Closing windows and using wood burning stoves to save energy ‘increase health risk’

Britons face health risks by taking steps to reduce energy usage, a leading expert has warned

As the cost of living crisis continues to hit families across the UK, a health expert has warned Britons to protect their health as they take steps to reduce their energy bills.

Switching the heating off and shutting windows to reduce energy usage and keep homes warmer could make people more vulnerable to health risks, Cath Noakes, professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings at the University of Leeds, has said.

Professor Noakes stressed that there is a “massive conundrum” where people are taking steps to reduce their energy consumption.

This move could reduce ventilation and add new pollutants to the indoor air by burning wood or cooking.

Professor Noakes, one of the advisers on the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) during the Covid-19 pandemic, told the PA news agency: “I have a real concern that some of the things people are doing actually have a compounding effect.

“So if you are at home, for example, and you don’t turn the heating on and you keep the window shut, not only have you reduced ventilation, but you’ve also created a condition where you might get more damp and mould, which has a knock-on effect of impacting your health.”

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