As temperatures plummet and we battle a cold snap, we're all looking to stay warm in winter. And it’s all too easy to reach for the thermostat and crank up the heating.
But there are other alternatives to staying warm – and they don’t all include rising gas and electricity bills.
Read on to get some inspiration!
Close the curtains!
When it starts to get dark, close the curtains (or your blinds/shutters) as it makes a huge difference to the temperature of the room.
If you are going to be staying in one room for the night – maybe to watch the telly – then close the door as well as the room will heat up much quicker.
Wearing more than one layer of clothes will go a long way to helping you stay warm in winter.
Wearing layers traps air, providing natural insulation for you to stay warm.
Three layers is a good place to start – a vest followed by a plain long-sleeved top and then a t-shirt on top of that should do the trick.
There’ll be lots of little crevices that will be letting in cool air as you desperately try to warm your home. So it’s a good idea to hunt these out to prevent heat loss.
Walk around the house and look for ways that you can draught-proof your home.
Common culprits for letting in the wind are uncovered keyholes in doors, under doors, cat-flaps and letter boxes.
Radiate some warmth
Spend a morning bleeding all the radiators in your home. You’ll know if it needs bleeding if it’s cold at the top and warm at the bottom – or vice versa.
If you can, it’s worth investing in radiator reflectors. They save you money by reducing heat loss by up to 45% and they take just a few minutes to fit. They’re also relatively cheap to purchase.
Another top tip for radiators is not to dry clothes on them! If you do, it will prevent the warm air from circulating and you could send up with a mould problem if you continue to do so.
Keep it constant
Try to keep the temperature of your home constant if you can rather than moving the thermostat up and down throughout the day.
According to research, for every degree of temperature above 20°C, heating costs rise between 6%-7%.
If you can get the temperature down to a constant 18°C – even better.
A lotta bottle
When you feel a little chilly, put on an extra later and then make yourself a hot water bottle. And while the kettle’s on, pour yourself a cuppa too.
There’s nothing nicer than curling up with your favourite book or magazine, a cuppa and a hot water bottle and feeling snug (and smug!)
There are some really nice hot water bottle designs out there – how about this fluffy number for starters?
Do the chores!
If there’s any part of you that enjoys cleaning, tidying up, ironing or general housework, then knock yourself out!
You’ll be busy rushing around getting the chores done that you’ll hardly notice the chill.
And by the time you’ve finished, you might even have worked up a bit of a sweat. It’s a win-win – burn off some calories AND warm up.
If you’re feeling even more adventurous, then take yourself off for a brisk 30-minute walk.
There are plenty of other ways of keeping your home warm – from snuggling under blankets to covering water tanks and pipes – and even insulating your loft.
But staying warm in winter needn’t cost the earth – you just need to get creative and use your imagination.
And just remember – 20th March (when spring starts this year) isn’t a million miles away, so keep your chin up, focus on staying warm and don't lose your hat or scarf – for now anyway.
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