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Home > Resident services > I rent my home > My home > Keeping warm in winter

Keeping warm in winter

Feet warming by fireplace

Here’s a checklist of things that you can do to stay warm in your home this winter.

  • Make sure the heating is turned on. Your living room should be at 21°C and bedroom at 18°C
  • Wrap up well when going outside
  • Keep emergency phone numbers to hand
  • Keep windows closed but make sure to keep an eye out for condensation 
  • Call Soha immediately on 0800 014 15 45 (Freephone) if your heating breaks down

How to test your heating system

  • Switch your heating to 'constant' for 10 minutes.
  • Fully open any thermostatic radiator valves.
  • Make sure your room thermostat is set high.
  • Switch your hot water to 'constant' for 10 minutes.

If you find your radiators don't get warm or your water doesn't heat, call us immediately on 0800 014 15 45 (Freephone).

Keeping your home warm

Try to keep your home at a constant temperature, especially upstairs. If you are out during the day, try to keep it warm for your return. Feel your radiators –  if they are warm or hot, the system is working.

If your heating is not working properly please call Soha immediately on 0800 014 15 45 (Freephone).

Set your thermostat at around 21°C (70°F) and heat all the rooms you use in the day. 

If you can’t heat all your rooms make sure you keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed. 

Try to keep the temperature above 18°C (65°F) in your bedroom overnight. 

Set the timer on your heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed. 

In very cold weather, rather than turn the thermostat up, set the heating to come on earlier so you won’t be cold while you wait for your home to heat up. 

Going away

If you're going away, even just for one night and the weather is cold, turn off the water at the main stopcock and drain the system by turning on the taps.

Remember: although your building is insured by Soha, we don't insure your contents, so any damage to your personal possessions caused by a leak will not be covered. Insurance for contents including your carpets, furniture and all of your other possessions can and should be bought separately.

If you have frozen pipes

  • Check the main stopcock can be turned off when the pipes thaw in case of burst pipes and leaks
  • Turn off the main stopcock when you are not using the drinking water
  • Open the loft hatch if your water tank is in the roof – this will help it to thaw
  • Put on your fire if you have a solid fuel back fired boiler. This reduces the risk of damage
  • Switch off your immersion heater if you have one
  • Do not use hot water taps until the plumbing system has completely thawed. This will prevent damage to the hot water cylinder
  • Do not try to clear airlocks or get water back until the system is completely thawed, as tanks, pipes or overflows may still be frozen in the loft and you could flood your home

If you have burst pipes

  • Turn off the water at the main stopcock
  • Turn off back boilers and immersion heaters. Gas-fired back boiler can be used, but only as gas fires
  • Wrap cloth tightly around any leaks and phone 0800 014 15 45 (Freephone).
  • Turn off the electricity at the mains if water has touched the electrics and ask us to check them before switching them back on

What do I do if…

...I have a frozen overflow or my guttering is leaking? 

If you can, try pouring warm water over the frozen overflow. Hopefully this will be enough to thaw it out. Make sure that the heating is on and open the doors to let the warm air circulate. If the pipe is indoors, you could try using a hairdryer to thaw the pipes - but remember to take care when using electrical equipment near water!

If your gutter is leaking then we will repair it, but it won't be a high priority.

...I have no heating? 

If your heating isn't working please report it to Soha immediately on 0800 014 15 45 (Freephone)  and we'll aim to repair it within 24 hours. 

If your heating breaks down out of office hours or at the weekend please call our out of hours service immediately on 0800 014 15 45 (Freephone). Again we'll aim to repair it within 24 hours of you reporting the issue to us.

If the heating can’t be fixed during the initial visit, because for example specialist parts are required, you will be offered 2 plug in oil filled radiators to provide you with heat. If you require more than 2 oil filled radiators please phone our out of hours service and they will arrange for additional heaters to be delivered to you. 

If specialist parts are required to repair your heating/ hot water system they will be ordered the next working day and fitted as soon as they arrive.

...the seals on my doors and/or windows are letting in cold draughts? 

Please report this to Soha. Until we have repaired the seals, you could try using draught excluders along the bottom of doors. Closing your curtains will also help to prevent draughts and keep warmth in.

...I need some salt/grit for my path or for the road? 

Your local council will fill salt/grit bins at the start of the season. The bins are usually green or yellow and you may help yourself to what you need. In an emergency, dishwasher salt or cat litter works as well.

Contact Us


Soha Housing
Royal Scot House
99 Station Road
OX11 7NN


01235 515 900
0800 014 15 45

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