WARNING: By sealing up your house and following some / all of these techniques you increase your likelihood of Carbon Monoxide Poising, all homes should have at least 1 carbon monoxide detector.
Also be extremely careful of moisture buildup from things like ‘hot baths’ etc as these can cause illness/damage
1) Wrap up warm
It sounds so obvious but we still see people walking around in t-shirts and thin jackets moaning how cold it is, we find it difficult to stop ourselves from having ‘the chat’ with them!
- Thermal Socks
- Thermal underwear
- Thick Dressing Gown
- A thermal hat in bed is ideal for anyone with not much hair
- Extra bedding like a 13.5 tog duvet on top
2) Seal those holes/draughts/gaps/keyholes
- Seal windows with silicone or holes in the walls with Caulk
- Fit a letterbox with brushes from eBay, fit a keyhole cover and possibly fit door edge draught excluders
- Double glazing is great to help with heat loss, however, if you can’t afford it then look at doing a DIY job using special thermal film
- Buy multiple door draught excluders or better still make your own door draught excluder from an old piece of fabric / jumper
- Got a chimney? Most likely it won’t be being used the whole time, so look at buying a chimney balloon or permanently getting it sealed up
3) Shut those curtains early & shut any doors that lead to unused rooms
Thick curtains or even thermal curtains from eBay are ideal to keep heat in and the cold out, they cost more to buy however long term they will save you a lot of heating waste. If you don’t want to spend the extra on thick curtains you can make them yourself by adding thermal fleece to the back of your curtains or for added heat protection use a PVC shower curtain. Remember curtains don’t just have to ‘protect’ windows, you can also cover doors. Important: Make sure you open them up during the day to allow the sun to penetrate and warm the room up!
Making a ‘tent’ over your bed can keep in warmth as well, make sure fresh air can enter as well.
4) Release the heat! Oven + Radiators!
Keep the oven door open after you’ve turned it off – it might only add a few minutes of heat but surely it’s better than it being wasted?
Move furniture away from radiators, one side of a sofa could be absorbing as much as 50% of a radiators heat! For added reflection of heat + to stop a radiator from just warming up your walls use a radiator reflector. Adding a shelf (not too close) above a radiator can also ‘aim’ heat towards those in the room, especially useful for tall rooms.
10% of heat loss comes from floors, get yourself a rug from eBay or even carpets to keep the heat in the room + they will keep your feet warm
5) A good old fashioned hot water bottle or thermal heating pads or electric blankets
A hot water bottle has been a favourite for centuries however Microwave Hotties from eBay do a similar job + no risk of scolding hot water everywhere.
Electric thermal heating pads are ideal if you just need to heat up certain areas of your body cost effectively or electric blankets just remember to put them on a timer or you risk overheating or worse!
Your energy provider should be able to also offer you free energy saving guides or support similar to the Government Grants
If you don’t qualify for a grant then it’s still very important to get your house properly insulated, it might seem a daunting task but it can save you hundreds over the years! Three rolls of 8in insulation should be enough for most homes just remember to buy a face mask and goggles if installing it yourself!
Remember to seal your loft door with draught excluders as well
7) Light a candle (or three), just be careful for the obvious reasons
The famous Yankee Candles from eBay are great as they smell soooo good and seem to last forever however you can buy cheaper alternatives from places like Home Bargains etc, just check the burn times!
8) Netflix and Chill…/ Cuddling / Exercise / dancing, all will keep you warm
20 minutes of vigorous activity (if you can last that long) will warm you up and keep you warm for a good amount of time afterwards + a healthy body will be able to cope with the cold better.
Yoga is another example of how you can keep warm, if you think you’re cold, you’ll tense up and start to shiver, but if you actively concentrate on changing your perception of that same feeling you’re experiencing, you’ll begin to relax and gain control over your body (sounds ridiculous but supposedly it works…)
Have a little dance with yourself or your house mates etc, it will raise your temperature.
9) Go elsewhere, library, friends house, events etc
Let someone else pay to keep you warm. Volunteer your spare time to a local cause or just go and meet a mate to warm up somewhere.
10) Have everyone around yours to watch a film, extra body warmth will soon help heat your house
The only problem with this is you will be expected to supply drinks/food etc so why not organise a cheap night in, examples:
- a lucky dip dinner – Ask everyone to bring a dish to share, you do the same or supply the alcohol etc and you’ve got a cheap night
- a book reading / film review club where everyone comes around to your house
- a beauty / pamper night in, where everyone brings over their favourite beauty products
- a gaming evening could be your PS4 console or just a good old game of Monopoly, organise it for 8-9pm and most people will have already eaten
- a TV night – tell everyone to bring snacks/drinks whilst you watch your favourite sports, film etc etc
- Hilarious fitness video session
- Clothes swap parties – everyone brings 3-5 items they don’t wear anymore, you all exchange items
11) Contact your MP to push them to force change and campaign for fairer pricing or vote them out
- Writing to your MP may feel like a waste of your time but if we all did it, change may happen quicker.