Preparing your home to combat the harsher winter weather can not only prevent loss of heating or other plumbing issues, but also to help save on your bills.

We have created a list of tips to keep your home safe and warm:

  • Turn on the heating via the room thermostat and the time clock.  In normal operational conditions the Room thermostat should be set between 18 to 21 degrees.


  • Check that all your radiators get hot to the top (if not, it might mean that they need bleeding with a radiator key) 


  • Check the pressure gauge on the boiler is above 1 and not above 2


  • Check for any signs of distress, leaks, or damage


  • Turn off and make sure that it goes off.

Bleeding your radiators can make your home warmer and reduce the cost of your energy bills by removing air pockets.

  • Get a radiator key, insert it into the groove in the valve, usually located at the top of your radiator.


  • Using a tissue / cloth to protect your hand, slowly turn the key in an anti-clockwise direction, and listen for a hiss (this is the air escaping.)


  • When the hissing stops, turn the key clockwise again.


  • After this you will need to check the boiler pressure, and if you need to increase the pressure you can do this by filling valve / loop (to about 1 - 1.5 bar)

Please note: This should only be done if you feel confident and competent to do so. If you are unsure or in doubt please contact us. 

In freezing weather, if possible, keep your heating on low. If you go away for any length of time, turn off your water supply at the stop tap and open all the taps. This will prevent your pipes from freezing in the cold winter temperatures.

How to thaw frozen pipes

It's best to thaw out pipes slowly, with hot water bottles or towels soaked in hot water. Never use a boiling kettle, a naked flame or blowtorch to thaw the pipe – as direct heat may cause permanent damage to the pipes and could also lead to a fire in the home. 

Turn on nearby cold taps (keep the stop tap turned off) as this will relieve pressure on the frozen pipe.

What to do if you have a burst pipe

Sometimes pipes freezing and thawing can cause them to burst. If this happens:

  • Turn off the water supply coming into your property at the stop tap and switch off your boiler.
  • Open all your taps to drain the system as quickly as possible, saving some water in a bucket for flushing toilets and hand washing. When the water stops running, turn all the taps off.
  • Soak up escaping water with towels to limit the damage.
  • If water has leaked near your electrics, do not touch them and switch them off at the fuse box.
  • To report a an emergency repair call us on 0333 320 4555. To report a non-emergency repair, visit 

Preventing frozen pipes

  • Ensure all external supply pipes including outside garden taps are protected from the elements and are lagged.
  • Outbuildings such as sheds / garages which have white goods in ensure that these are well insulated.


Damp can cause damage to your home, damage to your furniture and clothes, as well as making some health problems worse.

There are three main causes of damp:

  • Condensation causes damp areas by soaking into absorbent surfaces like wallpaper and paint. These damp areas often generate mould, the most commonly reported issue in homes.

  • Common property defects from external fabrics to internal pipework can allow water or cold air to penetrate your home. Let us know if you have a leak or other defect in your home.

  • Rising damp is uncommon and is caused by water rising from the ground. Our homes have damp-proof materials that stop this from happening.

Dealing with condensation and mould

Cooking, running taps, and even breathing produces water vapour, when this meets cold surfaces it condenses into water droplets.

There are a number of ways to help stop the build-up of moisture in your home:

  • Use your home's ventilation system when showering of cooking (usually extractor fans in the bathroom and kitchen). If these are not in good working order, let us know

  • Make sure air bricks or vents are not blocked. If you think that your airbrick or vent is allowing in cold air, please contact us 

  • Shut internal doors when cooking, showering or washing up, also when using your heating system

  • Use lids on pans when cooking

  • Wipe down any condensation on your window using a tissue and dispose down your toilet

  • Dry clothes outside, or on a clothes horse in a well ventilated room if you can’t

  • Air rooms regularly, especially in the morning

  • Try to keep your home warm at a minimum of 16 degrees. At this time of high fuel costs we appreciate this is not so easy to do. Read about ways to cut your fuel bills

  • Check your radiators and ensure they are consistently warm from top to bottom. Bleeding your radiators can make your home warmer and reduce the cost of your energy bills by removing air pockets. Watch our video on keeping your radiators in tip top shape

Dealing with black mould and damp

If you have concerns about damp or mould, contact us by live chat or call us on 0333 320 4555. 

We have a dedicated team of damp experts who will attend your home to assess the affected areas and the property as a whole. 

Watch the energy saving trust's video on managing condensation



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Last reviewed: 13/12/22

Keeping your home well ventilated can help prevent damp and mould.

  • Open a window when cooking or running a tap or shower
  • Shut internal doors when cooking, showering or washing up
  • Air rooms regularly

If you have concerns about damp or mould, contact us by live chat or call us on 0333 320 4555.

For more information on damp and mould, click here.

Keeping your home warm in winter will help prevent condensation and mould. Where you can, try to allow warm air to circulate by leaving doors open. Insulate your home as much as possible. For more advice click here.

If you are struggling with, or worried about, the cost of gas and electricity, we have a range of support services who can help.

We would urge anyone who is struggling to pay their rent or other household bills, not to suffer in silence but to get in touch with us. We are here to provide support and assistance.

Call 0333 320 4555 or use our live chat on the website.

Get severe weather warnings and sign up to Met Office alerts, including text alerts or via Twitter. The Met office also provide advice on preparing yourself, home, and vehicles for all weather conditions.


You want to keep an eye out for a drop in water pressure or a possible increase in your water bill. This could be a sign of a leak in your pipework and this will need investigating. Look for leaking taps, hosepipes, washing areas and pressure washers - over the year the cost of leaks really can add up, so it pays to ensure your pipework is in order before the frosty weather arrives.

For out-of-hours emergency repairs, please call us on 0333 320 4555. 

Find out what an emergency repair is here.

You can report non-urgent out-of-hours repairs online or by email. 

What to do in an emergency or issues out of hours

For out-of-hours emergency repairs, please call us on 0333 320 4555. 

Find out what an emergency repair is here.

You can report non-urgent out-of-hours repairs online or by email. 

Find out what to do if you:

  • think you have a gas leak
  • have lost electricity or gas supply
  • are at risk of flooding or have an escape of water
  • have any other kind of emergency including repairs

 Find out more about what to do in an emergency here

The Priority Services Register is a free UK wide service which provides extra help to those that need it during power cuts or when there’s an interruption to your electricity, gas or water supply. Find more about how to prepare and what to do during a power cut.

It sounds obvious, but it is significantly easier to locate your fuse box, gas meter, or mains water supply tap in the light, than during a power cut. Take the time to learn where utilities in your house are and how they operate. These might need to be switched off during a flood event for example.


•   Keep curtains drawn and doors closed to block out draughts. Tuck your curtains behind the radiators to help keep heat inside.

•   Food helps to keep your body warm so have regular hot food and drinks.

•   Wear several layers of warm clothes to trap heat between the layers (instead of just one chunky layer)

•   Wearing a hat as well as a scarf around your neck and mouth can help protect you this winter. Breathing in cold air could increase your chance of chest infection and increase your blood pressure.

•   Keep moving if you can, as this will help keep you warm. Try not to sit for more than an hour, get up and walk around, make a hot drink and spread housework throughout the day.

•   If you’re sitting down, a shawl or blanket will provide a lot of warmth. Try to keep your feet propped up, as the air is cooler at ground level. Hot water bottles are also very good a keeping you warm, but please use a cover and place over a blanket on your knees.

•   Make sure your radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains.

•   Use a timer and heat your main living room to around 18 to 21ºC (64 to 70ºF) and the rest of the house to 16ºC (61ºF).

For more resources for support, check out the health and wellbeing list here: /

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