Keeping warm in winter

We are more likely to catch a cold or flu during winter. Cold weather can also cause other serious health problems like pneumonia.

It is essential to keep warm in winter and there are some simple things you can do to keep warm and stay healthy.

During the day:

  • set your thermostat at around 21ºC (70ºF) and heat all the rooms you use in the day;
  • if you can’t heat all your rooms make sure you keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed;
  • set the timer on your heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed and
  • in very cold weather, rather than turn the thermostat up, set the heating to come on earlier so you won’t be cold while you wait for your home to heat up.

During the night:

  • try to keep a temperature of above 18°C (65°F) in your bedroom overnight;
  • if you use a fire or heater in your bedroom during winter, open the window or door a little at night for ventilation;
  • an electric blanket or a hot water bottle will help you keep warm but never use them together as you could electrocute yourself;
  • if you have an electric blanket, check what type it is – some are designed only to warm the bed before you get in and should not to be used throughout the night and
  • if you use an electric blanket make sure it is safe to use by getting it tested every three years. The Fire Brigade, Trading Standards and Age Concern can test your electric blanket for safety.

Dress well:

  • put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and warm shoes or boots when you go outside;
  • wear clothes made of wool, cotton or fleecy synthetic fibres;
  • stay warm in bed with bed socks, thermal underwear and a nightcap or headscarf and
  • the simplest thing that can be done to warm up is to put on a hat.

Reduce your energy bills;

  • shut outside doors and close curtains at night;
  • boil only the water you need rather than filling the kettle completely;
  • let food cool to room temperature before you put it in the fridge or freezer and
  • don’t leave appliances like televisions on stand-by mode as they still use electricity.