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Take care in cold weather

As the weather gets colder, it is important to protect yourself and your home to stay safe. Here is some practical advice to help you keep your home warm and working for you this winter.


Frozen condensate pipes

In winter, boilers are more likely to stop working because the condensate pipe outside your home has frozen.

Watch Darren from Celtic Horizons explain how to defrost the condensate pipe and switch a gas boiler back on.


Make sure you turn your heating on for short periods during the day and night to keep yourself warm. Between 18-21ºC is an ideal temperature.

Setting times for your heating to turn on and off will help with managing your energy bill.

Watch Martin and Darren from Celtic Horizons explain how to use your heating controls; how to bleed a radiator to get it to work effectively, and how to deal with a pressure drop on a boiler.

Prevent your pipes from freezing

As well as turning your heating on for regular short periods in cold weather, the following tips will help to prevent pipes in your home from freezing:

  • Don’t leave taps dripping or running as the water in waste pipes can freeze
  • Open the cupboard under the sink to ensure warm air can circulate round the piping
  • Cover your water pipes with a foam tube called lagging. It’s easy to fit with no tools needed, and is relatively cheap.


Reset your trip switch

If your electricity turns off, it may be because a switch has tripped. Watch Layarna explain how to reset your electric.

What to do if a pipe bursts

Should the worst happen, you need to know where your stopcock is (most are located under the kitchen sink).

If a pipe bursts:

  • Turn off the stopcock by turning it clockwise
  • Try to block the escaping water with thick cloths such as towels to stop the leak spreading
  • Turn off your heating and any other water heating systems
  • Once you have shut down your water heating, turn on all your taps to drain the system. Flushing your toilet several times may help.
  • If water leaks near anything electrical, switch off the mains electricity immediately. If the mains switch is wet, do not touch it.

Please let us know as soon as possible so the Celtic Horizons team can help.

Protect your home from storm damage

If stormy weather is on the way, take precautions at home to prevent damage:

  • Check your drains and gutters are clear of debris to prevent blockages
  • Cut back trees and branches to minimise the risk of falling branches
  • Secure loose fences
  • If it’s safe to do so, check that roof tiles and aerials are secure
  • In case of high winds, secure your garden furniture and ladder. If possible, lock them away in a shed or inside your house.
Keep up to date with local weather forecasts

Visit the Met Office website to check the weather forecast for your area, or tune into your local news programme.

Home contents insurance

We understand that with tight household budgeting, homes contents insurance may be a lesser priority, but it will help you to replace the contents of your home should the worst happen.

There are different types of home contents insurance schemes available and you can compare on price comparison sites.

One that is available is the My Home contents insurance scheme, specifically designed for housing association tenants and offering a cheap way of protecting yourself.

Help with your bills

Our Money Advice team helps United Welsh tenants to deal with any money problems they may be having, offering information and advice to help you make the most of your money.

If you are worried about paying your bills this winter the team can help, so please get in touch by clicking the blue webchat icon on the bottom right of the screen.


To book a repair, please call Celtic Horizons on 0330 159 6080 (press 1).

Visit our ‘How to’ films page to watch more tips for quick fixes around the home.