On the eleventh day of Christmas…….
………Eleven pipers piping
Insulate your loft and the sides of your water tanks. To prevent your pipes bursting, wrap them in lagging (a foam material that insulates and reinforces them). You'll be able to buy this from most DIY stores.
Keep out the cold
Most modern boilers have a frost protection thermostat which turns on automatically if the temperature drops to a level that will cause your pipes to freeze. Check that this is working properly. As added protection, it's a good idea to open your loft trap door and any sink cupboards on cold days, to let in heat. In very cold weather, you'll need to leave your heating on a low setting (or set it to come on a couple of times a day), especially if you're going on holiday for longer than a day or two.
Find your stopcock
Make sure you know where your home's stopcock is. Check regularly that you can turn it off easily in an emergency. You may find it helpful to label the stopcock, so you can easily locate it if you're in a panic.
Check pipes regularly
If you're going away for a while, ask a friend or relative to check your home regularly to make sure that your pipes haven't burst or frozen. You can always repay the favour when they next go on holiday.
Maintenance is key
Make sure to re-washer any dripping taps; if they freeze, they'll block your pipes.