Keeping warm in winter

Keeping warm helps prevent conditions such as hypothermia, bronchitis, chest infections and pneumonia

Those at particular risk include vulnerable people, such as the elderly, families on low income and people with long term medical conditions.

Helping yourself
  • heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). Above this and you may waste money; below this you may risk your health. This will keep your home warm and may lower your bills

  • if you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and your bedroom just before you go to bed

  • get your heating system and cooking appliances checked and keep your home well ventilated

  • use your electric blanket as instructed and get it tested every three years. Never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket

  • do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat your home; it is inefficient and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and this can kill

  • if you are not on mains gas or electricity, make sure you have a good supply of heating oil, solid fuel, or LPG to make sure you do not run out in winter

  • fit draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors

  • make sure you have loft insulation. And if you have cavity walls, make sure they are insulated too

  • insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes

  • draw your curtains at dusk to help keep heat generated inside your rooms

  • make sure your radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains

  • if possible, try to move around at least once an hour. But remember to speak to your GP before starting any exercise plans

  • wear lots of thin layers: clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good and maintain body heat

Keep warm keep well leaflet

Hitting the cold spots - advice and support service

NHS advice

Financial help with heating costs

Your energy provider

If you are struggling with your winter fuel costs speak to your energy provider, who should be able to offer you a standard monthly direct debit charge to enable you to spread the cost of your energy over the year with fixed regular payments.

Priority Service Register

If you are a pensioner, have a disability, are chronically sick or are hearing and/or visually impaired, your energy provider has an obligation to provide a range of free services, designed to make your life easier. You should contact your provider to find out what is available.

More information is available about the Priority Service Register from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Winter Fuel Payment

Most people aged 60 and over qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment made every November to December.

If you have not received your entitlement:

Phone 03459 15 15 15
Textphone 0345 606 0285

Cold Weather Payment

You may also be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment for each week of very cold weather in your area if you get Pension Credit.

You may also be eligible if you get

  • a pensioner premium, higher pensioner premium or enhanced pensioner premium

  • a disability premium or severe disability premium

Making my heating more efficient

Helpful tips from:

Help from Adult Services

If you are worried about an elderly relative or neighbour who appears to be struggling to keep warm, please contact Adult Services.