(249 Posts)
KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 10:30:45

Right, don't really know how to start this but I'm raging. I see over and over on here people struggling with heating, sitting cold after kids have gone to bed, waking up in cold houses and it makes me want to stamp my feet and scream. Apologies if I'm not articulate or organised. I just want to do something.

No judging, please share anything you feel may help, no matter how small. Also feel free to have a whinge. DS is at school and I'm cold now, and I'm fucking miserable. I don't mean to patronise, some of this may seem so obvious to some, but if one person is a wee bit warmer I'm a happy bunny.

Here goes.

U Switch We might as well be getting the cheapest deal.

Warm Home Discount You may be surprised by who can apply for this. A lot of providers have their own criteria and it's broader than you think.

Which Guide to Free Insulation Self explanatory but also has some information about DIY.

Draught Excluders - I have these on every door now. If you're turning down radiators or trying to save by only heating one room they are brilliant. You don't have to buy them. I cut up old trousers up the crotch. Stuffed with old sheets and sewed up. You can use newspaper at a pinch.

Curtains - Thick lined curtains on windows are great. They are also expensive. If you can forgo colour scheme charity shops have AMAZING deals. They might not fit in with the room but lord they keep the heat in. I've also fixed them over front and back doors. Our kitchen has no heat source but since covering the back door I can no longer see my own breath when I walk in.

Tinfoil - Wrap in round cardboard and whack it behind your radiators. You can buy special stuff for this, but if like me what wasn't an option this is better than nothing. We noticed a real difference. I did downstairs, doing upstairs today.

Builders Plastic - Not cheap but cheaper than double glazing. Tape it over windows and it can keep the heat in and the cold out. I haven't been able to do this but another MNer mentioned it and it seemed a very clever idea on a budget.

Cashmere - I wanted to laugh when someone said this, like I can afford cashmere. Keep an eye out in the right charity shops and you will. I've not been so lucky yet but I know other MNrs have. Real wool jumpers and throws are a great find too. Doesn't matter if it's not our colour (Don't tell the S&B board!) warm's warm.

Candles Heater Instructions in the link. Building mine today. Candles in a room can also give an impression of warmth. I pay £1 for 100 tea lights at ikea.

Slow Cookers - I made porridge in my slow cooker last night. Soon as we got up I had a bowl of porridge in DS's hands and some hot squash. He also gets a hot squash as soon as he comes in from school. Cheap and warming.

Hats - I'm not much of a knitter. But if you want a hat making PM me. They're usually wonky, not stylish, but if you're cold and want one for wearing around the house I'll make you one. I can also make little ones for children.

Crikey, this was longer than I expected. Please share any warm tips you may have. I'm sorry so many of us are cold, and I'm sorry I can't just pay all of our heating bills and we all have warm Winters.

thistlelicker Thu 14-Nov-13 10:33:54

Nice throws for the sofa that you can snuggle up with

instead of having to forgo your colour scheme with the curtains, you can buy cheap lengths of fleece (try dunelm for their cheap blankets, were 99p last year) and sew them into the curtains as linings. helps keep the room lovely and warm smile

Xochiquetzal Thu 14-Nov-13 10:36:36

wear layers, a couple of thin layers will keep you warmer than one thick layer.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Nov-13 10:37:10

Heat one room properly - the one where you normally sit - and let the rest of the house be colder. Cold bedrooms are fine as long as you have plenty of blankets Have a hot shower and get dressed straight away with thin layers, slippers etc. Easier to trap and retain body-heat than let yourself get cold and try to warm up again. Keep moving... do things around the house or take a walk outside rather than sit still for too long.

Turnipsandpumpkins Thu 14-Nov-13 10:37:33

Moneysaving expert has a club that is free to join and monitors the best deals around. You put your details in and it notifies you when it is time to switch. Will try and link.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Nov-13 10:38:09

Another one... eat 'little and often'. Metabolising small meals and snacks raises body temperature.

Turnipsandpumpkins Thu 14-Nov-13 10:39:23
SundaySimmons Thu 14-Nov-13 10:40:42

Onesies are great for keeping warm.

Hot water bottles are cheap as well.

YoucancallmeQueenBee Thu 14-Nov-13 10:42:12

Get one of those heated wheat/seed bag things that you stick in the microwave & can then wrap around your neck. I use one in the evening & the difference it makes to my overall body temp is amazing - plus it is very relaxing for tense shoulders. Also quite cuddly for when you go to bed too.

Gilets are great as well. You can wear them indoors without feeling like you are wearing a coat & they make a massive difference to your warmth - particularly the down filled ones.

AugustaProdworthy Thu 14-Nov-13 10:42:38

Wearing layers, wearing slippers, hot drinks,
I remember as a child getting dressed in front on a tiny fab heater as we had no CH and we could have that on in the mornings, or trying to get dressed under the bed covers ( didn't have duvets back then )
Good thread.
Wish I'd got more tips!

EduCated Thu 14-Nov-13 10:43:33

Change your clothes when you come in from outside. If never realised how cold your clothes get, but I've found it makes a real difference and I warm up much quicker.

Cheap Primark leggings under pyjama bottoms, and their fake Uggs as slippers.

UriGeller Thu 14-Nov-13 10:44:32

2 squares of fleece, about 12". Sewn at opposite sides to make a stretchy tube makes a nice neck warmer, better than a scarf as its less bulky and doesn't have trailing ends.

Im wearing a layer for my arms under a vest thats made from tights with the crotch cut out (don't laugh) and heel and toes removed, put on upside down, head through the crotch hole (be quiet at the back!) arms through the legs, thumbs through the heel, fingers through the toe. The sleeves won't ride up either.

CrappyDiem Thu 14-Nov-13 10:46:54

Hot water bottle in your bed 30 minutes before you get in. Plus one on your lap under a cheap ikea fleece throw when you are sitting down.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 10:47:08

Anyone who laughs gets sent out Uri .
That's clever and cost effective.

<envelopes everyone in warm hugs for caring and sharing>

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Thu 14-Nov-13 10:47:25

Some of those are great thanks!
I would say that unfortunately a lot of people would be in my boat, cant pay for oil. Cant get it by the month until you pay for a full tank upfront first. Just started a new job but don't get paid till the end of the month. Benefits stopped. Itsbbad timing more than anything else.

I make sure ds is warn but by Christ im frozen, and its not helping the arthritis! I am working from home now wearing gloves and still frozen! No one should be like that! !

Now im off to strap two hot water bottles to my feet!

ColdTeaAgain Thu 14-Nov-13 10:47:42

In my case, I have calculated that its much cheaper to have my gas fire on rather than the radiators so now we use that instead of central heating when we're in the lounge. The gas fire cost us about 12p an hour, obviously this prob varies depending on what you have.

A small 2kW electic fan heater is enough to warm our bedroom up when we go to bed, 15mins at full blast cost about 8p and thats enough to warm the room up significantly.

Keep doors shut to keep heat in the room you're in, sounds obvious but of lot of people forget!

NewBlueCoat Thu 14-Nov-13 10:48:02

If anyone is near me, I have some (truly hideous sadly) full length, fully lined curtains going free. They are incredibly good quality, just relics from the 70s and 80s! If ou are handy with a needle, or want them to hang behind doors, then PM me and come and collect (am Kent/Surrey border, but drive down into top of Sussex on school run so various collection points possible!)

ColdTeaAgain Thu 14-Nov-13 10:48:55


KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 10:50:43

You're right Marceline. No one should be cold. sad I hope your new job works out well for you. DH has arthritis, I'm making him the plant pot heater for where he sits.

PeterParkerSays Thu 14-Nov-13 10:51:45

Keep adding extra layers until your hands and feet are warm. If they are cold, you're not wrapped up enough.

You'll also need to add extra layers at night / in the evening as it's colder than in the day - use your dressing gown as a long cardigan over your day clothes for example and bring out all the blankets etc you have e.g. if you have sleeping bags stashed away to take camping, get them out and use them to sit in on the sofa / lie out on the bed.

