The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Keeping warm

Cold weather can affect your health. This page provides links and information about how to keep yourself well and your home warm during winter.

Keeping your home warm

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 (65F).

To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated to between 16C and 20C.

Draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts and get your heating system checked regularly by a qualified professional.

Help with heating costs

You may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.

The Energy Saving Trust has advice on how to reduce bills and make your home more energy efficient. They can also advise on grants and schemes available around the UK. Find out more online from the Energy Saving Trust.

Protect your health in the cold

If you start to feel unwell, even if it's a cough or cold, don't wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist.

Follow these tips on keeping well in the cold:

  • find out if you can get the flu jab for free on the NHS
  • wear several layers of clothes rather than 1 chunky layer – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat
  • use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but don't use both at the same time
  • have at least 1 hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm; and make sure you have hot drinks regularly
  • try not to sit still for more than an hour or so indoors – get up and stretch your legs
  • stay active – even moderate exercise can help keep you warm
  • wrap a scarf loosely around your mouth when outdoors – add a hat and wear shoes with a good grip, too
  • if you have a heart or respiratory problem, stay indoors during very cold weather

Look in on vulnerable neighbours and relatives

Check up on older neighbours and relatives, and those with heart or respiratory (breathing) problems, to make sure they are safe and well and warm enough, especially at night. It is also important to check that they have stocks of food and medicines so they don't need to go out during very cold weather. 

If you're worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact Leeds City Council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1174 (8am to 7pm every day).

If you're concerned that the person may be suffering from hypothermia, contact NHS 111.

Useful links

Keep Warm Keep Well - this booklet aims to help you maintain good health during winter and take advantage of the financial help and benefits available.

Be prepared - severe weather warnings can be found on the Met Office website.

Better Homes Leeds can provide you with a quote for a replacement boiler at a competitive rate. Visit the website or phone 0800 5971500 or 0113 8970977.  

Home Plus Service - if you need help saving money on energy bills visit the website or phone 0113 2406009.

Care & Repair is a charity that helps people in Leeds with home improvement work.