As the colder weather starts to set in, now is the time to make sure your home is prepared for winter.
Below is a list of top tips to help keep your house safe and warm this winter.
Keep your home warm
Keeping your home warm over winter will help to prevent damp, mold and condensation, while also helping to keep you healthy. Insulate your house as much as possible, while keeping doors open to allow warm air to pass through each room. If you feel like you are getting a draught, then draught excluders are also great for keeping heat within a room.
If you’re struggling with the cost of keeping your house warm, then please contact our Tenancy Support team on 0800 953 0213 (option 4) for advice and support.
Keep yourself warm
It’s equally important to keep yourself warm during these colder months. A couple of easy ways to help stay warm are:
- Keep your curtains closed to block out draughts.
- Have regular hot food and drinks.
- Wear several layers rather than one extra thick layer - this works better to keep you warm.
- When sitting down, keep yourself covered with a blanket or use a hot water bottle, and try to keep your feet off the floor (since air is a lot cooler at ground level).
- Try to make sure your radiators aren’t being blocked by furniture or curtains, since they will stop the heat from spreading around the room.
It’s recommended by The Energy Saving Trust that you heat your home to between 18 and 21◦C during winter.
Do what you can to prevent damp, mould, and condensation
Sometimes, damp, mould and condensation issues are out of your control. However there are things that you can do to help prevent it, such as:
- Closing any internal doors when cooking or showering.
- Regularly wiping any condensation on your windows.
- Drying clothes outside, or in a well-ventilated room where drying outside is not possible.
- Keeping lids on pans when cooking.
- Trying to ventilate rooms every morning.
Know who you can contact in an emergency
Here at Community Gateway, there is always somebody for you to speak to.
Our Repairs team are available between 8am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Call 0800 953 0213 (Option 1) We also have our out of hours line for emergencies outside of these hours.
Check your boiler
You don’t want the first time you notice a potential problem with your boiler to be when you need it most!
For that reason, make sure to regularly check your boiler. Things to look out for are…
- Is the pressure gauge above one, but below two?
- Are your radiators getting hot right to the top?
- Are there any signs of damage or a leak?
If you think that your boiler isn’t working correctly, contact our repairs team immediately on 0800 953 0213 (option 1).
Check your radiators and bleed them if necessary
Bleeding your radiators occasionally can help keep them working more efficiently, as they will heat up faster and expel more heat into your rooms. It’s quick and easy to bleed a radiator, but please only do so if you feel comfortable. You can follow this short demonstration video from British Gas.
Please also check your boiler after bleeding your radiators, as this could reduce the pressure in the system.
Take extra care of your pipes
Pipes can easily freeze during the colder weather, but they’re just as easy to thaw out.
Placing a hot water bottle or towel soaked in hot water onto the frozen pipe is best practice. Never use boiling water poured from the kettle or a blow torch, as this could cause permanent damage to the pipe and fire hazards in and around your home.
In the worst-case scenario that a pipe bursts, here’s a list of things you should do:
- Turn off the water supply at the stop tap.
- Turn off the boiler.
- Open up taps to drain the system as quickly as possible.
- Keep some water back for flushing toilets and washing hands.
- If water has leaked near electrics, then do not touch them and keep them turned off.
Be confident about where to find your utilities
It’s always a good idea to know exactly where to find things like your fuse box, stop tap and gas meter, in case of emergency.
Make sure you’re also confident that you know how each one works and how to switch them on and off.
Register yourself on the Priority Services Register (PSR)
The Priority Services Register is a free service across the UK that provides extra advice and support when there’s an interruption to your electricity, gas or water supply.
You can check the eligibility criteria and find out more about registering on the PRS website here.