A fleecy blanket between the bed sheet and mattress makes the bed really warm.

I leave ironing DD's school uniform till the morning, they love leaping quickly in to the "warmed" clothes (and means they move a bit quicker!)

starsandunicorns Thu 14-Nov-13 11:02:18

Wear knee length socks primark has a pair for a couple of pounds and they are warm yy to wooly hat around the house fingerless gloves too we have a old duvet that lives on the sofa

SicknSpan Thu 14-Nov-13 11:03:21

Wear a scarf. So obvious but I find that if I feel cold, as soon as I put a scarf on I don't need to do anything else- nice and toasty.

We haven't got electric blankets here (drat) so before the kids get into their pj's, I warm the clothes up with my hairdryer- only takes a few seconds and they are lovely and warm and the boys look forward to getting into them!

SicknSpan Thu 14-Nov-13 11:03:59

Plus tights under leggings or jeans.

SkullyAndBones Thu 14-Nov-13 11:04:52

change your socks when you take your shoes off.

feet sweat, and while your socks may feel dry, they aren't and it will keep your feet cold.

So.. when you take your shoes off, take your socks off and either put another pair on or some slippers!

DeathByLaundry Thu 14-Nov-13 11:07:47

Take up crochet. Yarn from the charity shop, keeps your hands warm as you work and once your blanket is big enough it helps keep your knees warm before it is even finished!

SkullyAndBones Thu 14-Nov-13 11:08:44

also, if you cant afford to light your fire and you have an open chimney, pin a sheet across it.. it will keep the wind from blowing down the chimney.

Our house is 140yrs old and has a proper chimney, but the fireplace is defunct.. we have a fleece blanket pinned across the gap with the kids toy boxes infront of it to keep the draught out from it.

scripsi Thu 14-Nov-13 11:09:05

yes to cheap cashmere - I have found very cheap second hand cashmere on ebay (sometimes it has bobbled, which is why it is cheap, but this is only for wearing inside the house anyway).

also I realised that jeans are (in general) not very warm, so agree to the layers of leggings or putting leggings under jeans.

the candle heater really works - my late FIL used to do this in his shed.

starsandunicorns Thu 14-Nov-13 11:09:55

Have hot drinks reguatly
I drink cup a soups or oxo cubes if I dont want yet another brew

Rooners Thu 14-Nov-13 11:10:24

Both our inglenooks have got large old mattresses stuffed right up them! I think they are from garden furniture...they were there when we moved in and I haven't taken them out. We're not allowed to use the fires so it makes sense.

RigglinJigglin Thu 14-Nov-13 11:11:39

Just a cautionary tale for the curtains and fleece lining - it's a potentially dangerous fire hazard. Man made fleece is highly flammable and in the event of a fire would render an escape route (ie window) impassable.

Much better to get to the charity shop for very thick curtains, we've done this and machine dyed them to suit out room. Another pair didn't dye properly so I took the linings and sewed them into a pair we had.

YY to candles!

PeterParkerSays Thu 14-Nov-13 11:15:22

If you're using hot water bottles / microwave wheat bags to warm beds, wrap the person's pyjamas around the bag / bottle(s) so they warm as well, starting with the layer closest to the skin - for my DS it would be vest, then PJ trousers, then wrap the jacket around all of it, so it's warmer when he gets ready for bed.

What a lovely caring thread smile

I need some advice about keeping warm outside too, as I'm feeling a bit daunted by the prospect of winter ahead now we're hitting the chillier days of November - scarf someone mentioned seems a good suggestion - I rarely remember what a good idea they are!

For indoors we have a couple of lovely warm blankets/ eiderdowns - both presents actually - that we snuggle up under together to watch TV in the evenings. And our main family room is always that bit warmer and cosier than the rest of the house - has the biggest and best radiator with it's own control.

I am a bit nervous about our heating bill though, and should probably make more effort to turn heating down, especially during the day, or heating bill will be a shock when it comes shock

Rooners Thu 14-Nov-13 11:17:09

I agree with scarfs btw,

I wear one in bed sometimes.

and socks in bed.

Talking of the microwave wheat bags we had a couple of similarly microwavable teddies the DC used to love to take up with them at bedtime - I'll perhaps have to see where they've got to

Rooners Thu 14-Nov-13 11:19:33

We aren't allowed to use candles either (rental)

But it is just as well as I get stressed about the fire risk.

I find that from about October I don't bother drawing the curtains in the day time. Not unless it is a lovely day outside.

We have got huge windows which are all single glazed, and we have very thick curtains with interlining (old ones, new would cost a fortune) and I keep them closed and put on low energy lights instead.

I think the cost saving is probably worth it in terms of heat versus lighting.

loveliesbleeding1 Thu 14-Nov-13 11:19:58

We are trying the little candle heater this evening,I'm always at home as home educating dd so it would cost a fortune to keep the heating on all the time, it hasn't been on yet this autumn, and I'm trying to leave it as long as possible, it's a big, old house to heat.

BarfaStewart Thu 14-Nov-13 11:20:05

What a lovely thread! a friend of mine has had her (LPG) gas disconnected because she couldn't afford to pay her bill, they wouldn't take part-payment or installments and they don't do pre-payment meters, nor do the supplier have an ombudsman. It's fucking shit.

HotCrossPun Thu 14-Nov-13 11:20:49

Great thread OP.

Some really helpful advice here, a lot of it I wasn't aware of. thanks

RigglinJigglin Thu 14-Nov-13 11:21:43

barfa that's bloody criminal.

MooncupGoddess Thu 14-Nov-13 11:23:17

Move as much as you can. Jumping up and down or running between rooms really helps.

BarfaStewart Thu 14-Nov-13 11:23:59

I know, I went with her to CAB etc and there's fuck all she can do. She has two young kids, and the company don't care. She can't even change supplier because the village is off the mains gas and the whole village is supplied by this one company.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 11:25:16

Fucking hell Barfa, is there anything we can do?

UnicornsNotRiddenByGrownUps Thu 14-Nov-13 11:26:02

This is driving me crazy. DH are in professional jobs and shouldn't be worrying about heating in a perfect world but it's just so difficult to keep paying extortionate amounts.

Last year we managed to scrape together enough money for a house deposit. Bought a house big enough to fit babies in to but have had no luck TTC. Have shut those rooms off so they don't have to heat them. Just feels ridiculous.

Makes me feel so angry for people on low incomes and with families hmm

Like the idea

loveliesbleeding1 Thu 14-Nov-13 11:26:03

barfa that is horrendous!
And yes mooncupgoddess got to keep that heart pumping!

Ginger, honey, coffee and garlic are all great foods for heat
Known as yang foods in china

TicTacZebra Thu 14-Nov-13 11:27:02

Put a hot water bottle under your dressing gown and use the dressing gown belt to keep it in place. Iykwim?

TicTacZebra Thu 14-Nov-13 11:28:28

Also, getting up and doing something. I know it sounds obvious. When I'm cold, I always hover the whole house because it warms me up.

BarfaStewart Thu 14-Nov-13 11:28:56

Kingfu, sadly not. I've lent her some electric heaters, and a camping stove. The hot water is coming through electric pipes, not loads but enough, so they're muddling through. and trying to get the arrears paid off.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 11:29:36

Doing it now Tic grin
Gosh we're a stylish bunch.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Thu 14-Nov-13 11:30:19

Definitely keep your feet really warm - primark do good bed sock type socks and they last for years. Wear them with slippers or over the top of your normal socks. Lemon and ginger tea is really warming, and if you get a flask you can boil the kettle once and fill up the flask - don't need boiling water for herbal tea.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 11:31:02

Can she lobby her MP Barfa. Mn is good for retweets and raising awareness.

