There are numerous ways to tackle the health impacts of living in a cold home. A sluggish boiler will fail to adequately heat up your home. Poor insulation will send warmth and money straight out through your walls and roof, leaving your home feeling cold and drafty. You could save up to £135* per year by having your loft insulated and £150* per year from cavity wall insulation.
One of the more serious consequences of a poorly insulated and heated home, is the effect it can have upon a person’s health. This can be more pronounced for vulnerable and fuel poor households. Especially the elderly and children. The latest winter deaths report reveals, around 17,000 people died in 2017/18, due to living in a cold home.
People who suffer from respiratory problems, such as asthma, may find their symptoms worsen if their home is cold. Damp and mould, in particular, can aggravate existing respiratory problems, or even contribute to them happening in the first place. Other people who have problems related to their joints, heart or kidneys, could increase their risk of having a heart attack, stroke, infection or inflammation from living in a cold home.
It’s not just physical health that is compromised when our homes are not warm enough. A cold home can impact on our mental health. It can be hard to focus on anything at home, if you constantly feel cold, which can make you depressed in the long term. Especially if the anxiety of not being able to pay your fuel bill is making the situation worse.
So profound are the health consequences of living in a cold home, that experts suggest it’s costing the NHS around £1.3 billion per year. In some parts of the country, doctors are not prescribing patients with pills to cure their ills, but new boilers or insulation. This boiler or insulation on prescription strategy, can have a positive health effects and reduce the cost to the NHS.
Getting a new boiler or having insulation installed may sound like a costly affair, but it actually may not be as expensive as you think. In some cases, you may qualify for free; loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and new boiler or a heating grant. Which could mean that you no longer need to put up with living in a cold home and compromising your health.
*Figures displayed on the Energy Saving Trust Website 18/10/2019.