How To Keep Warm This Winter
As the days grow darker and a chill descends across the UK, thoughts turn to how to keep warm this winter when you are skint. Switching the central heating on whenever you feel like it has become a luxury in recent times – more than a million UK homes cannot afford to heat their house in winter.
Staying warm is incredibly important for your health and general well-being, especially when you have young children or elderly relatives. The statistics are harrowing when you see how many people are living in poverty and could become very ill in the upcoming cold winter months (it’s estimated that 15,000 people die over winter due to living in cold homes) – so I have put together some suggestions on how to keep yourself and your household warm this winter.
Please try and do all of the things on this list to ensure that your home is as warm as it can possibly be for you and your family. Even if you can afford to keep your heating on every day, these tips will helpfully still help you with keeping your energy bills down.
Check if you are eligible for discounts
There is the Warm House Discount Scheme, Cold Weather Payment or the Winter Fuel Payment. Click on the links and read through to see if you quality for them. If you do, make sure you apply sooner rather than later.
Also check if you are eligible for free loft insulation or cavity wall insulation, as there are some companies who do it for free – you just have to call them for an assessment. This is something that you must check, because insulation makes a huge difference to the warmth of your house (ours has top insulation and it retains the heat brilliantly).
You may also be eligible for a free boiler if you receive certain benefits, and again you just need to call them for an assessment – you don’t need to be a customer of the company either.
Keep Yourself Warm
Heat your body first – wear layers, especially if you have anything thermal. Wear jumpers, a dressing gown (does anyone else basically live in their dressing gown or is that just me?).
Our extremities get cold first so to keep them warm use thick socks, slippers, fingerless gloves, and you can get little heated pads to hold in your hands for cheap too.
Hot water bottles can be purchased for a small price from a wide variety of stores, and will keep you and your family warm whether you put them in your bed or on your lap whilst watching TV.
If you are feeling really cold, do some exercise around the house and it will warm you up straight away.
Keep a flask next to you with tea, coffee or my personal favourite hot chocolate in there to keep you warm throughout the day.
Stick to warming, hearty (and budget friendly) food such as soup or curries to warm you up on the inside. Check out Kelly over at Reduced Grub’s recipe for lentil soup here.
Keep The House Warm
Get thermal linings in your curtains. When heat makes its way out of the house, one area in which it escapes is through the curtains. Using thermal linings will reduce the amount of heat that escapes.
Keep an extra layer on your bed whether that be on top of the duvet or under the sheets. You will be toasty and warm in no time at all!
Put blankets on the backs of chairs and the sofa so that you can have insulation around you even when you’re sat on the sofa.
Turn the thermostat down by one degree for a potential saving of around £80-£85 a year.
If you have thin windows then you can insulate them with bubble wrap by simply spraying the window or door with water and pushing the bubble wrap onto it so that it will stick.
Make sure that the heat is not escaping through small gaps throughout the house. Check your front door in particular and use a draught excluder to prevent the heat from going out and the cold air from coming in. You don’t have to use a posh draught excluder – an old towel or dressing gown would do the job.
After cooking in the oven, leave the oven door open to allow the heat to travel through the room – but please make sure that there are no small children around if you do this.
If you do put the heating on, time it so that the heat is not wasted. So for example, turn it off half an hour before you go to bed rather than right before, as you will not feel the benefit once you are in bed (and you may even get too hot!).
Seal any unused rooms – close the doors and curtains to stop any cold from the room seeping into the rest of the house.