Good luck to you Unicorns with TTC - I hope it will happen for you soon.
I do remember those days, but was so fortunate to go on to have my 2 DC.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Thu 14-Nov-13 11:32:41

Just had to add - EXERCISE!!!! If you are stuck in, in the evening, get an exercise DVD, or go for a run if you can get out - I always find the house far too hot after exercising!

If you have any south facing rooms, when it's sunny leave the doors open for that room, when you go out in the day, to allow any solar gain to heat up the rest of the house.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Thu 14-Nov-13 11:33:35

we got a roll of stick on insulating stuff in the pound shop that we put around all windows and doors.

we have rugs in every room so that we aren't walking on cold floors.

spare duvet that lives on the sofa and we snuggle up under it.

leave the oven door open when you've finished cooking it really does help to warm up the kitchen.

we never put the ch on, we have oil free radiators in the lounge and bathroom that get put on when needed for short periods to heat the room and this has really lowered our bills.

hot water bottles in bed.

layers in bed, we have 2 duvets on ours, dsc have a duvet and several fleece blankets that they can add if needed.

keep your dressing gown next to your bed so that you can put it straight on.

dp says have sex that keeps him warm hmm

What a lovely thread!. Will have to try some of the tips mentioned as gas is on emergency again and wont last til monday (payday).
Barfa thought companies werent supposed to cut off gas when there are young children in the house? Im nearly sure thats right.

BarfaStewart Thu 14-Nov-13 11:34:04

I don't think it'll do much good, tbh. I've dealt with the company before, and they are completely inflexible. My DH is part of a community group, and he is trying to get the contract changed. so that the village is supplied by a different company. One with a governing body.

BarfaStewart Thu 14-Nov-13 11:35:39

But thank you smile

stephanie, I thought so too, but because they don't have an ombudsman, and they aren't a mains gas company they can do whatever they want. And of course, £500 is going to bankrupt them hmm

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 11:35:56

Forgot to say in op. Once you've cooked/baked using your oven leave the door open so the heat can get into the house. Even though you've switched it off there's heat in there you've paid for. Might as well have it.

SoupDragon Thu 14-Nov-13 11:42:22

If you have those clickable gel heat pads, boil them to reset just before you go to bed and they stay warm for a good while. Then you still have a click left when you wake up in the morning.

elfycat Thu 14-Nov-13 11:43:42

Maybe MN should do a 'no family should be cold' campaign. No differentiating between types of family of course but those with young children, or with someone with chronic illnesses certainly need to have an extra degree.

I'd second the suggestion of crochet if you've ever wanted to. Granny squares are easy to learn from youtube (I know this), it builds quickly and wool is inexpensive from charity shops (our Age Concern has a great colour range). Acrylic is warm enough and dries quickly. I took it up a year ago and it's lovely to sit under as you add more. In fact my DDs pull it over them and I have to keep turning which bit is on them so I can keep going.

Even if you're not keen on the candle heater I find burning 2-3 candles takes the nip off a closed room.

I've been so cold I can't sleep and I found folding a dry towel and making a U shape for my head to tuck into at night helped.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 11:44:03

Do you know the brand name Soup? Sounds great.

SundaySimmons Thu 14-Nov-13 11:45:06

Cheap neck warmer. Get an old t shirt and lay it down flat. Cut through both layers from under the armpit to the other side so that you have a rectangle which opens into a tube and voila! You now have a soft neck warmer.

No sewing required.

GladitsnotJustMe Thu 14-Nov-13 11:45:30

I had just got really cold before reading this thread - I'm a naturally cold person, especially when sitting still before a computer screen.

Things I find that help:

Make sure your jumper covers the small of your back - I'm tall, and a lot of my jumpers ride up when I'm sitting down, so my lower back gets exposed. It really makes me cold.

I've just put on an extra fleece layer with a hood, with hood up (who cares, no one can see me!) and made up a small hot water bottle which is now on my lap, tucked my under layer in so it's properly covering my lower back, and made (another) cup of tea. I'm lovely and warm now, even my hands.

Also I have these: Croc slippers and they really are the warmest slippers I've ever had. They're tough, hardwearing and good as new after at least 2 years of non-stop wear. They're expensive, but Christmas is coming up!

Enb76 Thu 14-Nov-13 11:45:33

Old woollen jumper that can't be worn but you haven't yet thrown? Hot wash so the wool felts, then cut the arms off and make a hole just under the cuff. Get your needle and thread and sew up and over around the hole. Hey presto - wrist warmers.

Be safe though with the oven door and little ones.
And just wondering won't the heat dissipate anyway over the evening and warm house a little anyway?
But, yes, I'm sure opening door would facilitate this and perhaps create more useful amount of warming in shorter period.
I also leave a bath in until the water has given off it's heat to the room/house rather than run it out straight away - but again not something to do if you have under 5's around (just in case - I know, I worry too much)

ThornSayre Thu 14-Nov-13 11:46:46

I do that with the oven. If the washing machine is going as well and I shut the kitchen door I stay quite warm in there.

Have just applied for the warm front grant flowers OP.

SoupDragon Thu 14-Nov-13 11:47:04

There's no brand - they are gel pads with a little metal bit in them that you click to start a chemical reaction. You can get them all over (Tescos had them). Often sold as hand warmers. You have to boil them to rest the chemicals [technical]

We did this when our boiler broke a few years back. The children had some thing warm to go to bed with and they still have the chance to warm them up again with the "click"

AdoraBell Thu 14-Nov-13 11:47:41

Uri that is geniussmile <see, that's a smile, I'm not laughing>

SpookyRestingFace Thu 14-Nov-13 11:48:06

I am trying the candle heater right now, have just got back from the garden centre with pots. It's not doing much yet hmm but the pots are a bit damp as they were kept outside at the GC, would that be impeding it I wonder?

Things I swear by:

Layers - pure wool and cashmere. I am by no means well-off but have amassed a large collection of pure knits via Ebay, end of season sales and Woolovers. You can't overstate the amazingness of wool.

Scarves (again, wool or cashmere) are essential. I am using a snood this year as no trailing ends. I bought it at the beginning of September and it's barely been off me since.

Wristwarmers / fingerless gloves.

Flannelette bed sheets - I got us all full bedding sets on BOGOF from Woolworths (online) last autumn. Don't use anything else now until spring. It feels cosy even when you first get in. The downside is it makes getting up in the morning incredibly difficult.
Also got fleecy mattress protectors.

Slanket for evening once DC are away in bed and I'm ensconced on the sofa. They are amazing - I never ever have the heat on in the evening. They wrap you head to toe and are so voluminous it's easy to tuck hands in.

Slippers, always. Again, sheepskin or wool are many times better than synthetic, but they are expensive; however you can buy sheepskin insoles very cheaply on Ebay. I think I paid £3-4 for the ones I bought for my Converse and my outdoor boots. Makes a huge difference.

GladitsnotJustMe Thu 14-Nov-13 11:48:48

KungFu I also have those clickable gel pads. If you Google 'Gel Hand warmers' you'll find loads.

They're brilliant - good for pre-warming slippers, putting in your pockets when you go out - anything that a hot water bottle is too big for.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 11:51:32

Good safety point there Juggling ds is older so that didn't cross my mind. Sorry.

Well I'm rubbish. My pots don't fit together, I thought I had many in the shed but I gave them away as I wasn't using them. Now living through Spooky as I am very keen to hear how these work. I reckon once it dries a bit you'll feel it more.

misdee Thu 14-Nov-13 11:53:40

Sainsburys do lovely thermals. £7 for leggings, £6 for a camisole, £7 for a long sleeved top. I use them for layering in winter and they also get used when we go xalp

Bubble Wrap your windows. Bubble wrap is your friend. You can order a 50 m roll on ebay for around £17. You need the large air bubbles, not the tiny small bubbles.

You spray some water on your windows to make them sticky. Cut the bubble wrap to size, and stick it on. From the outside it just look like you have sort of tudor style wonky glass window.

