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Keeping your home warm in winter

We are far more likely to catch a cold or flu during winter. Cold weather can also cause other serious health problems like pneumonia, heart attacks and depression.

One of the best ways to stay well during the winter is to stay warm.

During the day

  • Set your thermostat to 21oC and heat all the rooms you use
  • If you can't afford to heat all rooms ensure you keep your living room warm and heat your bedroom before going to bed
  • Set your timer to switch on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed
  • Close the curtains at dusk and fit thermal linings if you can. This will keep the heat in
  • Don't block up air vents, as fires and heaters need ventilation. Good ventilation also helps to prevent condensation and when heating rooms with an open fire use a fire guard
  • Test your carbon monoxide alarms. If you don't have any alarms, you need to get one fitted in each room that has a gas appliance, as there may be a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if air vents become blocked
  • Contact your local Age UK or Welfare Rights Service for advice on benefits and any other financial support you may be eligible for

During the night

  • Try to keep a temperature above 18oC in your bedroom overnight
  • If you use a fire or heater in your bedroom open the window or door at night a little for ventilation
  • An electric blanket or hot water bottle will help keep you warm, but never use both together as you could be electrocuted
  • Make sure to check the safety instructions on your electric blanket before use, some are only designed to warm beds and should not be used throughout the night. Remember, older blankets are much more likely to be faulty. Before using your electric blanket this winter, check for faults:
    • scorch marks
    • missing or damaged tie tapes
    • worm or damaged flex
    • loose connections
    • worn or frayed fabric
    • If your blanket has any of these faults do not use it and have it tested and / or replace it immediately. You can contact Trading Standards on 0191 424 7878 for further advice.

Financial support

For information see Your home in winter: Financial support

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