November is now upon us and winter can be an expensive time, but there are little things you can do to help keep costs low and yourself healthy during the cold weather.

The Keep Warm and Well in East Sussex website has lots of handy tips and advice. It recommends that you:

  • Heat your home to at least 18C as this minimises the risk to your health.
  • Try to keep your whole house warm, but heat the living room during the day and your bedroom just before you go to sleep if you can’t afford to heat all rooms.
  • Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer; this will trap the heat better to keep you warm.
  • Never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket, and have your electric blanket tested at least every three years.
  • Get your heating system and cooking appliances checked and keep your home well ventilated.
  • Do not use your gas cooker or oven to heat your home and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Older people are particularly susceptible to the cold weather, so check on frail or older neighbours and relatives, especially those living alone.

There are also simple changes you can make around the house to help keep the warmth in and save money:

  • Fit draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors.
  • Insulate your hot water cylinder (if you have one) and pipes.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk and tuck them behind radiators to help keep heat inside.

Being prepared for the cold weather by stocking up on tinned and frozen foods is also very important so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy. Sign up for coldAlert, a free service that notifies you before a period of extremely cold weather with messages to you phone, mobile or computer.

The East Sussex Warm Home Check service also offers trusted and impartial advice to anyone struggling to keep warm at home, as well as free Warm Home Check for those eligible. The service provides a range of advice including help with paying energy bills, switching energy supplier, claiming all the benefits to which you’re entitled, improving your heating or insulation and lots more general tips on keeping warm and well at home. For more information, and to see you if you qualify for a free Warm Home Check, visit the Keep Warm and Well website, text WARM to 81400, call 03444 111444 or drop in to any Citizens Advice office in East Sussex.