Is your home ready for winter?

We may not have seen a lot of it yet, but cold weather is almost certainly on the way in the coming months.

When outside temperatures drop, the risk of something going wrong in your home increases. Winter is always the busiest period for home repairs, but some of the most common issues are avoidable.

Here are our top tips for getting your home ready for winter.

Test your heating – before you need it

If you haven’t used your heating recently, how do you know it’s working properly?

Testing your heating early provides peace of mind that you’ll have warmth on tap when you need it. If something isn’t working as it should, there is still time to book a repair.

Remember the My Onward self-service portal is the easiest way to report a new routine repair, track the progress of your repair and access lots of other useful information.

If your repair is an emergency, like a total loss of heating or hot water in winter, please call us on 0300 555 0600.

Dealing with water leaks in your home

Water pipes are at risk of freezing when the outside temperature drops below zero. Frozen pipes can cause cracks that may lead to water leaks inside or outside your home.

If your pipes do burst and leak, the first thing you’ll need to do is shut off the stop tap, so it’s worth knowing where to find it in an emergency. Your stop tap location will depend on the type of home you live in, but it’s normally found under your kitchen sink.

Once you’ve turned off your stop tap, make sure you collect any water leaking from your ceiling in a bucket. Switch off your central heating and don’t touch any wiring that might have been affected.

Call us on 0300 555 0600 and we’ll send someone out to fix it. After the leak has been fixed, make sure fresh air can reach the affected rooms by keeping interior doors and windows open.

Be careful not to overheat any water-damaged rooms, as this could cause further damage. If you notice any damp and mould in your home, please get in touch with us straight away.

Find out more about the causes of damp and mould, how to report it and what happens next, here.

Get help with the cost of living

We know that some of our customers will need extra support to help manage their money at this time of year. Onward is here to help, providing free advice and access to emergency support.

Please visit our website for more information, contact our Financial Inclusion Team for free and confidential advice on 0300 555 0600 or email

Onward and its local partners will also be running a series of community events over the coming months, offering a warm place to meet and get advice on keeping well this season. Details of winter events in Beechwood and Kirkdale are online here.

Keep an eye on the news section of the Onward website to find out what’s on in your area.