Autumn’s here and winter’s just around the corner. And the best time to check that your home's ready for the colder months is before the winter weather kicks in. We’ve prepared some top tips, from testing your heating before the first cold spell, to reducing damp and condensation and staying fire safe.
We’re also preparing for the winter months and possible local lockdown measures. We’ll be in touch if a local lock down is introduced in your area to tell you about any changes to our services.
Top tips for preparing for winter
Test your heating
- Turn your heating on sooner rather than later to check that everything's working before it gets really cold.
- If there’s a problem, get in touch so we can book an appointment to fix it. 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’s due, make sure you’re in for it. These checks are legally required and important for your safety. If you, or anyone in your family has coronavirus symptoms or if you’ve taken the decision to self-isolate, please let us know before the appointment. And if you’ve missed your appointment, please get in touch to rebook as soon as possible.
- If you’re a leaseholder or you own your home through our shared ownership scheme, 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 GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
- Check your radiators – if they’re cold at the bottom when they’re on, air may be trapped inside, so get in touch.
- Follow this link for some tips to make your home cosy in the winter months.
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 or by watching this short video.
Check that you have home contents insurance
- Make sure your home contents insurance covers winter-related damage.
- Home contents insurance can provide peace of mind. If you don’t have contents insurance, there's an insurance service available for our customers through Thistle Insurance, designed especially for people in rented homes - find out more here.
Stay fire safe
- Test your fire alarm regularly to ensure it’s working properly – find out more here.
- Following a recent fire at one our homes, we’d like to remind you that you shouldn’t make any alterations to fire doors, as they won’t be as effective in the event of a fire.
- For more tips to stay fire safe, click here.
Other winter tips
- Isolate the water supply to your outdoor tap during winter if you’re not using it and also protect exposed pipes and taps with insulation.
- 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.
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.
- Make sure you following the latest government advice on coronavirus to prevent it from spreading over the winter months.
Preparing for local lock downs
- We’re being proactive and are working closely with local authorities to be as planned as possible for a local lockdown and have ensured that we have adequate supplies of PPE. We’re making plans for various scenarios so we’re able to respond quickly to any government or local authority advice.
- Should a local lockdown happen in your area, please keep an eye out for email updates from us, updating you on any changes to our services. We’ll also keep our website and Facebook and Twitter updated with the latest information.