Top Tips To Keep You Warm This Winter
The weather here in the UK is set to take a further tumble in temperature, so with that in mind I wanted to give you some tips on how to keep warm and cosy this winter. For those of you who follow my blog, the concept of 'hygge' (cosy and content) like the Danish, is never far from my mind. As far as "cosy" goes, you can't beat our soy candles and wonderful mug of hot chocolate! However, there are many other ways to keep the heat in your homes and in yourself. This is particularly important for the elderly and those with certain medical conditions. Keep an eye out for those elderly neighbours folks, as they can often go down hill very rapidly when colder weather sets in.
Going outside or even staying inside?
If you are going outside then layering is incredibly important. Never under estimate or belittle thermals, as they can help trap the warmth in. Lots of layers is better than one thick layer in my opinion. Hats, scarves, thicker socks and gloves are a must. So much body heat is lost through the head, hands and feet. Going outside can be good though, as we tend to huddle ourselves away and then not get enough vitamin D. So I am all for getting about in the outdoors for fresh air, but making sure I am well wrapped up! Clothes made from fleece materials, cotton and wool are very effective in keeping you warm. Bed socks are also good because they tend to be thicker. Keeping your feet warm from the floor with socks and slippers really does help,
Radiators and Heating
First, are your radiators working correctly? If when you put them on there seems to be a cold section at the top, with it being warmer at the bottom, then they may need the air bleeding from them. This is easy to do. When the system is cold, I simply get a radiator key and turn it to let the air out. I always have an old towel on hand as often a little water spills out.
The next issue with radiators is have you got anything blocking them? A sofa perhaps or large table? If so, and if possible, you may have to move your furniture around so that heat gets into your room.
The other tip, is where you get a piece of card and cover it with tin foil and place it at the back of the radiator. This helps to pull the heat back into the room, rather than against a wall. Clever people make the card and foil in a T- shape, so that the card can hang on the radiator bracket behind.
Boilers should also be serviced regularly to make sure that they are running correctly. I am also told that keeping the heating on at a steady temperature is more cost efficient than turning it on and off. The war between women and men turning heating on and off is a long standing joke with many, but there may be an argument for keeping the heating on.
If heating your home is an issue, then maybe you can shut off rooms like guest bedrooms and heat your main living area instead. I appreciate it is very difficult for some. Indeed I remember many a time when my son was little having to dress in front of the fire to keep warm, as I never had central heating back then. Shutting off rooms that are not required is therefore not a bad thing.
Attempt to keep your home at a constant 18-21 degrees centigrade. Make sure that you are on the right tariffs for your heating bills and check to see if you qualify for any winter fuel payments. These payments are given out by the government when there are cold snaps of weather. To check if you are entitled to this benefit go to gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment
Windows and Doors
Are your windows and doors free from draughts? At the bottom of the doors you can easily make a homemade draught excluder by purchasing some remnant material that is the same width as your door, sewing it along one side and then stuffing it with old socks or something. Simply seal the end once you have stuffed it. Kids might find it fun to make too. With windows ensure (especially if old) that you use draught excluder tape. Thicker curtains (you can get thermal curtains) help too. Close those curtains when it starts to get to get dark. Keep the heat in!
You may also be entitled to an affordable warmth grant, to help with insulation etc. You can find out more about this by going to gov.uk/energy-company-obligation.
Warm Food and Drink
Eating soups, stews and warm food like curry does help to keep the body warm. If an elderly person is struggling to keep getting up and down to make cups of tea, then a flask is very useful. This also cuts down on the amount of electric they have to use boiling the kettle too.
Avoid alcohol too. It may make you feel as if it is getting you warm, but it draws heat away from your vital organs.
Stay Active Indoors
Try not to sit for long periods of time. This is half the issue with elderly and infirm people and those who have limited mobility. Try and move about to keep the body pumping blood at least every hour.
I have long been a fan of bed socks, hot water bottles/electric blankets and other cosy throw blankets. However, I usually get too warm in bed and end up taking them off, especially if I have an electric blanket on the go. I remember one home I used to live in many years ago, was so cold that I would use my hairdryer to heat my bed up, before I got in it. Even now I often love snuggling up with a hot water bottle on the sofa with my blanket. Not that my home is Baltic, but it is comforting. Usually the dog or the husband steal it when I get up to make a cup of tea! Thats life.
If you have any good tips and tricks, let us know so that we can add them to this post.