Fuel poverty is often thought of as a financial problem, but it is also poses several health and wellbeing issues for an affected tenant. Whilst researchers, medical experts and politicians acknowledge the serious health implications of an inadequately heated home, action is often delayed or dismissed entirely. The truth is that everybody has a right to warmth this winter - and with the cold now creeping in, it just became a high priority. 

 

The effects of cold on health and wellbeing

There were an estimated 43,900 excess deaths in England and Wales during winter 2014/15, most of which involved people over 75. However, studies show that it isn’t just the elderly that fall victim to cold weather each year. Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal there were 110 more deaths among children in winter than at any other point that year.

Evaluations undertaken by both ‘Warm Front’ and ‘the Scottish CHP’ indicated that residents with bedroom temperatures at 21°C are 50% less likely to suffer depression and anxiety than those with temperatures of 15°C.

According to the NHS, keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

According to the NHS, keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

Joe Bradbury HA Joe Bradbury Assistant Editor of Housing Association Magazine

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Warm Home The truth is that everybody has a right to warmth this winter - and with the cold now creeping in, it just became a high priority.

How heat pumps can help

Heat pumps are one such technology that can immediately help alleviate fuel poverty. By extracting renewable energy from outdoor air, the system maximises the energy provided to the household and can offer a reduction in run costs; studies suggest by up to as much as 10% of the UK national average.

Heat pumps are best suited to more continuous running; as such they provide a more constant level of comfort for vulnerable residents throughout the year. Heat pumps can also allow tenants to heat all of their homes cost effectively, rather than just one or two rooms, which is great for health and wellbeing and better for the property also. 

In an interview with Mitsubishi Electric, which can be found on the customer testimonials section of the website, a tenant from the Isle of Wight explains first-hand how heat pump technology has changed her life for the better. As a sufferer of Raynaud syndrome, she knows all-to-well the painful side effects of living in a cold home. 

She says “this should have been brought in years ago. It's absolutely perfect. My health has improved now dramatically with being warm. Since we moved in here over a year and a half ago it’s the first three weeks of being warm, and my Raynaud’s is more or less ceasing, which is just fantastic!”

Customer Testimonial - Tenants, Isle of Wight In an interview with Mitsubishi Electric, which can be found on the customer testimonials section of the website, a tenant from the Isle of Wight explains first-hand how heat pump technology has changed her life for the better.

Joe Bradbury is Assistant Editor of Housing Association Magazine.

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