Are you winter ready?
Here are a few simple ideas to help keep your heating costs down and to make sure you stay healthy during the winter months with useful hints and tips to help you keep yourself, and your home, safe, warm and connected this winter.
Stay safe and warm
- Keep a list of useful / emergency contacts and local organisations which can offer support by your phone. Call us on 0800 111 999 if you smell gas or call 105 in a power cut
- Check any existing pipe insulation (only where visible) to make sure it is in good condition to protect your external pipes and taps from freezing. What to do if your boiler isn't working and its winter time
- Check your central heating is working correctly. Turn your heating on (and ensure the timer is working).
- Ensure gas appliances are serviced annually by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer to keep them in working order and help prevent any issues relating to your boiler which could affect your heating and cooking. Never be tempted to do any DIY gas servicing as this can put you and your househhold at risk.
- If your radiators are not getting hot at the top, it could be air inside. You’ll need to release the air so they can heat up properly. Use a radiator key to open the small valve at the top and to the side of the radiator slightly until water begins to drain out – tighten back up quickly!
- Keep torches, a battery-powered radio and spare batteries in case of power cuts.
- Set your heating to come on just before you get up, switch off after you've gone to bed. If it's very cold, extend the time rather than turning the thermostat up. Keep your main living room at 18–21°C (64–70°F) and the rest of your house at 16°C (61°F) at least.
- Move any furniture away from radiators and turn radiators off in unused rooms. You could also install thermostatic valves on radiators in rooms
you use most.
- Close curtains to keep heat in and draughts out.
- Test your smoke alarm and keep spare batteries.
- Test your carbon monoxide detectors regularly and make sure they are positioned in a room where a gas appliance is present.
- If you have additional support needs you could be eligible to join the Priority Services Register (PSR) which offers temporary cooking and heating appliances to people registered in the event of an emergency.
- Find out if you are entitled to any benefits or grants such as winter fuel payments and insulation costs.
- Finally, always check the weather forecast so you can plan ahead, whether you are going out or staying in. And make sure to check on family and friends that might need extra help in the cold weather too.
For further advice on how you can stay safe, warm and healthy this winter, please visit NHS Winter Health .