for you and our planet. And small hacks which can save you from frozen pipe repair costs can see you saving your pennies over the winter period.
Try taking just 2 minutes off your shower and save up to £130 off your annual energy bill.*
LET’S NOT GET SLOPPY - HOW GREASE CAN CAUSE A HOME FLOOD
Cooking from scratch can be a game changer to your weekly food shop cost. Stovies, soups and stews are all super easy and comforting this time of year. Cooks, new or old, can adopt good kitchen habits by not slopping fats, oils or grease down the sink. As they cool, they congeal and cause blockages – storing up unpleasant issues, including causing your home to flood or further flooding in your neighbourhood. Sometimes, you can up-cycle fats, oils and grease – another pocket pleaser – but if it can’t be reused, scrape it and bin it.
THE APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE
Using a dishwasher or washing machine on its eco setting can save you money on energy and save water – which is good for the planet.
Washing full loads makes sense too, getting your money’s worth out of each cycle.