Keeping your home warm and dry is essential to remain as healthy as possible this winter. Low temperatures increase the risk of flu and other respiratory problems and can raise blood pressure. Blood pressure takes longer to return to normal in older people after being out in the cold and this puts us at greater risk of heart attacks and strokes. The colder your home, the higher the risk to your health.
How warm should my house be?
- if you’re not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C
- keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and keep the bedroom window closed.
- during the day you may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer than 18C
The right heat source for your home can make your home easier to heat and reduce the cost of heating. Different heating options create different levels of condensation – choose the option that will create the least amount in your home.
Recommended heating options are:
- Electric heater with a thermostat (Cost per unit (kilowatt) of useful heat: 26cents)
- Gas heater with chimney [flue] (Cost per unit (kilowatt) of useful heat: Natural gas with Eeca’s blue energy star, 15-16c; LPG with energy star, 19-26c)
- Heat pump (Cost per unit (kilowatt) of useful heat:With Eeca’s blue energy star, 5-10c; without, 7-11c)
- Modern pellet (Cost per unit (kilowatt) of useful heat: 14-20c)
- Wood burner (Cost per unit (kilowatt) of useful heat: 12-14 c)
Stop cold air getting into your home by stopping draughts around doors, windows and fireplaces. Stopping cold air coming in makes it easier to heat your home and helps reduce the cost of heating. Insulation is also essential to keep your home warmer for longer and reduce the cost of heating in the long run. You might qualify to have ceiling and underfloor insulation installed for free or subsidized considerably if:
- your home (or the home that you rent) was built before 2000
- and you have a Community Services Card
- and if you are over 65 years
Keeping your home dry:
Here are some important tips to keep your house dry
- Wipe off any water that has collected (condensation) on walls and on the inside of windows. Doing this helps to keep your home dry, which makes your home easier to heat and reduces the cost of heating.
- Open your windows (ventilate) for at least a few minutes each day. Fresh air helps to keep your home dry, makes it easier to heat your home, and helps reduce the cost of heating.
- Open windows (ventilate) in the kitchen when you cook, and in the bathroom when you shower or take a bath, to let steam out. Doing this helps to keep your home dry, which makes your home easier to heat and reduces the cost of heating.