The cold weather is now upon us, and warming up our homes without sending electricity bills through the roof can be a struggle for many. Luckily, with some textured accessories, minor adaptations, and cheap solutions you can keep your home warm for little or no extra cost this winter.
Living and bed rooms are the rooms many people use the most, so keeping them warm this winter is essential, particularly as we may be spending a lot more time indoors than usual with the expected second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Just like your wardrobe can get a makeover when the winter months hit, so can your house.
Here are some ways to keep your home warm this winter.
Use heavy curtains:
Switch your thin, light-coloured curtains for heavier drapes to keep the warm air in and chilling breezes out. During sunny days, open the curtains and let some sunlight in to make full use of this free heat. Close them at night to trap the warmth inside your rooms.
Lay down thick rugs:
Rugs not only work to style a room, but they also do a good job of keeping your feet warm if you have tiles or hardwood flooring. Placing thick, warm and fuzzy area rugs around the house can help keep in some of that heat and give your feet a warm treat when it’s time to crawl out of bed in the morning.
Reverse ceiling fans:
Though ceiling fans can be used to keep your rooms cool during the summer, they can also help with keeping rooms warm during the winter. Reverse your fans’ rotation to clockwise: putting the fan on reverse on a low speed will gently draw up warm air and push it back down, circling warm air around the room.
Use throws on furniture:
These can add a stylish touch to your sofa, while also bringing warmth into your home. Throws add colour, texture and cosiness, and they can instantly update your sofa and give new warm feeling to a room.
Use draft stoppers:
These can stop cold air from coming in under a door or window. Simply add an adjustable sweep to your door and seal any gaps or leaks in your windows wherever you feel a cold breeze and your whole house will stay warmer.
Use the oven more:
Try baking something or cooking more meals in the oven. The heat will warm up your kitchen, and you’ll also wind up with a healthy and tasty meal.
Boil a pot of water:
Whether you use a tea kettle or an open pot, boiling water will help warm up your kitchen. So, make your favourite drink and warm yourself up from the inside.
Consider a hot-water bottle:
To keep your feet warm at night, you can place a hot water bottle at the foot of your bed underneath the blanket.
Use warmer bedding:
Winter is the time to turn up the heat on your bed. Just like with clothing, layers of bedding keep you warmer. Swap regular sheets for flannel ones and top them with a warm blanket and a down-substitute comforter or duvet.
Opt for an electric blanket:
You can also go extra-warm with an electric blanket, but keep your plugged-in bedding on top and not layered underneath a comforter or duvet. Be aware that electric blankets are only for the master bedroom and are not suitable for a child’s room or nursery.
Try a portable heater:
Look for one that is suitably sized for the room you are using it in and place it far enough from your bed. Pay special attention to the cord and avoid stretching it. Make sure the heater has a safety feature that turns it off automatically if it tips over or overheats. Portable heaters should not be used in a child’s room.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 12 November, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly