Get ready for winter
Stay well and warm
As the weather gets colder it's a good time to consider what winter weather preparations you, your family and community may need to make. Some of these energy - saving tips may seem obvious but they can make a big difference when it comes to reducing your fuel bill. For more information and articles see the get ready for winter page on the Met Office website.
If the weather does become severe then check local radio and websites for updates.
Set your heating to come on just before you get up and switch off after you've gone to bed. If it's very cold, set your heating to come on earlier and turn off later rather than turning the thermostat up.
If you can't heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room throughout the day and your bedroom just before you go to bed. Remember to close curtains and shut doors to keep heat in the rooms you use most.
Keeping the heat in
Insulating your home not only keeps you warm and healthy but will also help to keep your 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
- Warm Front Scheme can help if you are entitled to grants and subsidies for home heating and insulation.
Tips on reducing your energy cost
- One of the easiest ways to get energy bills down quickly is to switch to the lowest possible tariffs. You should contact your energy suppliers and ask to be put on the best tariff. Also shop around to ensure you are getting the best deal.
- For low income and vulnerable households beyond pensioners there is support available through the Warm Home Discount, which can provide a discount on your energy bill of £135 in 2013 / 14. Phone your energy suppliers to see if you are eligible.
Health and well-being
- check you have had your flu jab if you are aged 65 or over, pregnant, have certain medical conditions, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person
- check you have well - gripping shoes to prevent falls in cold weather, wear several layers of clothes to stay warm and remain active in your home
- good hand hygiene can help prevent the spread of norovirus
- check you have had your heating and cooking appliances serviced - carbon monoxide is a killer
- check NHS choices for health guidance on winter ailments (flu, winter vomiting, cold temperatures).
- check that your vehicle is ready for winter
- check that you know where to find traffic and travel information
- check local and national weather forecast and keep up to date with the latest warnings
- check that you have an emergency kit available in your car.
- check you know who might need help in your community area in really bad weather
Further information on helping to stay warm this winter can be found on the gov.uk website.