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couple in a cold home

Eight tips on how to keep you and your home warm

By Marta Moses | Posted November 28, 2021

Keep yourself and your home warm and safe during winter. Find out how to keep the warmth in and what to do if extreme weather affects your heating. 

1. Keep heat in try to be more energy-efficient

Most of us are spending more time at home this winter, which means we're spending more energy. Take a look at our easy tips to help you lower your home energy bills, as well as your carbon footprint.

Here are three of our top energy-saving tips to keep your home warm: 

  1. Draught proofing. By blocking any gaps, you can prevent heat from escaping while keeping cold air out. This will prevent heat loss and keep your home warm. There are several places where you can prevent draught. Draught-proofing your chimney alone could save you up to £90 a year.
  2. Keep the heat in. To prevent heat loss, it is important to close your blinds or curtains in the evening. By doing so, you can reduce heat loss by up to 17% by trapping air between the curtains and windows. However, ensure that your curtains do not cover the radiators, which can prevent rooms from heating.
  3. Home insulation. Insulation isn't an instant fix to get your home cosy. But it's a great long-term investment, and it'll help your home waste less heat, and you'll save money on energy bills, too. Find out about different types of home insulation

2. Heat yourself, not the room

If you're really feeling the cold, even with the heating on, you could try some additional methods to warm yourself up without turning the thermostat up. 

  • An electric blanket will typically cost between £25-50 to purchase but use as little as 3p an hour of electricity, even on the highest setting.
  • Other methods like footwarmers and hot water bottles are all cheaper ways of taking the edge off of the cold as they only heat you up and not the whole house. 
  • Layering up with thermal base layers, which shouldn't cost more than about £10, can also be a really cost-effective way of keeping warm. 

3. Check your pipes

Your pipes could be frozen if you notice a bad smell from the tap or a drain or if there’s not enough water coming out of the tap. There are lots of ways you can prevent frozen pipes. If an exposed pipe that you can see and reach easily is frozen, you could warm the pipe gently to help it thaw. If you don’t feel confident doing this, it's best to call a qualified plumber.

4. Look after your boiler

You should get your boiler serviced regularly by a Gas Safety registered engineer. This way, it’ll be in tip-top condition by the time winter comes around. If you do get a problem with your boiler, you may be able to fix it easily without calling out an engineer. Read our blog about 10 common boiler problems and how to fix them yourself.

5. Bleed your radiators

If your radiators don't feel warm to the touch, it may be that they need bleeding. You can follow our guide to bleed the radiators yourself, or you can ask a qualified plumber to do it for you. This will mean your central heating system is running more efficiently.

6. Know what to do if there's a power cut

You can phone 105 if you have a power cut due to bad weather or another reason beyond your control. This number is free to call, and you’ll be put through to your local network operator, who can give you help and advice. Check our gas and electricity emergency numbers to help you prepare for a power cut or winter storm outage.

7. Keep your prepayment meter in credit if you can

Do you have a prepayment meter or a smart Pay As You Go meter? Try to top up your credit with a little extra during winter if you can. With a smart Pay As You Go meter, you can top up without leaving the house and set up automatic top-ups via our mobile app.

8. Check if you can get support with heating bills

The government has introduced a wide range of Help for Households in 2022 to support with bills. Check which ones you are eligible for. 

Help for pensioners: If you were born on or before 25 September 1956, you might be entitled to the Government's Winter Fuel Payment. This means you could get between £250 and £600 winter fuel allowance to help with your heating bills. You will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically, and you do not need to claim if you're eligible.

If it’s zero degrees Celsius (or below) for seven days in a row where you live, you may be able to get a Cold Weather Payment, too.

You can also get extra support from our Priority Services Register