Keeping yourself and your home warm and safe

Get Ready for Winter campaign

The Met Office this week have launched the Get Ready for Winter campaign. Here are a few tips on keeping yourself and your home warm and safe.

Why can cold weather be bad for your health?

The cold thickens blood and increases blood pressure, and breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections. So it’s all the more important to ensure your home and the homes of people you look out for are the right temperature.

What temperature should rooms be in winter?  

You should heat your home to the temperature of at least 18 °C. This is particularly important if you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease. Having room temperatures slightly over 18 °C could be good for your health. Age UK recommends that your living room temperature should be 21 °C (70 °F).

If you are under the age of 65, active and wearing appropriate clothing, you may wish to keep your home at a comfortable temperature even if it is slightly lower than 18°C.

Overnight, people who are 65 and over or who have pre-existing health conditions may find bedroom temperatures of at least 18 °C are good for their health; this may be less important if you are a healthy adult under 65 and have appropriate clothing and bedding.

It is important to keep your bedroom window closed at night when the weather is cold.

Heating and insulating your home

Keeping the heat in

  • Insulating your home not only keeps you warm but will also help to keep your energy costs down.
  • Fit draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors.
  • Make sure that your loft has at least 10-11 inches (270 mm) of insulation. Any home with 4 inches (100 mm) or less should have it topped up.
  • If you have wall cavities, make sure that they are insulated too.
  • Insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk to help keep the heat generated inside your rooms.
  • Make sure that your radiators are not obstructed by curtains or furniture.

Carbon monoxide kills

When burning fuel, carbon monoxide poisoning can be a health risk. Carbon monoxide is produced when fuel does not burn properly, and every year around 30 people die following accidental exposure to high levels of the gas, which is difficult to detect because you can’t see, smell or taste it.

To minimize risks, a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm, which meets European Standards EN 5029, should be fitted in any room that contains a gas fuel burning appliance, like a boiler and gas fire, and a solid fuel burning appliance, and tested regularly to ensure that it is working, as effectively as possible. The rooms should be adequately ventilated.

More information can be found at the Logical Heating & Plumbing solutions, a boiler repair croydon company.

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