Can Living in a Cold Home Affect Your Mental Health?

Mental health is an everyday problem that millions of people across the planet are having to deal with and a cold home can make it much worse.

In the UK, when winter rolls in, mental health becomes even more pronounced impacting people who normally don’t suffer and worsening those who do.

Living in a cold home due to increasing energy bills and energy-efficient properties can all be major players in impacting our mental health.

Fuel Poverty and Our Mental Health

Fuel poverty is defined as having to spend 10% or more of a household’s income to warm their home to a comfortable level. Mental health worsening in the colder months can be traced back to this single problem.

Finding yourself in fuel poverty can be attributed to three factors:

  1. A home’s energy efficiency determines how much it costs to heat.
  2. The price of heating fuel.
  3. The total household income determines how much a 10% spend on heating would be. (The 10% of your household income you have to spend on heating your home.)

These factors can be linked to various mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Constant worry surrounding the ability to pay for energy bills, choosing to eat or heat, and even becoming self-isolated can be linked back to a cold home, ultimately thanks to high energy prices.

  • 9.6 million UK households are living in homes that are losing vital heat due to poor insulation and have incomes below the minimum required for an acceptable standard of living.
  • A cold home will double the risk of mental health conditions developing in adults.

Warming Your Home and Warming Your Mind

There are multiple ways we can quickly warm our homes that don’t break the bank and can be easily done ourselves.  Government-backed energy efficiency schemes can also help warm our homes on a much larger scale.

ECO4 Scheme

Understanding ECO4 and what it could offer you is the first step to making your property a warm and comfortable home to live in.

ECO4 is The Energy Company Obligation (ECO), a government energy efficiency scheme that is available across England, Scotland, and Wales. It is constructed to reduce fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.

If you earn less than a total household income of £31,000 you could be eligible for the scheme if not, there are various routes to be considered.

ECO4 Routes

There are a total of 4 routes in which consumers can be eligible for ECO4:

Summary

It is clear to see cold homes, a product of high energy costs, are a detrimental factor that impacts the mental health of many people.

We can take the steps necessary to warm our homes though, through various methods of DIY or applying for the ECO4 Scheme which you can do below with Energy Advice Helpline.

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