Ahhhh cold weather, how I miss you when you’re gone and loathe you when you’re here. I always moan about the summer as I find it so hard to dress when it’s hot outside, and can’t open my windows because of Kitty escaping when at home! I wish and wish for cold weather, but when it arrives I soon detest it. In my flat it’s heated with old fashioned storage heaters. Whoever thought they were a mint idea is an absolute moron, they basically heat up during the night when you’re in bed and release the heat ‘slowly’ during the day. By slowly it means engulfing your flat with heat first thing in the morning so you wake up in a furnace, then the heat is gone by the time you get home! It also means I have Economy 7 meters, where day time electric rates are sky high and after 12 at night the cost is literally pennies, this is also extremely woeful and after several tearful phone calls to N Power they still reckon they can’t change it for me… Anyway, I have found a few tricks for insulating the heat and making it feel warmer than it is of a evening though, so thought I’d do a quick blog post to share my (not so) secrets for keeping warm on a budget.
First up, you’re gonna want to make sure your landlord was kind enough to give you some nice double glazed windows and a proper door, which is sealed properly. If you have a uPVC door make sure that the plastic seal around the edges is still intact and not squished the wrong shape or perished in anyway. You’d be surprised how much heat leaks though your door even when you have another to your hall way blocking the draft. Also those brushy carpet things at the bottom of the door are great for stopping a draft creeping through and the heat creeping out. Same goes for your windows – if you’ve got single glazed windows in 2014 you miiiiight want to consider upgrading those, but once again just check the seals and make sure they’re closed properly and not on the latch. I also found some places I’ve lived in the windows have a vent on the top. One winter it took me hours to find where the breeze from the windows was coming from (it was a brand new build apartment!) and the vents were wide open letting heat escape. A draft excluder is the perfect compromise if you are getting a draft from the bottom of your doors, and I bought one from Primark last year, which was a lifesaver!
I also bought thicker curtains last year to try and keep heat in a little more, and already this year I am noticing a significant difference. Thicker curtains don’t even have to be that expensive, I picked up mine from Asda and they are such good quality with a lovely Joules style print and cost about £15. It’s also worthwhile picking up a shed load of chunky fleece blankets from Primark, they always have a nice range in at this time of year and they can range from as cheap as £3 up to around £20. I have an excellent array of blankets and when not in use during the summer I pop them over my ghastly storage heaters to cover them up when they’re off! I also invested in a dressing gown which has a hood on it. Having a onesie is all well and good, until you need to pee in the middle of the night and you feel like frosty the snowman when you have to pull it completely off to go, and the hood on my dressing gown is brilliant for keeping me toasty when I’m too tight to put the storage heaters on.
Surrounding yourself in fluffy blankets, cosy knits and Autumnal colours goes a long way to tricking yourself in to feeling warm as well. White, light colours are great for staying cool when it’s hot, but when you’re already cold they are the worsttttt. So be sure to THINK warm to try and be warm! Even a few candles can give that false feeling of warmth even though the heat that comes off them is minimal. A nice log fire scented one would trick your little brain a bit more in to feeling toasty too!
I’m sure there a million other tips and tricks for people to stay warm during winter, so feel free to share them in the comments below.