Is your boiler or furnace broken? Or maybe you’ve turned down the temperature and are looking for ways to decrease your heating bill. Maybe you don’t have central heating?
I managed without central heating for a couple of years when I couldn’t afford to use my electric underfloor heating any longer. My electric bill had become ridiculously expensive. I’d had enough.
So the heating went off.
There were a few things I did at the time to help me keep warm while saving money. This included the obvious, such as piling on a lot of clothes and getting some room heaters in. But, looking back, there were several things that I missed out on. Had I known more about insulation and ways to keep heat in rather than out, I am sure I would have been warmer, and happier too!
So, if you are in that position now, and need some toasty advice. Here are 25 tips to get you feeling warm and cosy right now without having to spend a tonne of money.
First off, let’s look at some things you can do to conserve heat and stay warm.
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10 Tips for keeping warm whatever the temperature outside
Heating your home without central heating takes some effort. The last thing you want is to let your precious heat escape.
By reducing your energy consumption and keeping heat from escaping, you are also reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment.
Here are 9 tips to help your house retain heat.
1. Reduce drafts around the windows
Check your windows and doors and plug the gaps. You can buy special tape to put around windows and doors that do a good job keeping the drafts out. If you don’t have that, an old blanket will help to stop the cold from coming in.
2. Fit insulating curtain liners
You don’t need to buy new curtains simply hook in a thermal backing which you can buy to fit the size of your curtain. Our bedroom is the coldest room in the house and it made a big difference when we added this. Plus, it created a blackout effect, useful if you do shift work or wake up too early due to light coming in the room.
3. Fit glazing film on your windows
We put some reflective film on our windows a couple of summers ago to keep the heat out. It also has the effect of keeping the heat in during the winter.
If you have drafts escaping from the windows, then you will need this window insulation too.
It is easily installed, you just need to cut the correct size and stick it to the window frames. Then use a hairdryer to heat the plastic to help it shrink. You cannot see it when it’s in place.
4. Insulate drafty areas
Insulate as much as you can. Typical areas that need insulation are:
- Wall cavities
How to check for cold spots
When we went on an insulating spree on our drafty house, we found a thermal imaging camera extremely useful. It can reveal exactly where the worst heat loss is occurring, so you know the areas that need the most attention.
5. Get some draft excluders
If you don’t have the funds to buy insulation, a simple draft excluder can do a good job of keeping the wind out.
6. Use rugs
If you have hard flooring laying down rugs can make a big difference by keeping the cold in the floor plus they are much warmer to walk on.
7. Block your chimney
Chimneys can leech a lot of heat. If you aren’t using your fireplace you will need to stop the drafts flowing down into your room. A chimney balloon is easy to fit, by simply inflating it in your chimney stack.
8. Make the most of the sun
Make a habit of always opening curtains, especially in sunny rooms to let the sun’s rays hit the room and warm it up. Don’t forget to shut them later to keep the heat in.
9. Close off rooms
There is no need for heat in rooms you don’t use. Any rooms you don’t need can be shut off or even sealed with some insulation to stop drafts from escaping into the rooms you want to keep warm.
10. Keep warm your hands warm at work
If you work from home like I do, you might be wondering what you can do to keep your hands warm at the keyboard. Despite having a warm body, our extremities such as hands and feet can get cold.
My best tips for solving that are to wear some USB-heated gloves and switch your mouse to a heated version (yes you can get those!).
I have loads more tips in this post, How To Keep Your Hands Warm While Typing.
6 tips for dressing up warm
Keeping warm at home is not for the fashion-conscious. In pursuit of comfort, I am willing to wear whatever fits the bill for warmth!
1. Pull on some thermal underwear
As soon as the temperature drops my thermals come out! The problem is that I find them so comfy and warm it’s difficult to ever take them off. Warm tights are nice to have too because you don’t get any gaps appearing above your sock line.
2. Get some heated clothing
Yes, you can buy heated clothing! Charge up via USB and this heated gilet will keep you warm for hours.
3. Wear a hat
It is said that you lose the most heat through your head. If you need it, pull on a woolly hat.
4. Get a hot water bottle
Hot water bottles are a super cheap way to warm your bed before you get in. All you need is some hot water and they should stay warm for a couple of hours.
Check out these extra long hot water bottles which stay warm all night, and you can even wear them too!
5. Use an electric blanket
Electric blankets fit underneath your bottom sheet, and you can turn them on prior to hopping into bed.
6. Buy a warmer duvet or switch to a zero-temperature sleeping bag
Invest in a warmer duvet and a bigger duvet. Don’t feel you have to buy a duvet to fit your bed size. King-sized duvets work very well on smaller beds, and you can wrap yourself up in them.
If you don’t like gaps, why not go for a zero-degree sleeping bag which should keep you nice and warm, however cold your room gets.
How to heat your home without central heating
However, many heat-saving improvements you make, there are bound to be times in the year when you will need some extra heat. Here in the UK, it is cold from about October to as late as April. It seems like the heating is on for most of the year.
When you don’t have central heating, you are going to need one or more space heaters, depending on the size of your house.
It’s worth doing your homework when choosing a space heater. Not all heaters are created equal, some won’t be worth the investment due to the cost of running them.
Here is a run-down of the best options for space heaters.
1. Fan heater
Despite their size, I’ve found that electric fan heaters do a good job of heating a large area. They can be a little noisy compared to other types of heaters because of the fan.
2. Oil fired heater
Oil-fired heaters look more radiators. They use electricity to heat up the oil. The advantage of using oil is that it stays warm even after switching it off.
3. Infrared heater
Infrared heaters work like the sun. They heat objects in their path rather than the air around them. This means that even if you turn them off, the room can remain warm. Make sure the heater is not obstructed.
4. Halogen heaters
Halogen heaters contain halogen lamps that warm up to produce heat. These heaters produce heat almost instantly and are best for small areas. They are cheap to buy, safe, and easily installed.
5. Heated clothes airer
Not for heating the room, of course, but heated airers are a must when it’s cold outside and you don’t have a tumble dryer. They use a small amount of electricity and for that, your clothes can dry much faster, which reduces the time you have cold and wet items in your house.
6. Your fireplace
If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your house, then winter is the ideal time to get it in working order. Open fires need sweeping to stop them from catching fire, so do get yours checked out if you haven’t used it for a while.
Some more fun things to help you keep warm in the winter
1. Snuggle up
Snuggling up on the sofa with a blanket is my favorite thing to do on cold winter evenings. The trouble is that it never seems to completely cover all areas. When I saw these ‘slankets’ I just had to get one!
- How To Keep Your Feet Without Wearing Socks
- How To Keep Your Hands Warm While Typing
- How To Keep Cool At Night Without A Fan (or air conditioning)
2. Get a dog or do more exercise
Coming in from the cold after walking the dog or taking a brisk walk makes the house feel so much warmer when you arrive home. Since we got our dog, I have had no choice but to go out walking rain or shine! I always arrive home feeling warm and invigorated.
If you don’t have a dog, go out for a vigorous walk or run. If you can’t go out, there are tonnes of fitness channels. My favorite is Fitness Blender.
3. Cook more
Your oven is a great source of heat in the kitchen. When you are finished cooking, leave the door open to let the warmth out into the house.