Winter has arrived, and many of us are already starting to feel its harsh bite - and with sub-zero temperatures forecast for December, now is the time to make sure that you and your home are ready for the icy onslaught. Protecting your water pipes against the cold may be the last thing on your mind, but a burst pipe in winter can be a real headache, so taking the time to prevent it from happening can be a wise move, particularly given the cost involved.

Water damage from pipe bursts can result in a huge amount of damage to homes and ruin people's precious belongings leading to huge heartache and misery. However, there are simple steps homeowners can take to protect their properties, which can dramatically reduce the chances of pipes freezing.

So, what exactly can you do to prevent your water pipes from freezing?

Make sure your loft area is well insulated, if not get it done as soon as possible. This action in some cases can be done free of charge so check out on this site to see if you qualify.

Keeping your water pipes warm and cozy isn't demanding work. In fact, there are a few simple steps that everyone can take to help prevent the big freeze ruining the festive period with a burst pipe:

Keep the heating on.

If you're planning on going away for the Christmas period, it's best not to try and save money by turning off the heating in your absence. If there is no hot water or warm air circulating around your home, your pipes will be in danger of freezing, so make sure that you have your heating on regularly and use a timer if you are going away.

Insulate your pipes.

We've all heard the benefit of insulating our home, but your water pipes can also benefit from the same protection. It's an especially good idea to make sure that the pipes and water tank in your loft are well insulated, which will help prevent them freezing and bursting.

Winter is most definitely with us, which means the boiler will be going into overdrive to beat the chill – yet unfortunately, it'll cost more than ever to heat your home, with energy prices now the highest on record.

UK energy prices, after a few years of falls, are now back at record levels beating the previous highs of 2013. We are now paying the highest energy prices in our history and millions are set to struggle to stay warm this winter.

Suppliers have pushed up their prices sharply so far this year, driven by concerns of the impending price cap and the ongoing costs of Government policy, and consumers are literally paying the price. At the same time, average wages have been falling in real terms as inflation outpaces pay. This is nowhere more evident than in energy where prices have risen by 10% this year but pay only by 2%. This cruel double whammy will force many families to live in cold homes this winter or go into debt to pay bills. The UK is in an energy affordability crisis and it is just getting worse.

Those in the grips of that crisis could find they're forced to decide between heating or eating, with pensioners and families the hardest hit.

Take action.

If this affects you there are things you can do, firstly check your loft insulation and that your boiler is working efficiently. Did you know if you fit certain criteria these items could be replaced or upgraded at no charge? So, rather than suffer check what is available to you on this site.

Can we help?

If you would like advice upgrading your home's efficiency, please do make contact and an adviser will be pleased to assist you.

The Government could cut stamp duty on sales of homes that have been improved to be more energy efficient. This coupled with the no stamp duty for first time buyers just been announced in the budget is indeed good news for prospective buyers.

The Minister of state for climate change and industry says doing so would encourage people to make their homes more environmentally friendly. So, if you think about this by making your home more energy efficient you will,

1, Save money on energy bills

2, Increase the value of your property

3, Make it more attractive to the buyer

4, Reduce your carbon footprint.

Perry told the BBC Today programme that the Government was considering the move.

She added: “We also need to look at building regulations and new building regulations to see what more needs to be done there.”

Perry also says that homeowners need to make their homes greener, so the Government meets its carbon emissions targets.

Some of the best ways to make properties more energy efficient are to install insulation measures such as loft insulation and external solid wall insulation. Other energy saving measures include ensuring your central heating boiler is working to maximum efficiency. As you can see this really is a win win situation and bear in mind some of the measures could be installed free or with a massive subsidy.

Help?

Check on this site to see if you are entitled to a grant or free installation or do contact us and an adviser will be happy to assist.

Energy providers are reporting very encouraging figures on the number of customers taking up free and subsidised energy saving offers. Installations have increased by a massive 27.6% in the last year which goes to show the public are getting the message loud and clear.

The majority of major energy suppliers up and down the country are offering great deals to insulate homes. The installation can be carried out free of charge if you are claiming certain benefits and meet the general criteria set down. If your house is cold check your loft to see if the insulation can be improved, if it can check on this site to see if it can be done free!! What’s to lose?

Energy companies are very keen to assist customers reduce the amount of energy they use and at the same time reduce their carbon footprint. It all makes sense as everybody saves money especially the homeowner. Another very big advantage of these measures is if installed correctly they will increase the value of your property. As you can see it really is a win win situation and one not to be ignored.

The greatest increase in installations has come from the North of the country with East Anglia and the Midlands following close behind.

What’s on offer?

As the survey has shown more people are taking an interest in saving energy and therefore saving money. With fuel bills likely to be the highest ever recorded this year can you afford to miss out?

1) Loft insulation

2) New boiler

Need some help?

It’s easy to find out if you qualify just select the upgrade you require and then click the “see if I qualify” or “apply now”. This action really could save you a great deal of money over the long term.

Reduce your energy bills

With mortgage repayments beginning to rise along with ever increasing fuel costs it is more important than ever to save as much money as possible. Ensuring your home is ready for the winter is one sure way you could save literally hundreds of pounds.

The Government and energy companies are committed to reduce energy costs and at the same time reduce our carbon footprint. Some of the measures you can take to save are supported by grants and in some cases can be done free of charge, so do check on this site to see if you are entitled.

Simple checks to carry out

1. Check your roof

Get a builder in to give your roof an inspection every year – they can make sure the tiles are undamaged and that everything’s water tight.

Get any cracked tiles or other issues fixed fast – it will save you money in the long run.

2. Keep warm

Check what insulation you have and what else you could do to increase warm

Bleed radiators and make sure your boiler is in good working order.

Your boiler is going to get a proper work out this winter – get it serviced now by a Gas Safe engineer. They should check all gas appliances in the property, and provide certificates for your records.

In some cases, old inefficient boilers can be changed free of charge

3. Protect your pipes

You can also do all you can to protect your pipes. Make sure external pipes and pipes in the loft are insulated – checking everything is properly connected and there are no cracks or existing damage.

4. Unblock gutters and drains

Blocked gutters can cause a whole host of problems for your property, like rot, penetrating damp and damage to the foundation caused by water running down external walls. Make sure they’re clear of leaves, moss and other debris.

Can we help?

If you would like assistance increasing the warm of your property do make contact and one of our advisers will be happy to assist.