Tips to help heat your home

Use these handy tips to keep your home as warm and comfortable as possible whilst being as cost effective as possible.

  • Keep your radiators clear. Do not hang washings on the radiators and avoid putting furniture up against them. Drying your clothes on the radiator can make your house colder and can also encourage condensation and mould. When it is too cold to hang washings outside, clothes should be dried on a clothes stand.
  • Your room thermostat should be set to the lowest comfortable temperature, which is usually between 18°C and 21°C. Turning down the room thermostat by one degree can save up to £75 a year.
  • Using heavier curtains during the winter months, and closing them when it gets dark, helps to keep the heat in and the cold out.
  • Compare energy tariffs and deals to help you make sure you are getting the best gas or electricity tariff for what you are using. Please contact the Association’s Income Maximisation Officers who will assist you with this.

You can also watch a video from the Energy Savings Trust for further information – This video is also available to view via the Association’s website:

Condensation and dampness problems

Problems of dampness in a home are often caused by condensation. Condensation happens when the air gets colder, and it cannot hold all the moisture. Tiny drops of water then appear. If this is allowed to happen on a regular basis, black or green mould can form on walls and furniture, while on clothes and other fabrics mildew appears.

Tips to avoid condensation

  • Produce less moisture
  • Cover boiling pans and open a window if you are cooking
  • Do not allow steam from cooking to enter other rooms in the house
  • Dry your clothes outside when possible, or in the bathroom with the door closed and window open. This enables air to circulate more freely.
  • Use mechanical extractor fans where feasible
    If you use a tumble drier, make sure it is vented to the outside wall unless it is a self-condensing drier
  • Wipe up water lying on window sills every morning
  • Open a small window (or the door where appropriate) when you are using a room
  • Open windows in your kitchen and bathroom when you are cooking and washing and use the extractor fan where feasible
  • Close the kitchen and bathroom doors when these rooms are in use to stop moisture reaching other rooms
  • Keep air vents unblocked as these vents are fitted to reduce condensation
  • Always keep window trickle vents open where they are fitted
  • Do not overpack your wardrobe
    Open your wardrobe doors occasionally or cut breather holes in the backs of wardrobes or cupboards
  • Leave space between wardrobe backs and walls
    Position furniture against internal walls as much as possible

The above tips on reducing condensation will also help you to heat your home better too. During wintry weather, ensure there is background heat throughout the day and make sure you do not over ventilate.

Cleaning mould growth

If you do experience mould growth on walls, it can be cleaned with a fungicidal wash solution (do not use bleach products). Look out for one which carries a Health & Safety Executive “approval number,” available from DIY stores or good paint decorators’ shops. Once treated with this solution, walls can be painted with a good quality fungicidal paint.

If in doubt, whether the problem relates to condensation or dampness, please contact the Association’s Maintenance Team without delay.