Getting ready for the cold weather early means that you’re more likely to keep warm and well.

Here’s a list of things you can do to help combat the effects of winter.

  • Have your heating system serviced regularly to ensure it is working efficiently  
  • Have your chimney swept (if you have one..)
  • If you have wood-burning, coal or gas heaters, make sure that you have adequate ventilation. 
  • Check with your energy supplier for further advice to help you prepare for winter. Click here to read about Saving energy
  • Check that your water stopcock is working properly. 
  • Have your electric blanket serviced – this should be done at least every three years. 
  • Make sure that your smoke alarm is working and install a carbon monoxide detector in case air vents become blocked. 
  • Make sure that you claim all the financial support you can to help with heating bills. Click here to find out about support organisations
  • Dress in plenty of layers and make sure that you have some warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles. 
  • Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather. Some councils provide free bags of the mix.
  • Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house. 
  • Your pharmacist can make suggestions and can also advise you on how to manage minor illnesses. 
  • Follow up your GP’s invitation to have a flu jab. 
  • Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast. 
  • Ask your local pharmacy if they offer a prescription pick-up and delivery service – this could be helpful if you can’t leave your home. 
  • Keep basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it’s too cold to go shopping. 
  • Eat healthily and keep as active as possible. 
  • If you smoke, think seriously about trying to stop.

  • If you are renting your home contact the Energy Saving Trust for a template letter to send to your landlord encouraging them to take advantage of the many financial incentives they would receive for improving the energy efficiency of your home.

    Two useful guides to download: