Top tips from United Utilities on getting your home ready for winter.
Insulation helps keep your home warm and dry and will also help to keep your heating costs down. You should consider:
• Draught-proofing doors and windows to seal any gaps
• Insulating your loft, making sure it has at least 270 mm (10–11 inches) of insulation
• Getting cavity wall insulation
• Insulating hot water cylinders and pipes
You may be able to get financial help to insulate your home, see the section on Support available.
Your main living room should be between 18–21°C (64–70°F) and the rest of the house at a minimum of 16°C (61°F).
Heat all the rooms you use in the day, make sure you keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed. Set the timer on your heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed.
In very cold weather set the heating to come on earlier, rather than turn the thermostat up. This means you won’t be cold while you wait for your home to heat up. And if you’re worried about your boiler or heating system, contact Hot Spots for a service – giving you peace of mind and more efficient heaitng.
If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep. At night try to keep the temperature above 18°C (65°F) in your bedroom. You should open the window or door a little at night for ventilation if you use a fire or heater in your bedroom during winter.
Incorrectly installed, poorly maintained or poorly ventilated cooking and heating appliances can give off carbon monoxide. You should have all gas and fossil fuel appliances and flues / chimneys serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
You should also make sure there’s enough fresh air in the room containing your gas appliance, ensure chimneys / flues are not blocked and vents are not covered and get your chimney swept from top to bottom at least once a year by a qualified sweep.
If you have an electric blanket, never use a hot water bottle in the same bed, even if the blanket is switched off. Make sure you unplug blankets before you go to bed, unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use. Get your blanket safety tested every three years by Age UK or your local fire and rescue service.
Every Cumbrian household is eligible to apply for a FREE Home Fire Safety Check to deal with potential fire hazards. Contact Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 358 4777.