Looking after the new items in your home
Here are some useful tips on how to use your new central heating system
Heating Timer Controls
Try setting your timer for about half an hour before you get up, to go off 20-30 minutes before you leave the house and the same when you come home.
Turning down your thermostat by one degree can save approximately £65 a year on your heating bills. The recommended healthy room temperature for your living room is 21 degrees, and 18 degrees for the rest of your home.
If every room doesn’t need to be the same temperature, start using the Thermostatic Radiator Valves (dials on the side of each radiator). You can set them high or low depending on how warm you want the room to be.
- Close internal doors and use draft excluders to keep the heat where you want it
- Close curtains at dusk and tuck them behind radiators
You can also find tips on how to avoid condensation by visiting the Bathroom section of these pages.
You can get more advice by calling our Customer Service Centre on 0345 111 0000 and asking to speak to your local Affordable Warmth Officer.
Here are some things you can do to keep your new bathroom safe and well looked after for longer.
Condensation & Mould
Condensation is the most common cause of damp-related problems reported to us at Riverside. It happens when moisture inside a property comes into contact with a colder surface, like a window or a wall.
The water drops can soak into wallpaper, paintwork and plasterwork and in time, black mould will start to grow on the surface.
Most homes will be affected by condensation and mould at some point, but there are certain things that can make it worse. Luckily, there are some easy ways you can prevent this:
- Avoid drying clothes indoors wherever possible. If you have to, dry them on a clothes maiden in the bathroom with the door closed and either the extractor fan on, or with a window open
- Close doors when in the bathroom to stop moisture reaching other parts of the property
- If you’re using trickle vents or windows, clear the window sills of clutter that restricts air movement
- Don’t overfill cupboards or block air vents that have been installed – this will restrict air movement
- In cold weather, low background heat rather than short bursts of high heat are better for preventing condensation. Fully working controls on radiators, room thermostats and using a timer will help control temperature
- Sweep or vacuum to remove loose dirt and dust
- Use clean mops and solutions to regularly clean your floor
- Mop the floor evenly and collect excess liquid in a mop bucket
- Rinse the floor with clean water and allow to dry
- Put down mats at entrances to pick up grit and moisture
- Use protective pads on furniture to avoid scratches
- Use protective cups under heavy furniture to prevent indentation
- If you have pets, regularly trim their claws as these can cause fine scratches
- Use gritty-type liquids or metal scouring pads
- Clean the floor with solvents, caustic detergent, washing-up liquids, soap powder, bleach, furniture polish, pine gels, stain removers or highly coloured products – these may make the floor slippery or cause permanent damage
- Drag furniture with unprotected feet across the floor
Here are some useful tips on how you can look after your new kitchen.
- Don’t put heat generating appliances under wall units or over worktop joints
- Wait until the dishwasher has finished and cooled before opening it. This prevents a build-up of steam, which can damage units and worktops
- Don’t leave oven doors unnecessarily
- Use the extractor fan when cooking on the hob, and make sure you change the filter regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions
Cooking and cleaning
- Wipe away spillages straight away and clean all units and surfaces regularly
- Use chopping boards and protective heat mats on work surfaces
- Avoid injuries by closing unit and appliance doors when they don’t need to be open
- Don’t overload shelves
For tips on how to look after your new vinyl flooring and guidance on how to avoid condensation and mould visit the Bathroom section of these pages.
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your External Wall Insulation (EWI).
- Get advice from us before doing any exterior maintenance or fixing anything to the external walls
- Let us know straight away about any damage or vandalism
- Use protective materials when you’re using ladders on the outside of the property
- Contact your local Riverside office to get approval before fitting satellite dishes or TV aerials etc.
- Don’t over paint the walls or use chemical solvents, cleaners, mould killers or anti-graffiti solutions
- Don’t attach lean-to’s, shelters, conservatories or heavy items without getting advice from us first
- Don’t train climbing plants up external walls – they will stain the finish
- Don’t subject the wall to severe impact or strain (i.e. from a vehicle) or high heat (i.e. from a blow torch)
- Don’t allow broken or leaking overflows, or any damaged areas go unreported – this will lead to discoloration, staining and mould growth, and will invalidate the warranties taken out on the EWI
- Don’t stand on the canopy
- Don’t try to install new features like patio doors, which require cutting into the EWI, paving, decking or anything that would come within six inches of the base of the wall
- Don’t try to remove any fittings or fixtures installed with the EWI.