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
- 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.