It means you have no view, but it really really helps insulating. The good thing is, you can just peal off in spring and reuse the next year.

Did anyone mention thick rugs on the floor?

I want to try the flower pots but i don't have any pots and im worried about the stupid cats knocking them over. Its freezing here, i don't normally put the heating on much anyway as am on a prepayment meter and cant afford it, so its only ever on for a hour a day, but this week we have a broken boiler so not been on at all.

misdee Thu 14-Nov-13 12:04:26

Sainsburys do lovely thermals. £7 for leggings, £6 for a camisole, £7 for a long sleeved top. I use them for layering in winter and they also get used when we go camping in the summer.

Any cheap rug on a tiled/wooden floor makes a lot of difference.

Sorry about half message, dd5 pressed send

SpookyRestingFace Thu 14-Nov-13 12:04:37

Oh, thought of another one re: high cost of wool clothing. If you are smallish, look at children's clothing. I bought myself two Mini Boden lambswool jumpers recently, which with various offers and codes came to £15 and £17 respectively. The largest size, 11-12, easily fits size 10.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 12:13:44

Hmmm, DH needs to know what I would like for Christmas. Thermals sounds good.

misdee Thu 14-Nov-13 12:14:05

I am sensitive to wool sadly, and end up an itchy mess.

Fingerless gloves are also good when at home. I don't like gloves with fingers as constantly dealing with small children, so find fingerless long gloves ideal. Keep the chill off hands and lower arms.

We are lucky to be able to afford heating but don't want it to be like last winter with massive bills which were hard to clear after the cold weather had gone. Made harder by dh not being able to regulate his temperature easily.

aliciaflorrick Thu 14-Nov-13 12:20:31

As others have said, layer up, starting with thermals and finishing with a fleece and scarf.

I can only afford to use the woodburner in one room on an evening, I've bought a fan that sits on top of it (about £50 from Amazon) so rather than the heat rising up and sitting at the ceiling it pushes the hot air out to you where you're sitting and I find pushes it further around the house. My house is normally freezing and even with the fire on I can feel cool, since I've had this fan I've been very hot. I have the living room door closed when we're in it, but then open it when I go to bed and the hot air then goes through the house.

I don't live in the UK, but anybody living in France and need new windows, insulation, etc apply to your local commune for a Pact grant. I've just been given a grant to insulate the walls and ceiling of my kitchen and garage, new kitchen windows and doors and a new wood burning boiler. As long as it increases the environmental efficiency of your house by more than 25% you should be good to go (and I think you may need to be on a low income, I'm not sure I just automatically fell into that part). My grant is very large and it's going to be sorting out the two areas of my house that make the rest of it cold. The thought of not having a gale blowing through the back door (when it's shut) makes me so happy.

Big rugs on my tiled floors have made a big difference as well.

I have the heated over blanked from Lidl that sometimes I use rather than lighting the fire.

I also bought the slippers that had the wheat heat pads in them, so I wore them last year and the DCs had some as well, but I'm liking the look of the croc ones very much - I might try them this year.

MissMarplesBloomers Thu 14-Nov-13 12:21:51

Worth asking around oil suppliers Marcelline. Mine (Watsons) runs a budget account tou pay a set amount each month (I pay £40 pcm) & they do regular top-ups. Never run out of oil & if you have a good tankful in the spring I just ring up & put the top up on hold till I use up the reserve.

Dh has just bought a thick jumper from the charity shop. £2.99. I wear my dressing gown and I have fleecy pj bottoms which are warmer than normal pjs. This thread has made me feel sad for everyone who's cold this winter. It's lovely to have all the ideas to keep warm but I got a email from our energy company saying they were putting their prices up and we've just moved into an old house with an inefficient crap heating system that throws money out the window before the radiators have even heated up.
I'm worried cos my baby is due on the 2nd dec and I don't know how I'm gonna keep the house warm enough for her. Will follow these its for a start. thanks

misdee Thu 14-Nov-13 12:28:52

I have been buying hats whenever I see them cheap in shops and charity shops.

I do need to get new hot water bottles though as we don't have enough now the family is huge blush

Trying to get my 2 year old to keep his clothes on annoys me. It's cold, his skin feels cold but he strips off all the time. It's not warm in here as heating has been off since kids left for school. It's not freezing but its not warm. And he is just in a t shirt and vest, after removing his shoes, socks, legwarmers, trousers and jumper and coat after going for a walk earlier.

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Thu 14-Nov-13 12:31:00

Mrsmarples, am in ireland so that won't apply. But thanks! Ive tried them akl but no joy. Its all the one in this cold damp house! I promised myself last year I wouldn't be here at Christmas but still here. Ive gotten baxk on to all my housing contacts so if anyone knows anyone high up in the councils here!

I was just looking online for other properties to rent so heres hoping. I really can't stay.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 12:31:00

Good thread smile

I agree with those heated pads you heat in the microwave, and then wrap up in a blanket. Also thick socks and a scarf seem to help keep me warm when it's really cold.

IamInvisible Thu 14-Nov-13 12:34:21

I often wear a vest top under my pyjamas. Our bedroom is freezing, but that makes all the difference.

Tights under trousers. Primark have some fab tights atm. As well as their fleece lined ones, they've got wooly ones and velvet lined leggings for £6 a pair.

I wear fake Uggs as slippers. Mine are from Next kids range (adult size 5). Because they are leather and have a hard sole they are really warm.

We've all got fleeces for the sofas. Primark have some lovely Christmas/Wintry ones atm.

The kids have got fleecy throws on the end of the beds they can pull up in the night if it gets chilly.

Make stews and soups for dinners, they warm you up.

I collapsed al the boxes I had the delivered yesterday to put out for recycling. I am going to cover them with foil and put them behind the radiators.

Make sure you air your house. If the air is dry it is easier to warm up than if it is damp.

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Thu 14-Nov-13 12:36:07

Mrsmarples, am in ireland so that won't apply. But thanks! Ive tried them akl but no joy. Its all the one in this cold damp house! I promised myself last year I wouldn't be here at Christmas but still here. Ive gotten baxk on to all my housing contacts so if anyone knows anyone high up in the councils here!

I was just looking online for other properties to rent so heres hoping. I really can't stay.

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Thu 14-Nov-13 12:36:45

Oh sorry dunno what I am doing!

MsPickle Thu 14-Nov-13 12:37:18

Warm underneath as well as on top. On the rocking chair I use when settling dd at night I have two very cheap fleece blankets. One underneath, one on top of me. With my dressing down on over my pjs and sweater (I'm cold when tired!) I'm warm even at 4 am. Comfortable? I'd rather be in bed but...

Snuggling on the sofa? Put an extra blanket underneath you. It makes such a difference!

SkullyAndBones Thu 14-Nov-13 12:37:58

keeping warm outside!

wear leggings or tights (or both) along with thick socks.

trousers allow the draught up your legs and they also get wet which can seep up the cloth and make your legs cold.

When its snowing out i will put on thick 70 denier tights with leggings over the top and a pair of slipper socks.. keeps the legs and toes lovely and warm!

Then you do layers.. so a nice longline vest that you can use to cover stomach and back and pull down over your bum (skin tight though) then a long sleeve tshirt and a woolen or fleece jumper/cardi under a long length coat.

Scarf, gloves, hat, hood up!

Keep things long line though, if you get a draught in the small of your back it will undo everything and keep you cold!

DoctorTwo Thu 14-Nov-13 12:39:50

Aldi sell Merino wool base layers. They're fantastic.

Dontlookbehindyou Thu 14-Nov-13 12:40:50

Owever wrapped up I get my ankles are always cold and when I get cold it hurts, I had a pair of woolly knitted socks that were really good but they wore out massively. I need to find someone who can knit socks, it's amazing how much warmer you feel when your feet are warm.

