Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.
This week, we remind people of the importance of staying warm.
Staying warm can help to prevent you from becoming ill, especially if you are already vulnerable due to your age, poor health or disability.
That’s why it’s important to ensure you keep up to date with the weather and the forecasted temperatures this winter, as well as keep your home at the correct temperature and wear enough clothes to stay warm.
If you can’t heat all the rooms you use at home, heat your living room during the day and your bedroom just before you go to sleep. If it is very cold, set your heating to come on earlier and turn off later rather than turning the thermostat up.
If you have reduced mobility, are aged 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, the advice from Public Health England is that you should heat your home to at least 18C. It's a good idea to keep your living room at 21C and your bedroom at 18C temperature all night if you can.
If you’re not sure how your heating controls work, ask a friend or neighbour for help. To keep warm while you’re in bed, you can also use a hot water bottle or electric blanket – but not both at the same time.
Other advice includes wearing lots of thin layers – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good and help to maintain body heat – and wearing shoes with a good grip to help prevent slips and falls when outside.
Before winter sets in, it’s also important to think about how you can cut down on your energy costs.
Of all the things you can do to save energy, improving your home’s insulation will have by far the greatest impact. Here are some easy, quick fixes:
● Fitting cavity wall insulation can cut around £135 off your heating bill each year and loft insulation can save you up to £175 per year;
● Get draught excluders for external doors, windows and letterboxes. It’s also worth tackling gaps between skirting boards and floorboards;
● Double-glazing keeps the heat in and also reduces noise and condensation; and
● Close your curtains as soon as it starts to get dark, to lock in the heat.
The council’s care and repair service provides support to older, disabled and vulnerable people to improve their homes. The service includes accessing urgent works grants for home repairs, such as heating and insulation, and helping to organise the works. For more information, phone 0300 123 5017 (select option four).
To keep up to date with the weather, tune in to the Met Office’s weather forecasts on radio and TV. Severe weather warnings are also issued on the Met Office website, through their Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/metoffice) or you can ring their 24-hour weather desk on 0370 900 0100.
For further winter-related advice, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil and on Twitter: @CheshireEast
Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.