How do I keep my home safely warm during winter?

A cold home could affect your health. Below are some top tips on how to keep your home safe and warm during winter:

Safe heating
The safest way to heat your home is by using your central heating system. Any alternative method may expose you to the dangers of carbon monoxide inhalation and the risk of a serious fire.

You may also be putting other occupants of your home at serious risk or be in breach of the conditions of your tenancy agreement.

Unsafe methods to heat your home include:

  • Naked flames or open fires
  • Hobs, ovens or portable stoves
  • Heating appliances fuelled by propane gas bottles
  • Space heaters
  • Damaged or faulty electric heaters

Your boiler should be serviced every year and we do this for free. We’ll contact you three months before your service is due to arrange an appointment. If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, try to keep your bedroom at 18⁰C (65⁰F) and the main living room at 21⁰C (70⁰F).

If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, speak to your supplier as soon as you can. You might be able to set up a payment plan with them to help spread the cost of your bills. Or, if you are on a prepayment energy meter, they could offer you temporary credit. You can also ask them to place you on their Priority Services Register. This will help them make sure you get the correct support. You can find out about other support available in our Help and Advice section.

If your radiators are cold at the top and hot at the bottom, they’ll need bleeding. It’s really easy to do and we have a handy video to help you on our YouTube channel.

Block out draughts
Draw your curtains at dusk and keep your doors closed to block out draughts. Draught excluders are available for a few pounds and will seal small gaps in your windows, doors and letterboxes.

If you have a loft, using insulation can help keep the heat in your home. Even if you have loft insulation already, it's worth checking it’s up to standard. For the latest advice on loft insulation visit the Energy Saving Trust’s website.

Remember to insulate any pipes running outside your home or in cold areas, such as a garage. You can buy cheap lagging material online which stops them from freezing and causing burst pipes or blockages. Just cut the lagging to size and wrap up the straight bits of the pipe.

If you need to report a breakdown of your gas central heating system, or to book a pending gas service, please contact our customer service centre on 0300 456 9996.

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