Cuddle lots! Ds usually has his nap snuggled up against me abd for however long he's asleep were both snuggly warm.
I've taped plastic over the fireplace to keep heat in and we wear onsies far too often.

misdee Thu 14-Nov-13 12:41:21

Legwarmers. My family may look like throwbacks to the 80's at times but they do make a difference when outside. And baby/toddler sized ones can also be used as arm warmers on bigger kids/small adults.

RevelsRoulette Thu 14-Nov-13 12:42:29

I'm planning on getting thick floor length curtains and two little rails so I can have thick curtains to draw across the front and back doors. The cold that comes through the doors is unreal. There's no draft to speak of, but the area is really cold and I'm thinking thick curtains will really help. Has anyone done this and did it make a difference?

misdee Thu 14-Nov-13 12:48:39

I have curtains by front and back doors and they do make a difference. I am saving for carpeting in hallway and living room as the tiles are so cold

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 12:56:30

Also check out this if you are in receipt of benefits and have school children:

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 12:56:49

I did it last week Revels very happy with the results heat wise, the 70s vibe not so much.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 12:57:35

(Sorry if that had already been posted, I haven't checked the whole thread.)

MrsDeVere Thu 14-Nov-13 13:04:03

If you are cold in bed and are tempted to stick extra blankets over your duvet DON'T.
Put any extra bedding UNDER the duvet.
If you put them on top they make the duvet less effective because they squash it.

Don't heat your empty spaces. Hallways can be scooted through so turn the radiators off in hallways and bathrooms.

If you have a heated airer they are cheap to run and they give off a lot of warmth in a smallish space.

Don't forget letter boxes and key holes. A hell of a lot of cold air can get through them.

I have some of those wheat bag teddies for the kids. I prefer them to hot water bottles and you can pick them up cheaply in bargain stores and after Christmas.

YY to curtains. Over doors they make a huge difference. I like my smart wooden blinds but they are crap at keeping heat in.

I grew up cold. I didn't have any heating in a house I lived in until I was in my mid 20s and then I was so poor I couldn't afford to put the two radiators I have on.

I have become spoilt by heating. I feel the cold so much more now. When I think of the way my windows were covered in ice on the inside I wonder how the hell I managed it.

Being cold is miserable and it takes up so much energy. I hate to think of people being cold. I know what it is like. I won't forget.

It is utter crap that people are freezing in one of the richest countries in the world.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 13:30:03

Does turning off radiators make a difference to bills and the efficiency of the other radiators?

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 13:45:17

I know there are many things that stay with us for ever MrsD and I don't doubt being cold is one of them flowers The wheat bags sound good, I warm DS's bed with the water bottle before he gets in then take it out. Wheat and gel packs could be left in, couldn't they?

I'm going to try approaching local school and church, maybe see if we can make a load of trendy draught excluders for those locally who are vulnerable to the cold.

I've found it makes a difference Solid, even when I was in a position to afford heat with wild abandon I used to turn off the hall ones.

DH and iI are now enjoying our mid day hour of heating. Went for a small walk before it came on. Got the blood pumping and we felt the difference more coming in from the cold. The walk will only do my health good, I'm usually in a warm office all day.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 13:46:28

Thanks KungFu. Also do you think it saves more fuel to turn the heating off periodically or have it on low all the time, so that at least you're not having to heat up from scratch time and time again?

KenAdams Thu 14-Nov-13 13:51:11

This thread makes me so angry. What the actual fuck went wrong for so many people in one of the worlds richest countries not be able to afford to heat their homes? It really beggars belief sad

Good thread though OP.

shimmeringinthesun Thu 14-Nov-13 13:51:13


Have you tried ankle warmers over the top of your normal socks, but underneath your trousers, jeans etc? I'm talking about the ones that were the craze in the 80's and were worn with leotard and leggings when keep fitting/Flash dancing!
If you can't get hold of any, get some extra thick socks, cut the foot off, and use the leg part.

I do this as I live in a house with no carpets, just a few rugs. They really work.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 13:53:01

My Dad used to rave about thermostats. I'm sure he said picking a decent temp and letting it click on if it dropped was best. I could be wrong. I'd have a Google tbh. I'm no expert.

Our is on for 3 hours a day. Thermostat too so if it's already 18 or it reaches 18 during the hour it turn off.

We have 7-8 for DS getting ready for school
1-2 to warm for when he comes home 2-3 didn't work as the temp dropped too far.
And then 7-8 for showers and bed.
We drop the 1-2 when we can.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Thu 14-Nov-13 13:54:34

My furry onesie and slippers keep me so warm I have to turn the heating off or risk roasting alive. Guess what the DH and DSs are having for Christmas? smile. Joking aside, we'll only need heating before work/school.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 13:55:32


So if I have the heating timer set to All Day, but the thermostats are set to turn off at 17, then I won't be using fuel? (Sorry if I'm being stupid!)

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 14:01:30

If the house reaches 17 it will turn off, if it doesn't it will run all day. I think it works if you're well insulated. I imagine in a draughty house that loses heat it would cost a fortune.

Not stupid at all, my Dad went on and on about the wonder's of thermostats but DH never had one before this house and he found it baffling, especially with the timer.

Anyone know how much it does cost to heat a 3 bed house, say per hour, in the morning and evening, or throughout the day too?
And of course each additional degree of temperature costs more too.
What sort of weekly, monthly, or quarterly bills do people get?
- just as an idea for thread if anyone wants to share ?

Our thermostat is broken so we have a thermometer and we try to be manual thermostats when we have it on

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 14:09:53

I have a thermometer somewhere too, I think I'll dig it out and see what the temperature is, our thermostat is in the hallway near the front door, so colder than the rest of the house. Each radiator has a thermostat too (is that what they're called? I turn them mostly down to two bars except the living room).

We have duel fuel and our monthly bill on direct debit for gas and electricity together is £154 for a 4 bed house. I think it's set a bit high though, so am hoping for some money back at some point.

JADS Thu 14-Nov-13 14:12:14

Fleece onesies with feet - look awful but toasty warm.

definitely close off rooms you don't use and heat one room. My grandad lived in his kitchen through winter as his house was old and creaky.

I have to agree with Ken - this thread makes me so angry that people are living in fuel poverty in this day and age.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 14:16:10

I know JADS, seriously, if anyone wants hats shout up, also if you're in the Ayrshire area and don't have sewing stuff I'm happy to help with draught excluders.

We shouldn't be living like this but we are. We need to help each other as no one else is. flowers for everyone taking the time to share tips.

YoucancallmeQueenBee Thu 14-Nov-13 14:17:18

Maybe we need to think again about central heating. We've only had it for the last 60/70 years. Maybe with diminishing natural resources, we need to think about dressing better & being more clever with how we keep warm. So many UK houses are so poorly insulated, it is like heating green houses!

Thanks Solid Gold that's interesting. Don't want to de-rail lovely, helpful thread, but am not very aware of our heating costs - just that they're probably too high, and I'm (a bit) scared how much heating our home through winter will cost this year.

SkullyAndBones Thu 14-Nov-13 14:21:42

yep, our therm is set to 18 and our heating programmed to come on for 3hrs a day.

an hour each at 7am, 2pm and 6pm. but it doesn't come on or will switch off if the temp in the house is above 18.

basically, it warms the house for when we get up, when the kids get in from school and before they go to bed.

we have to have it on as we use the radiators to dry the washing, but we do try and keep it to that minimum.

SundaySimmons Thu 14-Nov-13 14:21:58

As an aside to the thread, I will never have British Gas again.

Many years ago I moved into a new home and hadn't set up to pay monthly direct debit. I was single, no children then.

I got the first quarter gas bill, it was for £400 odd! I was shocked as I had budgeted for around fifty quid! I did have a bit of a fright and phoned them up and they sent someone to read the outside meter again and phoned me up to tell me that the previous meter man had recorded it wrong and my actual bill was for £40 odd!

