It’s December, and that means short days and cold nights and as the wind rises and the rain lashes at the window we simply turn up the thermostat and haul out the winter tog duvets.
Age UK say the ideal temperature is 64°F (18°C) for your bedroom and 70°F (21°C) for your living room. Remaining warm both inside and outside your home and eating and drinking well can help reduce the risk of serious health problems whatever your age. The current Public Health recommendations are to stay at a comfortable temperature of 18°C or above.
As we get older it takes longer to warm up which can be bad for our health. The cold thickens blood and increases blood pressure, and breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
But what do you do if you or your family are poorly and worried about the cost of heating or if your boiler is older than or as old as you are?
Keeping warm is a key part of Stay Well this Winter and the Warmth for Wellbeing Service – a partnership between Groundwork’s Green Doctors and Care & Repair – can help. The Warmth for Wellbeing service offers advice and practical support to help people take control and stay warm and well. The service provides home visits and 1-2-1 advice to use less energy, keep warm and save money as well as free repairs and servicing of existing heating systems free of charge subject to eligibility criteria.
Here are the Green Doctors and Warmth for Wellbeing services in action:
Julie, aged 55, tells us how a Warmth for Wellbeing visit helped her.
“I have lived in a Victorian back-back, 2 bedroom terrace house for around 15 years. Up until then (August 2016) I had no central heating system and depended on just a single gas fire in the living room for my heating needs. Hot water was supplied from a water cylinder storage tank heated by an electric immersion heater. As a result, my heating and hot water requirements were inadequate and expensive.
I contacted my local benefits office to ask about grants and they put me in touch with the Green Doctors were able to help me find some funding to sort out the central heating problem. The Warmth for Wellbeing Service also helped Julie fully understand how the system worked and helped her to switch energy suppliers saving her around £120 a year.
It was also discovered that Julie’s house had no loft insulation at all which meant her energy costs were up as 25% of the heat created in the home leaked through the roof. Julie was helped to successfully apply ECO funding and Julie’s loft is being insulated for free. They draught-proofed her front door which opened directly onto the street and had large gaps around the door frame: this made a huge difference in the level of warmth in the living room.
Being the only resident, Julie was also advised to consider having a water meter installed. After contacting Yorkshire water it was estimated that Julie could save around £259 per year on her water bills and so she has arranged for this to go ahead.
“What a great service” said Julie to the Green Doctors, you have been so ‘nice and helpful’. “I am now far more aware of my energy use and now switching off lights, using less water and cutting down on my energy bills”. “I would definitely recommend the Warmth for Wellbeing service.
The service also installs simple energy-saving and safety measures including:
- Energy-efficient light bulbs
- Draught excluders
- Reflective radiator panels
- Pipe lagging
- Hot water tank jackets
- Water saving devices
- Carbon monoxide detectors
If you would like to find out more about the Warm Homes Service and other services at Care & Repair ) please go to our website www.care-repair-leeds.org.uk or tel; 0113 3918336 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more or book a free home visit: Call Green Doctors on: 0113 238 0601
Checking you’re with the best energy supplier is one the best ways of saving money. With the cold weather setting in and the heating going on, energy bills are set to rise over the next few months, so it’s worth making sure you are getting the best deal.
Did you know that households from Leeds, and throughout Yorkshire, can now buy their gas and electricity from White Rose Energy?
White Rose Energy is a new supplier designed to provide fairer, more transparent gas and electricity prices, backed by Leeds City Council. White Rose Energy is available to all gas and electricity consumers, regardless of whether they own or rent their own homes. To find out more or to get a quote visit www.whiteroseenergy.co.uk