How to stay warm when it’s cold outside

Author: Matt Neal 06/11/2015

There are lots of things you can do to keep your home warm whilst keeping bills down. Many are long-term solutions; such as insulating your loft and walls and making improvements to your heating system. However, these can take quite a long time to install so you don't feel the benefits for quite a while. Here are some tips which can help in the shorter term, and which you will feel the benefit of immediately.

Stay warm - eat hot food

Hot meals and drinks help to keep you warm. A hot, healthy balanced meal will help your body to stay warmer and stop you feeling the cold. Using the oven to cook is best as it will help to dry the air and heat the kitchen. Try to limit cooking that gives off steam as this will increase the humidity in the air and make your house damp; keep a lid on those simmering pans!

Stay warm - keep active

This is not only important in your everyday life but it will also help you stay warm. When you’re inside, try not to sit still for too long; get up, walk around, make a warm drink and spread chores throughout the day. You’ll be surprised at how warm you get doing the hoovering!

Stay warm - use your curtains

Close your curtains at dusk to ensure you trap the heat in. Thermally-lined curtains will be more effective at doing this. Be sure to open your curtains in the morning as sunlight is a natural and a free way to heat your home.

Stay warm - wear suitable clothing

Make sure you're wearing suitable clothing for the weather outside. Don’t walk around the house in shorts and a t-shirt when it’s snowing outside. Several thin layers are warmer than one thick one as the layers trap air which is then heated up by your body, acting as further insulation. Clothes made from wool or fleecy synthetic fibres are better than cotton at keeping you warm. If you’re sitting down, a blanket will provide additional warmth.

Stay warm - stop draughts

Draught proofing can make a huge difference to the thermal comfort of your home. There are many quick and easy ways to draught proof your house - for example: draught excluders at the base of doors, letterbox brushes, keyhole covers, chimney balloons and blocking cracks and gaps in floorboards and skirting boards. Secondary glazing is a cheaper alternative to replacing windows and reduces draughts and heat loss.

Stay warm - arrange your rooms

Try to avoid putting large furniture in front of radiators as they trap the heat and don’t allow it to circulate around the room. Keeping doors closed will prevent warm air moving into the rest of the house and will help contain the heat you've generated in a smaller area.

Stay warm - sleep well

Use either a hot water bottle or an electric blanket to warm up your bed before you get in it - but never use both together as this is dangerous. When you’re in bed and the air is too cold, consider making a makeshift tent from a bed sheet over your bed. Your body heat will quickly warm the inside of the ‘tent’.

For more information and tips on keeping your home warm, please call the Affordable Warmth helpline: 0800 107 0044
Our friendly staff are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
If you prefer, you can email us anytime at awn@nef.org.uk

And finally - as a bit of fun - what did the big furry hat say to the warm woolly scarf?  You hang around while I go on ahead!