Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature

It is important to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

In winter months, keeping your home warm can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems. For older people in particular, exposure to very cold temperatures can be dangerous.

In summer, cooling your home can prevent heat exhaustion which can be extremely serious for vulnerable people including older people and young children. It can also worsen existing health conditions.

There are some simple things you can do to help maintain a comfortable temperature with some steps you can take before the weather gets cold in winter or hot in summer.

Keeping your home warm

  • set your heating to the NHS recommended temperature of 18°C or 65°F if you can. If you can’t heat your whole home due to costs or lack of heating, keep your main living spaces such as your living room and bedroom warm
  • keep the heat in by closing your curtains and tucking them behind radiators (but not other heaters as this may pose a fire risk)
  • have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day and keep active to help your body stay warm
  • wear several layers of clothing instead of one thick layer to keep you warmer
  • if you have an electric blanket, get it tested every year, replace it every 10 years and check for danger signs such as frayed fabric and scorch marks
  • check your insulation and draft proof your home wherever you can feel cold spots. Our partner Warm and Well has grant funding available to help with this and other energy efficient measures. Speak to an Energy Advisor on 0800 500 3076, where you can also arrange a free home visit to look at specific ways you can save energy at home
  • check if you are eligible for one of our radiator packs to help prevent heat loss. These are prioritised for older people and people with certain health conditions or on disability benefits. Visit one of our One Stop Shops or call us on 01454 868009
  • if you are struggling to keep your home warm, you can visit a Community Welcome Space which will always offer a friendly welcome and in winter months will provide a warm space and a free hot drink. Search one near you on our community welcome spaces page


The website GOV.UK provides advice on keeping warm and well

For help with the cost of heating your home visit

Keeping your home cool

  • make sure your heating can be turned off and your windows can be opened
  • use shades or shutters to keep the sun out
  • use the coolest part of the house during the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm)
  • keep windows closed during the day and open at night if safe to do so to help air flow
  • drink plenty of fluids and rest if you are feeling the effects of the heat
  • check the temperature of rooms, especially where people at higher risk live and sleep. Electric fans can help if the temperature is below 35 degrees
  • it may be cooler outside in the shade or you can visit one of our Community Welcome Spaces which will be kept cool in the summer
  • from June 2023, you will be able to collect a free cool pack from any South Gloucestershire library, children's centre or one of our One Stop Shops in Kingswood, Patchway or Yate if you are struggling with the heat and the cost of keeping your home cool. These will include fans, cooler bags and sun tan lotion and are available without proof of eligibility for adults, children and older people.

The NHS has information on the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and what to do