Going Green: Making the most of every heat source
If it’s a case of not being able to afford to put the heating on, contact your citizens advice bureau and local council to see what financial support might be available to you. If you’re caring for an elderly relative or have children, there should be social care entitlement you need to look into.
Having said that, if you’re trying to save money before putting it on for the winter, there are a lot of things you can do to save pennies that will all add up to pounds.
There’s a saying to heat the human not to the home so start by thinking what rooms of your house you use. If your kids have left home and you have bedrooms you don’t use, you only need to heat them very occasionally to make sure mould or damp doesn’t occur.
Next, the best source of free heat we have is the sun. If you have net curtains or keep curtains drawn to keep the sun out, make the most of any solar heat you can. Glass is such a great magnifier of the sun’s warmth, that’s why greenhouses work so well.
Next, think about residual heat, If you’ve finished cooking in the oven, leave it open. Admittedly these are small heat sources but it’s about making the most of every degree.
Next think about layers – both in terms of clothes and blankets. There’s nothing nicer than fluffy cosy socks and snuggling under blankets to watch something on TV. Start with base layers too – vests, t shirts and build from there.
If you’re in the market to spend money – there are things like USB gloves that charge and keep your hands warm. USB slippers are popular too. Hot water bottles are a great choice too but if yours is old, it should be replaced and if you’ve got shaky hands, pop it in the sink wedged between anything you can before you pour the water in.
If you’re using heat sources like plug in heaters, make sure they’re dust free to maximise the heat you’re getting from them.
Make sure you’re eating at least one hot meal a day too, things like soup are cheap and a great way to kickstart your circulation and warm you up.
Finally, the floor is the coldest part of any home, especially if you have a wooden, tiles, or lino floor. Invest in rugs if you can and if not, when you’re sitting down, put your feet up. Not only does it feel like a treat but you’ll be helping yourself retain heat. Make sure you’re getting any support you are entitled to for bills and talk to your energy supplier or check out https://www.gov.uk/cost-of-living