Keep warm without putting the heating on: how to keep you and your house cosy without central heating
Simple solutions for staying cosy this winter without racking up the heating bills, from insulated curtains, hot water bottles, to the best theromstat
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We are loth to condescend to you, as the nation faces ever-escalating electricity and gas costs, by saying “put an extra jumper on” or, even worse - “trying buying a new kettle, it’ll save you £10 on your bills.”
But the distressing fact remains that Ofgem has announced typical household energy bills will skyrocket in October - with further climbs expected next year. Naturally, people are looking to cut their electricity bills however they can.
And as the temperatures are due to drop over the coming months, heating the household is one of the primary electricity or gas drains.
So, what can you do to limit your outgoings and remain toasty?
(Some of these you may rightly dismiss as common sense, but we’d like to be thorough).
Ensure your heating is on intermittently throughout the day, not on 24/7 - use your timer to keep it off when you’re in bed, so it switches on half an hour before the household rises.
Make sure you have well insulated curtains/or blinds.
Double glazing costs a small fortune, so it’s far more cost effective to change your blinds or curtains to reduce heat loss.
Switch any curtains with thin materials for thicker fabrics or ones made with thermal fibres.
Dunelm have an excellent range of thermal curtains that start from £35, while Wayfair offers Blackout Thermal curtains that start at £20.99.
Make sure the floor is covered, too
Remember how your mum always told you you lost heat through your head, as a means to encourage you to put a woolly hat on when you left the house? Well, houses lose an estimated 10% of their heat through their property’s floor.
If you want to curb that, making your house more energy efficient, cover any solid hardwood floors with soft rugs to ensure the gaps
The range of thermal rugs at Wayfair are very reasonably priced, as are the lush, thick carpets from Made, available here.
Cosy up with a good ol’ fashioned hot water bottle
Hot water bottles are good for shaking off a chill - the lush White Company option, £35, is covered with faux fur and ideal for helping keep you toasty.
Additionally, applying heat of more than 40C to the skin where an ache is felt blocks the body’s ability to detect pain, so it will alleviate any muscle discomfort associated with cold weather.
For a budget option, the Wilko hot water bottle will get the job done for £6.50, while if you want to invest in a hot water bottle you can wear - great for walking around, the This is Silk hot water bottle will keep you cosy on the move - for a pricy £74.99 (yes, we realised that suggesting an expensive hot water bottle during a cost of living crisis is a bit of a contradiction - but if it saves you turning the heating on all day, it could be a sound long-term strategy).
Keep the chill out with a draught excluder
You’ll likely heard a lot of chat of late about draught excluders - they are essential for keeping the house warm if you don’t have a properly insulated property. They will keep the cold air at bay and the warm air in the house.
Make sure you have thermals on under your clothing
Fleecy clothing may feel cuddly, but you need more than that to properly insulate your body if you’re trying to stay warm while working. Thermals, long johns, base layers – whatever you want to call them, there’s nothing like a warm layer worn next to the skin to help keep the chill of colder weather at bay.
We’ve covered our favourite thermals for women and men in the gallery below.
Once you have that crucial base layer to aid insulation, then seal it in with a cosy fleece - our favourite for men and women are in the gallery below.
Get cosy under a high-tog duvet
“A warm duvet? For winter? Ground-breaking,” you say and we hear you - but a high-tog duvet can stop you reaching for a comparably costly electric blanket. We rounded up our favourite cosy comforters in this article on the best duvet sets for winter, and there is a review posted below of our all-round favourite - the Simbra Hybrid Duvet.
Install a smart thermostat to cut energy bills
Obviously, many of us will still want to rely on heating to keep warm when the artic blasts hits. A smart thermostat tracks your movements and helps limit your usage but turning and and off based on your standard heating habits. Our favourite - the Google Nest - is reviewed below.