It is important to keep your home warm in the winter months to avoid health problems in your family.
How can cold weather affect your health?
The cold weather can thicken your blood and increase your blood pressure as a result. On the other hand, breathing in cold air increases your risk of chest congestion and infections. Hence, you need to keep your home warm during the winter season to guarantee the health and well-being of your loved ones.
What temperature should rooms be in winter?
Your room should be at least at 18°C. This is even more important for aged individuals with reduced mobility. For example, if you are 65 years or older or have a health issue such as heart or lung disease, having a room temperature slightly over 18C is good for your health. If you are under 65 years of age, active, and wear proper clothing, you may keep your home at a comfortable temperature even if it’s slightly lower than 18 degrees.
Overnight, individuals over 65 years of age and suffering from any health conditions should maintain a temperature of at least 18C for good health. This is less important for healthy people under the age of 65 years. Keep your bedroom windows closed at night when the weather is quite cold.
Heating and insulating your home
Insulating your home is important to keep it warm during the cold winter months. It also helps reduce your energy bills in the long run. Make sure you use draught-proofing materials to seal any gaps around the doors and windows. On the other hand, your loft should have at least 10-11 inches of insulation. Any home with 4 inches or less insulation should have it topped up before the winter season arrives.
If there are any wall cavities, insulate them too. Don’t forget the hot water cylinder and pipes. Pull down the curtains in your rooms at dusk to keep the heat generated inside the rooms. The radiators should not be obstructed by your furniture or curtains. For UK readers you may want to take a look at ‘change from gas central heating to electric UK‘.
Saving money on your energy bills
If your energy bills are high, switch some of your old appliances to the latest energy-efficient ones to save money this winter. You can get additional help with your bills:
- Winter Fuel Payment – If you are currently receiving a state pension and were born on/before 5 July 1952, you are eligible to receive the winter fuel payment worth between £100 and £300.
- Cold Weather Payment – People claiming benefits between 1 November and 31 March are eligible to receive a payment of £25 provided that the average temperature in the area they reside is recorded as zero degrees C or below for seven consecutive days.
Energy-saving tips for your home
Even though some of these energy-saving tips may sound simple, they can make a significant difference in reducing your fuel bills.
Set the heating in your home to come on just before you wake up in the morning and to switch off after you have gone to bed. If it’s very cold in the area, set the heating to come on earlier and switch off later instead of turning the thermostat up. If you cannot heat all the rooms in the house, make sure you heat the bedroom and the living room throughout the day. Shut the doors and close the curtains to retain the heat in the rooms you use most. Add draft excludes to maximize the heat in your home and minimize the cold and draft getting in.