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Is your home ready for winter?

As the winter months approach, completing some home maintenance checks is a really good idea to help keep you and your home as safe as possible.

To start preparing your home, we’ve put together some top tips and advice below.

As we enter the winter months, managing finances following the increase in living costs and energy prices may be a challenge - here’s a link to some helpful cost of living advice. Our Tenancy Support team is here to help if you’re worried about paying your rent or looking for some support. If you’d like to see how we could help, please click this link to see what’s available.

Check your boiler

One of the most important things to remember at this time of year, is to make sure your heating and boiler is working properly before it gets really cold. If there’s a problem, please get in touch so we can book an appointment to fix it. Please don’t wait until winter to see if there’s an issue.

We carry out annual gas safety checks in your home. If your appointment is due please keep the appointment that’s been made. These checks are legally required and important for your safety. If you’ve missed your appointment, get in touch to rebook it as soon as possible.

If you’re a leaseholder or shared owner, you’re responsible for your own boiler and appliances. You should use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your appliances. You can find an engineer at or call 0800 408 5500.

Use your heating wisely

Alongside checking your boiler and heating works, there’s a number of things you can do to keep your home as warm as possible:

  • Use your timer to turn the heating up only when you need it. Not when you’re out
  • If you can, use your controller and set the hot water and the heating to come on at times when you need them, rather than having them both on all the time
  • Avoid drying clothes on your radiators as this cools the room and your boiler will use more gas to bring the temperature back up
  • Set your water temperature to 55°C
  • Move the sofa so it’s not blocking the heat coming from the radiator
  • Close your curtains to make the room cosy and keep out draughts. Draught excluders in front of doors are also an effective way to retain the heat
  • Open your curtains in the day to let in the sunlight and free heat.

Prevent and reduce damp and condensation

Damp is often an issue during the colder months. To prevent warm air and steam entering colder rooms, close your kitchen and bathroom doors whilst cooking or showering and for 20 minutes after.

Hang your washing outside to dry, or in the bathroom with the door closed. Don’t dry it on radiators.

And finally, monitor and manage the condensation in your home. You can do this by buying a hygrometer to monitor humidity and temperature. The ideal conditions are 40-60% humidity and 18-21°c.

You can find more information about how you can prevent and reduce condensation and mould on our 'damp and mould' page.

Help avoid burst pipes

Water freezing could cause the pipes in your home to swell and crack, and when it defrosts the water will come pouring out. To avoid this from happening you should:

  • Repair or report any minor leaks before they have chance to develop into a bigger one
  • Leave your heating on low if you’re away from home in cold weather to avoid pipes freezing
  • Fix dripping taps – even a slow trickle can cause a burst pipe
  • Make sure your boiler service has been completed when an appointment is made
  • Ensure you know where your stopcock is, and that you can turn it on and off so you can turn the water off at the mains in an emergency and limit the damage.
  • If you're able to, isolate and drain down outside taps. If you're unable to, ensure your tap is adequately insulated to avoid damage from frost/burst pipes, which may result in an emergency call out.

Consider home contents insurance

We insure your building, but contents insurance is something you should consider especially as the colder weather can cause more problems . You can find out more about the benefits of taking out contents insurance here.

We’ve teamed up with the NHF and My Home Contents who offer a policy especially for our customers with flexible payment options, low minimum sums insured and no minimum security requirements. Find out more by visiting

Look after your wellbeing

  • Cold weather can cause health problems for some people, particularly elderly people. Make sure you stay active, wear lots of layers and have plenty of hot drinks and a warm meal every day.

Check on your neighbours to make sure they are safe and well – if you’re worried about them, let your local council know or contact Age UK.

Other winter tips

  • Stay fire safe – for fire safety tips, click here
  • Check that your gutters are clear of leaves
  • Check that any outside lights are working ahead of the dark evenings. If any streetlights or outdoor lights are out, please check who’s responsible for the lights before raising the repair – sometimes the lights are the local authorities’ responsibility.