Cold weather tips

Snow and cold weather can bring lots of problems, so use these tips to prepare your home for winter.

Keep warm in your home 

A cold home can have a significant impact on your health – help keep yourself well during winter by staying warm. 

A warm home can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, ideally heat your home to at least 18C.  It's a good idea to keep your bedroom at this temperature all night if you can. During the day you may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.

Set the programmer on your central heating and hot water system so it comes on when you need it. In cold weather it's best to keep the heating on at a low level all day, than putting it on in short, high bursts.

Always make sure you wear enough clothes to stay warm.

  • Use draught excluders under doors, and keep doors closed whenever possible.
  • Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows, and check for draughts around windows and doors.
  • Draught-proof your letter box, cat flap or keyholes.

How to stay safe

If you have an assured, secure or fixed term tenancy, our annual gas safety check and five-year electrical checks are our way of checking your heating and gas systems are in good working order and safe for you to use. If you're a shared owner or leaseholder, you're responsible for these checks within your home. Please visit our safety in your home for tenants page or safety in your home for shared owners or leaseholders page to find out more about fire, gas and electrical safety.

Our tips for looking after your home include what to do if your electric goes off, advice on getting to know your heating system (including bleeding a radiator and getting the best out of storage heaters and dealing with boiler problems) and hot water system (including stopcocks, avoiding frozen pipes - and what to do if they are frozen).

Visit our lower fuel bills page for advice on energy suppliers and help with household bills.

Gritting: make sure you don’t slip up

If you live in one of our supported housing schemes for disabled or older people, we'll grit your communal areas in icy conditions. Contact us if there’s an area you think should be gritted, and our contractors will come out and do it for you. We’re not responsible for public footpaths and roads though, so you’ll need to contact your local authority to ask about gritting in these areas.