Dare we say it, the nights are drawing in and many of us will be cranking up the heating in response! Did you know, the average dual-fuel variable tariff as of April 2019 is £104.50 per month, or £1,254 a year?
During the winter months, parts of the UK get awfully cold and it can be tricky to stay warm without turning the heating up to maximum levels. If you’re becoming concerned about the rising cost of heating your home and want to mitigate extra expense, try one of these others ways to warm up.
Here’s what you need to know about staying warm at home:
At risk of sounding like our mothers here, we were told as children was to put another layer on! Layers insulate your body and make it easier to regulate your body temperature by adding or removing layers. Alternatively, invest in one of the 21st century’s most exciting inventions: the ‘slanket’ or a onesie. The slanket is a blanket with sleeves, so you can have all the warmth of being under a blanket, but your hands are still free for mandatory snacking and channel-hopping. A onesie makes you feel like you’re being cuddled all over, too!
Lots of our body heat escapes through our feet, and keeping your feet warm will make your whole body feel warmer. Slip on thick socks, and slippers too, if you’re really chilly!
It’s all well and good dressing you up for cold weather, but it’s all for naught if your home is allowing lots of heat to escape. For starters, ensure furniture is free of obstructions. If they’re covered with furniture, warm air won’t reach you. Closing doors turns empty rooms into barriers between you and the chilly outdoors, so close them (except the kitchen door – which spreads the heat of cooking). If you have ceiling fans, reverse them. If they’re turning at low speed in a clockwise direction, they’ll push the warm air back down to the ground.
A draught excluder is a sound investment and will stop icy draughts from making you even colder, as will a lovely new rug. Rugs will help prevent losing heat through the floor, and are pretty cheap to buy. Fabric on the floor creates the illusion of more warmth than tiles or laminate, too.
Maintain the habit of opening curtains when the sun is up to warm the room, but close them at night when heat can escape.
Rather than using the microwave to heat food quickly, use the stove and oven more often. They both warm the home. If you spend some time baking, leave the oven open afterwards and allow the heat from it to spread through the house.
As far as what to prepare to warm you up, we recommend buckets and buckets of hot tea and cocoa. Soups are really warming, and we’re getting into the perfect time of year for stews and casseroles which are really easy to make. If you have a slow cooker, that can warm the kitchen all day, too.
We’re taught it repeatedly in school – hot air rises. If you establish a camp upstairs, you’ll feel warmer than you would in your usual spot. We actually love bringing the telly upstairs for a bedroom cinema every now and again, complete with snacks! on the second floor of your home—if you have one—to take advantage of that warmer air. Light a few candles too – they only generate minimal heat alone, but the ambience they create will make you feel cosy.
Much as we’d like to advocate vegetating until March to soothe our own guilt, it wouldn’t be very responsible! In addition to bundling up, get more active – work out! If you keep yourself moving, you generate more body heat. You needn’t create a complex workout routine requiring loads of gear – a dance around in your pyjamas will do the trick!
Okay, we’re only half-joking. If you’ve got financially stable buddies that aren’t burdened by trivial things like extortionate gas bills, find an excuse to visit them next time you’re freezing!
Unfortunately, there’s little we can do to stem the rapidly decreasing temperatures, but by following some of these tips, hopefully you won’t be trembling quite so much, and less financially strapped!