The cost of life is increasing – this is no surprise. The one thing that hits most of us bang in the middle of the face at the end of the month is more than likely the electricity bill.
There are many different ways in which you can cheaply keep your home warm without electricity and thus saving on your bill.
Instead of turning up the heater a notch or two higher, try these easy tips and tricks instead to warm your home the cheaper way during the cold winter months:
Fire it up
The easiest way to warm up your home is to make a fire. This is a cheaper alternative and it can be quite romantic.
And yes, if you live in an apartment, you very likely won’t have a fireplace which will eliminate this as an option altogether. However, if you live in a home without a fireplace, you could make a fire in a wood stove or build a bonfire in a braai.
Concentrate on building a slow fire in order to generate the most heat instead of a roaring flame where heat disappears quickly. Driest wood is the best to use in general as it burns more efficiently and smokes less.
Get a draft stopper
If you had a ‘heat map’ made of your home, you’d immediately see that your kitchen and living rooms are the most frequently visited areas of the house!
So, why not try to contain whatever heat you have in there by making sure all doors (and windows!) are properly closed off. Cold air will still manage to sneak in unless you’re getting yourself a door draft stopper (you know the ‘sausage dogs’ type looking kind).
Whether the rain is pouring down, the wind is howling outside or the snow is coming down in clumps, bundling up is the cheapest and quickest way to get warm.
The old wives’ tale about us losing the most heat through our head is just that – a tale: we lose heat throughout our whole bodies.
Keep your feet warm with socks and slippers, grab a blanket and your most comfortable clothes and warm up in front of the TV or a good book. Try warming yourself internally by breathing through your nose (yea, really). This warms up the air before it enters your lungs.
Increase your body temperature
Be prepared to sweat it out! Let’s face it: there’s no quicker and cheaper way to get warm than to get your body moving!
Forget the (small) size of your apartment, all you need is to clear whatever room you’re in and start doing some physical exercises to get your heart rate going (YouTube offers plenty of variety).
Ever tried to work out using your own bottles of water as weights?
Invest in a rug or a carpet
There is nothing worse than waking up after a nice warm sleep in your bed and having to put your feet onto cold tiles.
So, make your space warmer by investing in a carpet or a rug. This won’t only keep the cold from creeping into your feet, but it will also decorate the room. It helps mitigate cold air from coming through cracks or openings through the doors or windows.
Choose a thicker felt rug rather than a normal rug as it makes the rug extra plushy and adds a bit more insulation.
Replace your drapes with thermal curtains
All windows are a source of heat loss – whether you have double or single pane.
In order to conserve energy, and by default heat, invest in thermal curtains. Curtains with heavy thermal lining can reduce the cold that filters through the windows.
It is suggested that you hang these curtains as close to the window as possible.
Seal windows with plastic
This is something you can try if you live in especially cold parts of the country (it would definitely be a good idea to first clear it up with your landlord if you are renting).
Buy a cheap window-insulated plastic kit from the hardware shop and use a hairdryer to install it. This creates an insulated barrier that you can easily take down when spring comes again. The plastic prevents any cold from coming in and keeps the heat generated from inside your house from escaping.
So, what do you think? Even though this article may have been somewhat tongue-in-cheek, nevertheless, with these easy, cost-free tips you can save on your electricity bill at the end of the month and still feel warm when the winter weather acts up!
And most important way to keep warm, (the South African way that is) however, is a big cup of Milo.
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