They then wrote off the forty quid bill for my distress and sent me a cheque for more money, quite a bit I seem to remember as compensation! Whilst I was pleased I did think it was a bit over the top and a simple apology would have sufficed. It made me think they had money to burn.

Then, this is what really ticked me off, another time I moved I got reminders from British gas for the previous occupier whom appeared to have never paid a bill, including his gas one and he was owing five hundred odd pounds. I had his forwarding address as he came to see me about an urgent letter he needed forwarding. I didn't mention all the debt letters I had for him as he was an arrogant unpleasant sort.

So I phoned British gas and said I had opened the letter and told them his new address. The woman said thanks but it would probably be written off as it wasn't always worth their while chasing people.

I was furious! How many people rent for six months, don't pay bills and then bugger off to the next property to do the same thing!

I realise this was a long time ago and maybe British gas are more tightly run but this obscene waste of money accounting really ticked me off and made me think that the coat of the waste was being passed on to the paying customer.

What a lovely thread. ..though equally crap that its needed

Primark have a range of blankets that are £5 and well worth the money. ..they currently have a xmassy one-its red and white with deers ob and a kind of nowergen pattern and this one seems to be slightly heavier than the other designs. idwa why. ..and they are fab

blue2 Thu 14-Nov-13 14:26:25

If you cannot face exercising, get up and do the ironing.

(I know it costs money to heat the iron, but at least you are getting a job done as well as keeping warm!)

We had a similar experience (in old flat) with British Gas where we were chased for a previous tenant's heating debt. It resolved itself eventually but has made me choose another provider.

leezl Thu 14-Nov-13 14:26:44

Invest in a really good quality set of seasonal duvets that you can join together or separate to suit different temperatures. Mine has a very thin summer duvet, a medium thick spring/autumn duvet and when combined they make a super squishy cosy thick winter wonder! I've just put it on a few weeks ago and once I'm in bed, I am toasty all night! And they last for years and years, so the initial expense is really worth it if you can afford it. Loving this thread!

BettyandDon Thu 14-Nov-13 14:29:31

I only just realised in our house if we bolt the doors top and bottom rather than just lock them it keeps the seal tighter and let's in almost no draught. Previously the draft was severe...

Feel like an idiot after freezing near the door for a few years.

misdee Thu 14-Nov-13 14:35:03

I tend to sit in the back of the house in winter as that's where the sun shines in. Currently in the kitchen with the tumble dryer on and washing machine running. So it's toasty warm. Heating doesn't come on for another hour. I know some cant afford a tumble dryer, but it don't half heat the room up good and proper.

gigglestar Thu 14-Nov-13 14:36:56

Thankyou Kungfu and everyone else! I'm going to get busy putting all this into practice grin

CosyTeaBags Thu 14-Nov-13 14:37:40

I second the advice to invest in a good Duvet - I shivered under my crap one for years, used to put extra blankets over me, sleep in a fleece and hat, and put my oil filled radiator on.

I eventually splashed out on one of these Duvet and it was the best investment I ever made. I ummed and aaahed about the cost for ages, but I'm so glad I bought it.

I literally haven't used the heating in my bedroom since I bought it 2 years ago, so I think it has paid for itself - and I no longer sleep in a fleece!! It's so cosy, and I'm the coldest sleeper.

Damnautocorrect Thu 14-Nov-13 14:54:32

Now I know getting up and doing stuff warms you up but how on earth do you motivate yourself when it's so cold to get off your blanketed sofa?!?

YoucancallmeQueenBee Thu 14-Nov-13 15:07:12

I struggle with that too Damnauto in the evenings. I think it means I'm not wearing enough!

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 15:20:52

Maybe get yourself a biscuit while you're up Damn grin

Home Bargains do thermals for 2.99 each

Great thread and some very handy tips
Thank you

Damnautocorrect Thu 14-Nov-13 17:34:15

Brilliant pisses I was just thinking I could do with some thermals today.

LOVING the biscuit idea, might manage that. I try rewarding myself with a brew if I do something and I obviously warm up once I'm busy it's just the motivating I struggle with when all I want to do is be warm!

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 17:41:07

Terracotta heater is going. Very warming.

SlatternismyMiddlename Thu 14-Nov-13 17:48:18

Sorry I haven't read all the thread yet but wanted to jump in with a warning - do not wear a scarf in bed. My DF attended at a house once where the child died from strangulation caused by a scarf they had worn to bed. Obviously devastating for everyone involved.

I'm off to read the rest of the thread with interest.

Preciousbane Thu 14-Nov-13 17:49:21

I shut all my curtains quite early on, as soon as twilight is setting in.

I wore a hat in the house a couple of years ago when we had a G rated boiler.

Damnautocorrect Thu 14-Nov-13 17:58:24

Oh another one, how on earth do you shave your legs in a cold house?! It's like I've done it with a kitchen knife!!

CosyTeaBags Thu 14-Nov-13 18:07:18

Oh god I used to have that problem in my old house Damnauto

I would do everything else first, so I was as warm as I could be, but then something would make me shiver, like touching the freezing cold wall or something, the goosebumps would appear and I'd have no choice.

I would regularly appear from the bathroom with blood streaming from multiple wounds. Hideous.

SpookyRestingFace Thu 14-Nov-13 18:13:02

I shave in a hot bath (when I bother to shave at all). Don't know if it's just me (?) but I retain heat from a bath for a good while afterwards - can even stand in my cold bedroom doing the whole body cream / oil thing for 10 minutes before getting dressed.

chinley Thu 14-Nov-13 18:26:31

Hope it hasn't already been mentioned... get a cat, or two! Mine are always draped all over me with their warm, furry little bodies. smile

chinley Thu 14-Nov-13 18:28:44

Damnautocorrect, if it gets really bad, try doing it seperately rather than in the shower - fully clothed, warm socks, and just get a tub of warm water and do it that way.

ManicMinor Thu 14-Nov-13 18:35:59

Eating a lot of carbohydrates - really makes a difference. I first realised this when I was camping at high altitude in South America as a student, where it got seriously cold at night, and the locals just plied us with multiple carbs.

alexpolistigers Thu 14-Nov-13 18:36:59

Sock wrist warmers: Get a pair of warm old socks, cut the toes off and make a slightly diagonal slit in one side part way up - this is for your thumb. Scroll through the pictures here and you will see what I mean!

elskovs Thu 14-Nov-13 18:45:36

Im still a bit confused over this.

Im in the Midlands and haven't switched our heating on yet. Not because we are incredibly frugal but because its not that cold. The children are sat next to me with pjs on and no dressing gown or slippers.

Maybe all the cold people are in Scotland.

Giddypants Thu 14-Nov-13 18:45:56

Does anyone know if we are eligible for the winter fuel allowance?
My DS 5years is disabled he gets higher rate DLA care component.
I have looked on the government web site but can't find anything about disabled children, I've tried phoning CAB but never managed to get through. Any ideas?

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 14-Nov-13 18:46:54

M&S has an outlet site on their website, they are doing thermals buy one get one half price.

I'm very pleased with mine, delivery is via amazon & is next day.

PiratePanda Thu 14-Nov-13 18:48:05

Nothing like a hot cup of coffee for warming up cold hands. If I'm working from home all day, I often leave having my shower until I've been up for a while and I'm feeling cold. The warm water heats me right up for a good while.

I also sit at a desk with a large merino wool rug wrapped all the way around me from calves to armpits (a bit like wrapping a towel round yourself after a shower IYSWIM), and I wear tracksuit pants tucked into old army surplus wool socks. Toastie.

Laptop on the knees also very warming. As are small children and cats.

SlatternismyMiddlename Thu 14-Nov-13 18:50:03

It may sound obvious but when you do have any radiators on, make sure nothing is blocking them.

