Rural communities face particularly challenges in keeping our homes warm at this time of year. Many homes are off the gas grid and as such are forced to use more expensive forms of heating such as oil, LPG or electric systems. Properties may face restrictions in conservation areas which prevent double glazing, modern boilers and insulation. Solid walls are also often hard to treat. Heat escapes more easily from uninsulated or poorly insulated homes, meaning that you have to pay more to keep warm.
Cold, damp conditions can affect your health
For those who struggle to pay the bills, cold, damp homes can cause or aggravate heart and respiratory conditions. Mobility can be affected, leading to an increase in falls. Hospital discharge and recovery times can be affected and this puts a strain on wider health and social care services. VeriSmart Heating, retailer of ceramic electric radiators, is a member of national fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) and we are supporting their Warm Homes Campaign. Here is our 4 step guide to keep you warm + prevent damp this winter.
- Reduce moisture production
Condensation is produced by everyday activities in the home. Two people sleeping for 8 hours can produce 0.5 litres of moisture and drying clothes in the house can produce 3-7.5 litres.If moisture cannot escape it leads to damp and mould.
- Keep kitchen/ bathroom doors closed
- Put lids on pans
- Don’t dry clothes on radiators.
2. Increase ventilation
This allows the moisture that we produce to escape.
- Never obstruct air bricks or vents
- Use extractor fans
- Use trickle vents
- Allow steam to escape by opening windows for 20 mins
3. Reduce cold surfaces
When warm, moist air hits a cold surfaces, it condenses back to liquid form. If you see water running down your windows you need to act.
- Install loft/ wall insulation
- Try insulating wallpaper
- Where possible use A rated double or triple glazing
- If that’s not possible use DIY glazing film and draught proofing.
4. Maintain adequate room temperatures
The recommended temperature is 20 degrees for a living room and 18 degrees for a bedroom. Reducing heat loss through insulating and draught proofing will keep your home warmer for longer.
- 35% of heat is lost through the walls. Use cavity wall or solid wall insulation.
- 25% is lost through the roof. Roof insulation can be a DIY job if you are fit and handy.
- 15% of heat is lost through draughts. Ensure doors and letterboxes fit well. Use draught proofing tape as an emergency measure.
- Fit keyhole covers or cover with sticky tape.
- Use a draught excluder behind the door.
- 15 % of heat is lost through the floor. Use suitable underlay.
- Always use heating controls and programmes to ensure the correct room temperature and make sure you are not wasting heat.
- Ensure that shelves or sofas are not blocking radiators. This will prevent them working effectively.
If you need any further help and advice please visit http://www.nea.org.uk/ or give our office a call.