ARE you going on a short break or two-week holiday?

Whichever it is, if you are planning to be away from home for a few days or more, the Heating Helpline offers advice for holidaymakers.

- For a winter or spring get-away when we can still experience a severe cold snap it’s best to keep your heating on low – around 10º C / 50º F.

- If you haven’t already got one, consider having a programmable thermostat (right) fitted – these give you complete control over your heating.

- They usually have a holiday setting – this means your heating can come back on to normal setting the day before you come home so you don't return to a cold house.

- Insulate pipes with preformed insulation.

- Replace washers on dripping taps because if the taps freeze the pipe will become blocked.

- Find out where your water valves are and how to turn them off in case a pipe should burst.

- Leave the loft door open to let the heat from downstairs circulate.

The Heating Helpline provides consumers with free advice on every aspect of home heating, you can contact the body on 0800 840 4069 or visit www.heatinghelpline.