My DS has a very big bedroom, but the bed only fits along one wall. When he was little we had his bed against the one wall that had the radiator on it to reduce the chances of him falling out of bed. The room was always cold. Now he is a bit bigger we have moved the bed out from that wall thus 'freeing' the wall. (He has only fallen out of bed once). The room is now a decent temperature. I can't believe the difference it has made.

In my own bedroom the only place the head of the bed can go covers the entire radiator. The room is always freezing.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 18:54:33

I'm in Scotland Elsk.

Who are you with Giddy I'll try and link criteria.

BarfaStewart Thu 14-Nov-13 19:02:23

Elsk, we are in the midlands too, on the Shropshire/Welsh border, and tbh it's bloody freezing today. That said, all of the HA houses in our street still have wooden frame windows, which are riddled with damp and rot, so we may as well be in the back garden. That said, DH has emailed the HA about them.

GivesYouHell Thu 14-Nov-13 19:02:56

Can anyone recommend any really warm decent quality, and sensibly priced onesies? Or those sleeping bag style onesies - not sure what they're called?

ThornSayre Thu 14-Nov-13 19:07:22

MrsDeVere's advice about blankets under not on top of duvets is excellent. We put our lightweight summer one under the base sheet in winter and it is very cosy smile

Delilahlilah Thu 14-Nov-13 19:12:38

I just came back to say if you have a spare / summer duvet to put it under your bed sheet. Great minds there Thorn! A blanket underneath you, but over the sheet works well, much warmer. Also, brushed cotton bedding is warmer than ordinary cotton.

Blatherskite Thu 14-Nov-13 19:13:26

Ironing is a good activity to do if you're especially cold. It gets you up and moving and of you shut the door, it's surprising how warm a room can get. I also do the ironing of uniform just before the kids put it on. It's so nice to get into fresh, warm clothes.

Look out for running/cycling special events at your local Aldi or Lidl. They will usually have cheap fleecey or insulated running tops and trousers and the tops will generally be the style with longer sleeves with thumb holes which will keep you lovely and warm. They're usually designed to wick sweat away from your body while trapping heat. I picked up a cheap 'base layer' in Aldi a few weeks ago too which is basically a vest and cycling-type shorts and they are amazingly warm and yet tight/thin enough to wear under other clothes.

justmuddlingalong Thu 14-Nov-13 19:15:03

Just ordered 2 of these thermal all in ones from M and S Outlet (£17.30 for both inc delivery). I signed up for outlet emails and got an extra 15% off. Thanks fluffycloud for the tip.

ThornSayre Thu 14-Nov-13 19:15:51

Delilahlilah grin

I haven't had brushed cotton since I used to stay with my grandparents as a child. It was lovely!

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 14-Nov-13 19:17:06

You are welcome! If anyone's going to buy them it needs to be chilly mumsnetters.

I'm watching cheap cashmere on eBay.

elskovs Thu 14-Nov-13 19:21:24

Just picked up the Aldi magazine and from Thursday next week (21st) they are selling womens thermals. Lots of types in black or white sizes 10-20 for £4.29 per piece.

ControlGeek Thu 14-Nov-13 19:25:53

Measures we took in our old rented flat (rotten windowframes and ridiculous amounts of condensation meant we had to keep our bedroom window open all year round - ending up with a snowdrift on our windowsill on more than one occasion!) included:

Lots and lots of hot drinks, even if it was just hot water

Sleep with a hat, socks and gloves on - I had one of those with ear flaps. Ridiculous, but very warm!

Slippers that cover the ankles, eg ugg style bootee type ones, were invented by an angel.

Fingerless gloves - knitting them kept me warm, and wearing them kept me even warmer!

Knit/crochet a blanket

Put two fleeces underneath the duvet. When you get into bed, get in between the two so you are lying on one and have the other over you. Instant warmth without a heated blanket.

Curtains, the thicker the better. If you can't afford curtain lining (like we couldn't at the time), buy two cheap pairs of curtains from a charity shop and hang one inside the other in place of a liner.

Curtains behind doors, even internal ones, and keep the doors closed! DP has lived with me for 13 years but still walked into a closed door behind a shut curtain this evening <snigger>

Long, hot showers.

Layer up (a lot of pps have already said this, and it's true)

Jeans are cold! Took me a long time to realise this. Tights and leggings are your friends. Also, boots are warmer than shoes.

An indoor heated airer like a dri-buddy dries your clothes at the same time as warming your house.

Draught excluders, including sidney the sausage dog, are brilliant and can be made in many ways as other pps have mentioned.

If you are in the house during the day, try to have a hot meal at lunch time rather than a sandwich. Even something small, like a toasted sandwich, will make you feel warmer than having a cold meal.

Rugs on floors, even carpeted ones, make you feel warmer even if they don't actually increase the temperature.

Exercise really does make you feel warmer, but motivation can be hard to find when you are that cold. Try wrapping up and going for a walk outside. You will feel warmer to start with because of the extra layers, then your house/flat will feel warmer when you go back inside.

I really wish I had known about the bubble wrap when I lived in that flat. That could have seriously improved our living conditions. I'm even tempted to try it here in our new (1950's ex council) house.

ControlGeek Thu 14-Nov-13 19:26:12

Oops sorry for the epic post blush

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 19:27:57

<narrows eyes at fluffy>


IamInvisible Thu 14-Nov-13 19:41:34

For thermals, I know its too late now, but next year keep your eyes out in the Summer. I bought Pringle thermal long johns and t-shirts from Matalan for 99p each in August for DH. He won't ever need anymore so long as he doesn't put on weight!

I always wear socks in bed when I am cold.

I've got fleecy blankets in the airing cupboard that I don't use, they are going under the sheets next time I change the beds!

PigletJohn Thu 14-Nov-13 19:48:03

Electric blanket. Costs pence to run for a night.

Wrong time of year now, but last summer got one in Tesco that was reduced to half price and then halved again. A King Size is actually better than a double as it reaches the edges of the bed as well as the feet. The budget brands are rather sparing on size, but should show it on the box.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 14-Nov-13 19:51:25

We might not be the same size kung

Giddypants Thu 14-Nov-13 19:54:05

I'm with npower kungfu

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 19:54:50

I'm loving the throws and pash stuff. Think I'll try charity shop as the postage puts them out of budget for me.

You seen anything you liked?

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 19:56:28

Looks like a yes from what you said Giddy. Details here

IamInvisible Thu 14-Nov-13 20:01:59

I've got to tell you all at out my new socks!

I bought some slipper socks from Primark at the weekend, pushed the boat out and spent £4 on a pair. I've just got them out and they are fur lined!

Guess where I'm going again this weekend? They'd make ideal Christmas Pressies for older girls/teens/women.

Giddypants Thu 14-Nov-13 20:06:03

Excellent, thank you x

piebald Thu 14-Nov-13 20:07:13

Mattress toppers make your bed warmer, but they are expensive and an old duvet under the bottom sheet works just as well. Flannelette sheets are really cosy, or a cheapie fleecy blanket on acold sheet can make all the difference and as someone else said a hotwater bottle is lovely. Put hotty in bed with pjs wrapped round it, then they are warm to put on and bed will be too, and hotty not scalding hot by then. Possibly cheaper than using hairdryer

slipper socks sound good, anyone know where you can get cheap second hand curtains from, we have massive bay window with no curtains, the charity shops are empty wish i had not thrown away moldy blinds in the spring thinking i would have a job by now.

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 20:08:41

Welcome. Better you have £135 than them!

Ledkr Thu 14-Nov-13 20:10:06

I use the gas fire in the lounge and one if the hob burners to heat the kitchen.
The heating only goes on for a couple if hrs at night for kids bath and bed.

AbsduCroissant Thu 14-Nov-13 20:17:05

Not much to add - but I agree that tights and leggings are ridiculously warm when you're outside, and in general.

