Published - 30th September 2022
In typical British form, all my small talk of late has centred around the weather. In particular, the drop in temperature. Like many of you, I am dreading what will be in store for us if we start putting our heating on. So while we get ready to live by candlelight and layered in jumpers, I looked into some suggestions for keeping warm and some products that might be useful.
Use an air fryer or microwave instead of an oven. Ovens can be an inefficient way of cooking as they involve heating a relatively large space. Using a microwave, pressure cooker or air fryer instead could save money. Don't put things in front of radiators. (BBC News)
Switch to LED lightbulbs - Lighting makes up 11% of the average UK household's energy consumption, according to The Energy Saving Trust and Which? Switching to LED bulbs can make a big difference. (BBC News)
Turning your thermostat down by one degree can help save hundreds of pounds.
Keep an eye on your curtains, open them up through the days so you can capture any sunlight and then get those bad boys closed as soon as it goes down. So pretty much what you're probably doing now.
'Plug your outlets. Put child safety plugs in open outlets to keep air out.' I'd never heard this, but apparently, its a thing.
I've heard it's good to turn off bathroom and oven fans. Tricky if you need them, but they say don't leave it running unnecessarily. I can't imagine who would, as the noise is insufferable.
They say you should switch to brushed cotton sheets in the winter to keep you warmer. I have always been a fan of Toast's stripey ones, but I will add some cheaper options below.
Layering up - yup, no great revelations there. Although I will say, I went around the whole of Bruge complaining of the cold until my husband pointed out that my top wasn't tucked in. I am sure you are all brighter than me, but there might be one fellow dunderhead who this might help.
Light candles & oil lamps not only for the seductive lighting but for the warmth. I think I have an oil lamp hiding in the shed, so this could be its year.
Insulate your attic/loft. If you can afford to, padding your attic with insulation from hardware stores can help retain some heat you usually lose through the attic since heat rises. Insulate Britain has been telling us to do this for a while; well, they've been telling the government, but as I don't think they will be doing anything soon, those who can might as well get on with it.
Locate those drafts. I located one this morning - the door that goes to our garden has a hefty draft. I thought, 'I've got an idea or two about design. What about a big beautiful curtain?' My husband happily reminded me that in the summer, I had removed the curtains which had been there. Well, hindsight is 20/20.
Do Something Active - Hmm.
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These beautiful woven products are made for us by Curlew Weavers in Dyfed, Wales, a traditional family run mill specialising in wool from rare and traditional sheep breeds.
Linen Quilt, Once Milano, from 415 euros. (agreed, it's expensive but I have had one for five years and it is worth its weight in gold)