16 December 2013
As the next few months are going to be typically very cold, we’ve put together some useful pieces of advice to help you fight the freezing temperatures this winter.
Heating Your Home
The two most important rooms to keep warm are your living room and your bedroom. Health guidelines recommend the temperature to be 21 decgree Celsius, though you may wish to keep it warmer.
Temperatures falling below 16 degrees Celsius have the potential to cause serious health problems, particularly in the elderly, so it’s important to keep the temperatures up in these rooms.
If possible, keep your heating on overnight during particularly cold periods. As well as keeping warm during the night, if you have to go to work in the morning, you have the added benefit of waking up to a warm house, which makes it much easier to get up!
Homes that are not well insulated can lose a massive amount of heat. This is particularly applicable to older homes, which have obviously not been subject to the strict regulations imposed on new builds.
The roof is one of the major areas of heat loss, so try and combat this by installing loft insulation. The amount you spend will soon be justified by the energy savings you make as a result of installing it. Some energy companies even offer grants for loft and cavity wall insulation, so it’s worth investigating. You can contact the Energy Saving Trust to find out if you qualify.
Another cheap and easy option is to put draught excluding strips around windows and at the bottom of your front and back doors. These are common areas where heat escapes, but it’s very easy to rectify for a minimal cost.
Central Heating Efficiency
This is an often overlooked factor in making sure your home is warm in winter, yet it’s incredibly important. If your central heating system isn’t functioning efficiently then it could be costing you a lot of money without you realising it. You can get a professional round, but there’s also some things you can do yourself. We’ve written extensively the subject of efficient central heating on this blog.
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Keep Yourself Active
On particularly cold nights, it’s very easy to spend hours on the sofa watching TV, but this really isn’t good for your health. Make sure to regularly get up and move around, do the dishes or some housework, take a short walk outside, if it isn’t too cold. Even just wiggle your fingers and toes. Anything that will get your circulation going and your blood moving around your body is better for your health and for keeping warm rather than remaining static and doing nothing.
Much of this is common sense, but it is amazing how we can sometimes underestimate the cold both in and out of the house.
When inside, make sure to use blankets, dressing gowns, slippers and thick socks or tights. It’s recommended to wear several layers of thin clothing as the trapped air between the layers helps you to keep warm. Try not to sit around with wet hair either.
If you pop outside, then make sure you have enough warm clothes on. It can be tempting to think “Oh i won’t be long” and inadequately dress yourself only to find you spend longer outside than you originally intended. Hats are important as you lose so much heat out of your head. Thick socks and heavy duty shoes are also a good idea, as are scarves or shawls to wrap around your neck. Why not give thermal underwear a try? You might be surprised how comfortable and effective it is!
Again much of this is common sense, but a surprising amount of us often forget what’s good for our bodies, so it’s worth a reminder here.
During cold weather our bodies are working overtime to make sure our vital organs have enough heat. You can help this process by eating foods rich in vitamins, protein and energy. These include fresh fruit and veg, eggs, pasta, bread, potatoes, fish, meat, nuts and milk to name a few.
Regular hot meals and drinks are a must, but it’s also important to have a supply of canned goods just in case the weather is too bad or too cold to venture out to the supermarket.
Article by Benjamin Clarke