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Keeping your home warm

Living in a cold home can damage your health so its important you get the right support if you need it.

If you can't afford to heat the whole house, keep your living room at 21C and your bedroom at 18C. Give your bedroom a boost before you go to bed each night. Get to know how your heating controls work - if you are unsure, ask a friend or neighbour for help. 

Help with heating repairs 

If you need help finding a reputable heating engineer, the Buy with Confidence scheme has details of local, reliable plumbers, electricians, builders, gardeners and many more trades.  

If you can't afford the heating repairs, or if you don't have any heating at all, help is available for low income households and people with certain health conditions.  

Insulate your home 

Insulate your home to save money and keep the heat in. Loft insulation can save you up to £250 per year off your fuel bills, and cavity wall insulation up to £280 per year savings. Don't forget to draught proof your windows and doors too, that could save you on average £20 per year. If you have a hot water tank, fitting an insulation jacket to it could save you as much as £100 per year.  

Simple Energy Advice is a Government endorsed website providing independent and impartial advice about ways to improve your home and reduce your spending on energy. 

Make sure your heating is safe 

Get your boiler and heating services regularly by a qualified engineer. 

If you have a gas boiler or other appliances, check that your engineer is Gas Safe registered. 

Install a Carbon Monoxide detector - it will alert you if there is a problem. Don't use this as a substitute for servicing your gas appliances though. 

If you have a coal fire, remember to have your chimney swept regularly. 

Oil-fired heating needs servicing too. Choose an OFTEC-registered technician. 

Help with heating costs 

A range of help is available to help you cover the costs of winter, so make sure you receive your payments. 

Winter fuel payments 

If you were born on or before 5 October 1954 you should receive a payment automatically. To find out more, contact 0845 915 1515 or visit GOV.UK for advice on winter fuel payments 

Cold weather payments 

For when temperatures fall to an average of 0°C for 7 days. If you qualify, you should receive a payment automatically. For more information, visit GOV.UK for advice on cold weather payments. 

Warm home discount 

Check with your energy supplier if you are entitled to a discount of £140 on your fuel bill. Some people will automatically receive the discount and others who qualify will need to claim. For more information, visit GOV.UK for advice on warm home discount.  

Money matters 

Thousands of residents are missing out on extra financial support that they are entitled to. Here are just some of the organisations who can help: 

Dress for warmth 

Wear several layers of clothes rather than one chunky layer. This will trap the heat better to keep you warm. 

Cover yourself with a blanket or shawl if you are sitting for long periods. Try to put your feet up too! The air is colder near the floor. 

Burst pipe? 

Don’t panic! Collect the water in a bucket and switch off your central heating. Turn off your stop tap and turn on your sink taps to drain your water system.

Don’t touch wiring or switches which you suspect may have been affected. If in doubt turn off your electricity at the mains and call a plumber.