What are the Disadvantages of Living in a Cold Home?

Nobody wants to wake up after a wonderful night’s sleep to a cold home that forces you to layer up before you go downstairs in the morning.

A cold house is good for no one, and it comes with many disadvantages for our health and well-being, particularly for those who are a little older and even young children.

What Causes Someone to Live in a Cold Home?

A cold home can be a product of many different factors. These unfortunate conditions may be caused by things like:

  • Fuel poverty & unaffordable energy bills
  • Poor insulation
  • Damp
  • Old inefficient heating systems

The Young and Old Generations

Age UK claimed back in 2018 that a cold home is a huge factor in two out of five older generation deaths that happen in the winter.

Excessive cold can cause major health problems such as heart attacks, stroke, and respiratory conditions.

Are infections more common in a cold home?

There also comes a risk of infection in a cold environment. Respiratory infections like the flu in both the old and young can be a problem due to cold temperatures drying out the mucus that normally defends the body to fend off viruses.

Talking about Britain’s cold homes, Professor Ian Sinha, Paediatric Lung Consultant of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool stated:

 “Babies in cold homes do not spend their calories on developing lung tissue, neural pathways, and other crucial physiological drivers of health – rather, they spend their calories trying not to die of hypothermia and hypoglycaemia.”

Damp and cold can also cause conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to develop.

Cardiovascular conditions due to a cold home

Cold conditions also have a huge negative impact on cardiovascular health. This is because fluctuations in blood pressure lead to serious problems like blood clotting and are the cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Hypothermia is also a major risk, causing delirium, vicious shivering, and even unconsciousness in old people and children.

Mental Health in the Cold

Not only does a cold home have serious impacts on physical health but mental health can also be worsened.

Does a cold home impact depression?

Moisture is an unavoidable occurrence in our homes, but it can be worse for some, causing condensation and can lead to massive problems, especially in old properties, such as damp and cold.

This can lead to depression, anxiety, and other serious mental health issues.

These problems can come from stress caused by living circumstances, physical discomfort, and anxieties caused by unaffordable energy prices (a factor that may cause a cold home.)

How Can You Keep Your Home Warm?

There are many quick and easy fixes to keep your home warm, you can also do these yourself:

  • Seal any gaps in windows and doors to prevent drafts.
  • Fix any holes in walls with a multi-purpose filler to stop cold air from getting in.
  • Buy draft excluders for exterior doors.
  • Ensure seals around windows are in good condition, if not re-seal them.

If the problem is too big, you may want to consider home upgrades that can keep you and your house warm.

ECO4 & Route 3: Medical Referrals

People living in cold homes who are suffering from a long-term severe illness could be eligible for home energy upgrades made to their homes.

The consumer’s local authority is responsible for providing a declaration that states it has received a referral from either a GP, National Health Board, or an NHS Trust.

The referral needs to be made by an applicable healthcare professional.

What home upgrades can you get with ECO4?

As part of the ECO4 scheme, eligible homes can receive solar panels, air source heat pumps and insulation for free.

This is a whole home scheme so properties will receive all suitable upgrades to improve the general energy performance.


An upgrade to your overall home insulation will greatly improve the warmth of your home, preventing heat from escaping from walls and through your roof. This will also cut your energy bill thanks to a reduced need to heat your home more often.

Heating System Upgrade

If your current heating system is old, it is likely inefficient and not powerful enough to warm your home. A new renewable heating system, such as an air source heat pump or hybrid heating system, will significantly improve this.

Solar Panels

Using an abundant energy source from the sun, solar panels will save you money by generating your electricity which in turn runs your heat pump, which then in turn heats your home.

Don’t Suffer Alone in the Cold, Help is Out There

It is easy to feel alone in life when situations and circumstances are crucial. Living in a cold home will greatly impact your physical and mental health as well as degrading existing conditions.

It is important to seek the help you need, whether it’s through talking to someone or taking the appropriate steps to acquire home energy upgrades through the ECO4 scheme.

A patient referral under ECO4 Route 3 may be the best avenue to explore if you are living with a health condition impacted by a low-temperature environment.

Speak to people, family, or friends

Speak to people closest to you for the help you need, it could be the first step in changing your situation.

There are also many charities out there that welcome people with open arms:

Age UK | The UK’s leading charity helping every older person who needs us

National Energy Foundation (nef.org.uk)

About National Energy Action (NEA)

Applying for ECO4

To make it easy for you, applying for ECO4 with Energy Advice Helpline is a piece of cake!

The whole process is broken up into 5 easy steps:

To see if you are eligible for ECO4, use our simple form below and we will be in contact following a successful application:

Can Living in a Cold Home Affect Your Mental Health? - Energy Advice Helpline May 25, 2024

[…] are multiple ways we can quickly warm our homes that don’t break the bank and can be easily done ourselves.  Government-backed energy […]

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