Protecting your home

There are certain practical steps that you can take to protect your home from winter weather.

Some tips if you are planning to leave your property empty over winter

  • Leave your heating on for at least an hour a day while you are away from home
  • In severe weather, or if severe weather is forecast, you should leave your heating on day and night at your usual temperature setting
  • Check that loft insulation is laid over, and under pipes in the loft
  • Make sure that you know where your stop tap is, and that it works so that you can turn off the water supply if needed
  • Consider asking a friend or relative to visit your home every day while you are away. This will mean that, if you do suffer a burst pipe, it will be detected as soon as possible. Make sure that they know where the stop tap is located.
  • If high winds are forecast, make sure objects such as garden furniture or ladders are fully secured

Energy saving tips

Some of these energy-saving tips may seem obvious but they can make a big difference when it comes to reducing your fuel bill. 

  • 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.

To get advice on how to make your home more energy efficient phone the Energy Saving Advice Service (ESAS) on: 0300 123 1234 (calls are charged at standard national rate) or visit www.gov.uk/energyhelp to find out what help you can get to improve the energy efficiency of your home

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. You should 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. 

There are also lots of small things you can do for free or at low cost around the home to save money on your energy bills. You can find out more by calling the Energy Saving Advice Service (ESAS) on: 0300 123 1234 (calls are charged at standard national rate). Online go to www.gov.uk/energyhelp to get help with your bill or fill out an Energy Saving Trust online home energy check for suggestions on improving the energy performance of your home.

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