Thursday, 12 January 2017

Healthy homes are heated homes!

snow, winter health, energy savings
The kids are already planning for snow...
but are you ready?
Okay, we've all heard the hype - the temperature is about to drop and it could snow (and some places are already suffering!). But along with the panic of how you'll get to work in icy conditions and your kids' excitement that the schools may shut, it's important to keep your home at a healthy temperature.

A study by Public Health England found that indoor temperatures below 18 degrees can have an impact on health, and independent expert the Energy Saving Trust is reminding people not to take risks and ensure that their homes are able to cope with the conditions. This comes after a study shows 42 per cent of householders across the country avoid putting the heating on during cold spells due to concerns about high bills. Brrrrrr!

So how can you protect your family's health AND avoid a large bill? Here's what our experts have to say:

Help is at hand

David Weatherall, head of policy at the Energy Saving Trust says help is available to prevent people putting themselves at risk - and that tenants and homeowners alike can get in touch. He adds: 'Homeowners or renters in receipt of benefits may get some help towards the cost of fitting insulation or a new boiler, so it’s worth checking. The best place to start is by calling the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 or by looking at our website'. He also says tenants that have major problems with cold and damp, and whose landlord won’t help should contact their local authority housing health and safety team. David also recommend checking if you could save money by switching energy suppliers - as colder weather may continue for a few months yet. 

And here are the Trust's 7 simple tips to make your home easier to heat:

snow, cold weather, winter health, energy savings
Don't let your little angels
get cold.
· Draught-proof your home

Improving seals on windows and doors reduces creeping chills and can save you up to £35 per year.

· Insulate your pipes

Adding foam insulating tubes to water pipes is a great way to prevent unnecessary heat loss and can save you £10 per year.

· Upgrade heating controls
Got no temperature control valves on your radiators? Adding them gives you more power to save – add a thermostat too and you could pocket anything from £75 to £155 per year in extra cash.

· Get a new boiler
If your boiler is more than 10 years old, upgrading can significantly reduce your household’s running costs.

· Top up hot-water cylinder insulation

A hot water cylinder jacket can cost just £16, but can save you £25 to £35 per year.

· Top up loft insulation
Adding an extra layer of insulation to your loft is a quick way to reduce heating bills by £15 per year.

· Insulate your walls
Preventing warm air escaping through your walls by insulating your walls can reduce heating bills from £155 to £260 per year depending on your home.

So whether you're saving yourself cash - or saving yourself from a nasty illness - it's worth being ready for the big freeze.


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