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Keep warm and well

Keeping warm at home is important in helping you and your family to keep well. Some of our houses will be easier to keep warm than others, and there’s no easy answer to keeping warm during the cost-of-living crisis.

Avoid indoor temperatures lower than 18⁰C

The National Health Service recommends a main living area has a temperature of no lower than 18⁰C. Aim to avoid temperatures lower than this, as it might not be good for us.

Other tips to keeping warm and well

There are also a few other simple ideas, that can help us to keep warm without increasing our bills:

1. Draught-proof your home

Remember that warm air will always try to move somewhere colder. If we have gaps around doors and windows, the warm air will escape through the gap to the cold outside. Letter boxes, cat flaps, key holes – they can all be a problem. Don’t be tempted to block up every single gap. We still need some air to circulate in a home.

If window frames in your house are getting old and there is only a single layer of glass, or lots of gaps around the windows and the frames, line the inside of the windows with clingfilm or bubble wrap to stop the draughts and prevent warm air escaping through the glass.

Roll up an old towel or jumper and use this to block the gaps between external doors and the floor to keep out draughts.

Make sure curtains are tucked behind radiators to allow the heat to get into the room.

2. Close curtains and blinds

The glass in windows will help to keep some heat in the room – but it will also let a lot escape, especially if it is only one layer thick. Close curtains and blinds as this will help to keep warm air inside.

A curtain rail and long curtain inside the front door can help prevent draughts.

3. Close internal doors

Keep the warm air in the places you need it most – like the living room by keeping internal doors closed. If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, it’s important to heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before going to sleep

4. Keep radiators clear

Make sure furniture isn’t too close to radiators. You need the room to be warm, not the sofa.

5. Warm drinks, food and clothing

A hot drink, a hot meal and a few warm layers can help you to warm up when it’s cold. Wearing several layers of thinner clothing will keep you warmer than one thicker layer.

If you’ve got a baby in the house

It is important to make sure that your baby is a comfortable temperature – not too hot or too cold. The chance of sudden infant death syndrome is higher in babies who get too hot.

A room temperature of 18-20°C – with light bedding or a lightweight, well-fitting baby sleep bag– is comfortable and safe for sleeping babies.

It can be difficult to judge the temperature in the room, so use a room thermometer in the rooms where your baby sleeps.

Always remove baby hats once indoors, and check their temperature by feeling your baby’s chest or the back of their neck. Hands and feet will usually be colder, and this is completely normal.

Never put baby to sleep with a hot water bottle.

Avoid putting loose blankets into their sleep space, if you’re concerned baby is too cold, add one well tucked blanket that goes no higher than their shoulders.