Winter is upon us and that means it’s nearly time for comfy jerseys, hot chocolate, cuddling up on the couch, and hearty soups! While the South African winters are mostly mild, we definitely feel it when the temperatures start to drop. The Sunburst Electric team would like to share our top tips to stay warm this winter.
There are a number of ways in which you can keep the heat where it’s needed most, without escalating your electricity bill. Here are some great budget-beating tips to stay warm for you to consider:
Stay warm this Winter without breaking the bank!
- Keep cosy on long winter nights: There are a variety of ways in which you can do this, and you’ll be pleased to know that none of them will cost you a cent! The first and most obvious solution is to pack on extra layers of clothing. The more heat you can trap close to your body, the less escapes. You can also close all windows and doors, cuddle up under blankets (body heat is a real thing!), and drink warm, comforting beverages. Hot chocolate is always a winter favourite, and camomile tea is calming and soothing before bed.
- Stay snug as a bug in a rug: Whenever you crawl into bed, make sure that you’re piling on the blankets. These don’t have to be expensive down duvets. As long as you make sure to check out the next tip, you can stay warm with any type of blanket.
- Pile on the blankets: Make sure that when you’re adding more blankets to your bed, you keep the fluffy ones closer to your skin with the thick, dense ones on the top of the pile. Not only will this feel nicer against your body, but the thicker blankets will ensure that heat has less of a chance to escape, sealing you in a warm cocoon of softness. You’ll always want to ensure that your bed is not placed directly against an exterior wall so that you avoid unwanted heat leakage.
- Use hot water bottles and wheat bags: Hot water bottles and microwaveable wheat bags are a relatively inexpensive way of making sure that you have something warm to cuddle up against when the temperature drops. These are readily available at most retail stores, and are often on sale. Be sure to use these responsibly and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Dress up if you’re going outside: This goes without saying. Make sure that you’ve got a few layers of insulation before you head outdoors, and don’t skimp on the thick socks!
- Add flair with hats and scarves: Hats and scarves are practical winter accessories which not only add flair to your outfit, but also function to conserve heat. This is particularly important for older people, as the National Institute on Aging explains here. You can also find a lengthier explanation on the conservation of body heat here. Adding gloves and thick, thermal socks will also aid you in this endeavour.
- Cardio! Cardio! Cardio! Ever dashed off somewhere, or rushed up a flight of stairs and noticed that you automatically feel warmer? That’s because you’re actively engaging muscles and activating your lungs, which in turn increase your blood circulation. If you want a more lengthy explanation of why you feel hotter when you workout, check out this article by Livestrong. Basic cardio, such as jumping jacks, is enough to get your heart racing and increase your body temperature to help you stay warm. You can also try jogging on the spot. You can find loads of home, bodyweight and cardio workouts through the Web, as well as on the Shield homepage here as well. And remember: summer bodies are made in winter!
- Block drafty areas: Hang blankets over windows and curtains as this will add extra layers to trap in warm air. You can also use old pool noodles. Cut these in half lengthwise and wrap them in fabric, then slide them under the doors and effectively block potential drafts..
- Soak up those sunrays! Open curtains during the day. If you leave your curtains open during the day, the sun’s rays will add extra warmth to your home’s rooms. You have to make sure that you close them at night, however, since that will trap the heat inside.
- Switch between hot and cold in the shower: Hot water will assuredly warm you up, but cold water improves blood circulation. The more blood circulation you have going, the warmer you’ll feel. Try turning the heat up to the highest temperature you can stand just before getting out of the shower. Towel dry and wrap up in your layers to keep that body heat in.
- Composting: “The microbial breakdown of organic material produces heat. Some people use it to warm up showers and greenhouses, but even small-timers in studio apartments can feel a difference”, according to the Mentalfloss website.
- DIY hand warmers: These don’t have to be shop-bought. You can try stitching your own using scraps of cloth and rice, or you can indulge in an experiment and concoct your own – letting you stay warm using the power of chemical reactions!
- Self-adhesive rubber seals to keep the warmth in: If you’re willing to spend a little bit of money, using self-adhesive rubber seals around your doors and windows will also result in less warm air escaping.
- Rearrange your furniture: Couches in front of heaters – while creating a cosy place to chill out on – tend to absorb heat, meaning that there is less heat circulating throughout your room. If you want this heat to circulate more evenly, then consider moving your couches so that the heat produced from your appliances moves freely throughout the room.
If you are in a position where electricity consumption costs are less of a concern, then there are a number of ways you can increase heat generation in your home by either procuring appliances, installing fixtures, or using existing appliances in order to make sure that you’re adding warmth to your home.
Less cost-effective, but highly effective heating generating solutions:
- Ceiling fan: Did you know that by simply flipping the switch on your ceiling fan that forces the air to flow upwards, you can actually generate more heat in your home? Carney Plumbing explains how this process works. Or, you could switch the blade speed to the lowest setting to ensure that the warm air that has risen to the ceiling flows back down again.
- Bake the chill away: Not only is this almost guaranteed to produce some delicious goodies (such as freshly-made bread for that yummy soup), but the heat from your oven will dissipate throughout your house, leaving your home warm and toasty and fragranced with the smells of baked goods or hearty homemade meals!
- Invest in a humidifier: While this may not necessarily warm the air, it certainly makes it feel warmer. Moisture in the air will also reduce the chances of heat loss. It’s also great for your sinuses, and this is helpful when trying to prevent winter sinus infections.
- Underfloor heating: Stay warm with style! Installing underfloor heating and keeping this running can be expensive. There is, however, no doubt that this is highly effective and creates that delightful warmth which is always appreciated on the coldest winter days and nights.
- Install or purchase additional heaters: These days, there are a wide variety of different heaters available in any given retail store. You have the option of gas, oilfin, electric, and halogen globe heaters. The 1life blog lists a number of heaters and ranks each according to cost, Wattage required to use, and cost per day for a month.
- Air conditioning units: According to the Aircon Company, “[r]everse cycle air conditioners are great for staying warm in winter.” They also share a few other alternatives on their blog to stay warm!
- Insulation and double-glazed windows: Replacing all of your current window glass with double glazing and installing insulation in your roof won’t necessarily increase heat generation, but will certainly affect energy-efficiency and result in less heat being lost on those cold days and nights. This may be a hefty investment initially, but the long-term benefits mean that you have to invest less in additional appliances, ultimately saving you money.
If you choose to install additional appliances, you can stay safe while you stay warm. Make sure that you’re sticking to our Electrical Safety Tips for Homeowners. You can also refer to our Quick Guide to Electrical Safety for more helpful advice.
Remember that our friendly service professionals are standing by to help you ensure that your home is safety compliant! You can call us on 087 55 11 000 or book online today!