Another issue is condensation - I think because it can be so damp here, it makes it feel colder. There's all sorts of dehumidifiers (including "eggs" that you can reset in your microwave) on amazon, which aren't too expensive and can help dry the air out a bit.

justmuddlingalong Thu 14-Nov-13 20:19:40

My house has really bad condensation. I wizz round with the Karcher window vac in the morning. Takes about 2 minutes. Then I open the windows for about an hour. Bbbrrrr!

AthelstaneTheUnreadyFucker Thu 14-Nov-13 20:25:10

No oil this year for me either - but things I know are:

Forget heating the house - heat you. So in the morning I run a small electric heater in the bathroom for five minutes while I have a shower. When I'm warm I dress in as many merino/wool/cashmere things as appropriate (all old or from charity shops) and keep drinking hot drinks (one herbal tea bag lasts me all day, but by about 5 p.m. it doesn't really taste of anything anymore... grin ).

In the evening I'm fortunate enough to have a woodburner in the sitting room and have that going for a couple of hours - scrumped wood on the way to and from work is a great contribution, and I spend maybe £5 a week on coal to supplement it. I have curtains over every downstairs doorway so it's quite comfortable just sitting for the evening as long as you're right in front of the fire.

I've never had a heated bedroom so that's not an issue, but last year I bought a small electric blanket and it's a revelation! 1/2 hour before bedtime and it's just gorgeous.

If I tried to heat this leaky 300 year old house I'd have to spend a stupid amount of money (that I don't have). So I don't bother, I just heat me.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 20:25:48

I don't have any draught excluders and no sewing machine. What do you all use to make them? I have an old sheet to stuff it with smile

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 20:26:54

We made Classics. I am rather pleased!

TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 14-Nov-13 20:27:01

Um, get pregnant! Im roasting half the time it feels like I have my own central heating, rarely put the heating on and living in t-shirts and cotton/ linen clothes. (Obviously I'm joking, but I really do not feel the cold right now at 35 weeks pregnant and I loathe visiting other people's houses that have them so hot!)

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 20:29:11

I use trousers Solid. Cut the legs off and stuff, I sew shut by hand. Jobs a good un.

youarewinning Thu 14-Nov-13 20:30:32

Fantastic thread - it's making me feel warm grin

I just looked at the link for Warm front grant. There was a link to cold weather payments on there.

Just going to look at claiming now as although I work so don't get income support and get universal credit but employed - it does say if your child gets DLA you may be entitled whether your employed or not.

I'm going to look at curtains in charity shops - that's a fab idea. Also going to look at getting one to put up in bathroom, inside, over the door as that is the room where window will be open (even in winter!) after shower/ bath. It may keep the cold in there only and help keep it warmer/warm up quicker after.

SkullyAndBones Thu 14-Nov-13 20:33:25

im in mids on shrops/wales border and it is indeed fucking cold today.. it was sleeting earlier!!

haven't seen my outside thermometer get over 6 degrees all day.

Solid a couple of pairs of old tights stuffed with newspaper or rags can make a good makeshift draught excluder!

I made a draught excluder from a jeans leg stuff with straw and small bags of sand to give it some stability. Though I used those items because they were what I had.

youarewinning Thu 14-Nov-13 20:39:39

OK, read the how to claim bit. It says its automatically paid and gives you the opportunity to check if your area is entitled on it too. So if your entitled then you can check when your het a payment.

AthelstaneTheUnreadyFucker Thu 14-Nov-13 20:41:34

I cut up and sewed together an old coat that was just LONG past refurbishing. Used a needle too, you don't need a sewing machine. Anything, really, in your wardrobe that you know will never be worn again.

One of my indoor-door curtains is a patchwork of old bits of material badly sewn together, but it looks quite sweet, surprisingly.

BarfaStewart Thu 14-Nov-13 20:41:36

Skully, really? I'm just outside Shrewsbury.

starsandunicorns Thu 14-Nov-13 20:41:37

soild use a pair of stocking or tights just tie the end up after stuffing

poshme Thu 14-Nov-13 20:41:54

Get a dog. When my (large) Labrador is on my lap I'm less comfortable much warmer.
It's definitely worth getting up and doing something- preferably outside. Whenever I do that, coming in feels warmer. Even 5 minutes of leaf raking/ hedge trimming (with choppers, not electric) star jumps / log sawing warns me up.

I dislike being cold- I remember crying from cold at my parents house once because it was around 6 degrees inside.

Leave the washing up water in the bowl to release heat into the house not sewer.
Set timers on dishwashers/ tumble driers/ washing machines so they are finishing just before you get up- that way they'll have raised the temp of the kitchen by a degree or 2.

Part of my house currently has no roof/ceiling- just a tarpaulin so we're feeling the chills!

This is a great thread. I really feel the cold and love this advice. I get Raynards in the cold aisle at the supermarket.

On colder nights I recommend a small DC in bed with you wink

BarfaStewart Thu 14-Nov-13 20:43:45

Skully, really? I'm just outside Shrewsbury.

Brilliant thread, I wish I'd known about the bubble wrap earlier too.

Amazon have microwaveable slippers, I'm going to get DW a pair.

starsandunicorns Thu 14-Nov-13 20:51:04

teenagertratruns i have pm you smile

SkullyAndBones Thu 14-Nov-13 20:51:46

yes barfa, not far from there myself smile

Queenofknickers Thu 14-Nov-13 20:51:46

Amazon have a hand/lapwarmer that you plug in the computer (while you are on mn!) and the power you are using anyway heats it up!

Queenofknickers Thu 14-Nov-13 20:52:02

It's £1.98

scripsi Thu 14-Nov-13 20:53:34

This is probably only for emergency measures (and we did this one year when snowed in with no gas or electric) and that is to get the weird foil blankets (that you see runners using after a marathon) and put them under the flat sheet, so you are lying on top of it. It essentially reflects all your heat back up.

misdee Thu 14-Nov-13 21:12:15

I remember waking up to frost inside the windows when growing up. And hopping across the kitchen floor, to switch the kettle on, and then running back upstairs to get dressed in time for the kettle boiling.

Went through the airing cupboard earlier and dragged every blanket out. They are now on sofas, in bedrooms etc, so big kids can snuggle in as needed.

Am buying new slippers for everyone this year. Except small boy who won't wear them.

I need more leggings and tights, and long sleeved tops for layering up. But am plus sized so places like primark don't fit me sad

SkullyAndBones Thu 14-Nov-13 21:28:10
SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 21:56:26

Thanks for the tips, I'll see if I've got some old tights.

PigletJohn Thu 14-Nov-13 21:59:18

the flower-pot joke cropped up before, it is a load of

cocolepew Thu 14-Nov-13 22:07:23

Check outshops like B & M Bargains, Poundstrecher, Home Bargains etc for cheaper curtains and things like draught excluders and curtains. I noticed B&M had thermal blackout curtains for £14 at the weekend. Lighting candles give the sensation of warmth, definitely wear a scarf.
B&M and Sports Direct has thermal long johns and long sleeved tops. The ones in Sports Direct are reduced from the original price and are BOGOF. DH got some for under his mitorbike gear and really rated them.

Primark have the clicky hand warmers for a pound.

Extra large fleeces in Primark for £15. Soft fleeces for £5 also Primark.

Faux fur throws, Poundstrecher has them for a tenner. I put the furry side against me.

Wear a thick dressing gown over your clothes.

I have put duct tape around draughty windows.

Curtains over the doors make a big difference. I have extra long denim ones from Ikea, £14. They pool on the floor so are like a draught excluder too.

cocolepew Thu 14-Nov-13 22:08:13

Oh and pull your curtains as soon as possible.

starsandunicorns Fri 15-Nov-13 07:17:34

Our curtains have been pulled since summer first beacause of sunshine and now beacause of weather as dp does nights by the time hes up and im home its dark we like mushrooms grin

ZingWantsGin Fri 15-Nov-13 07:42:33

possibly been said, but put 2 fleece bkankets on top of your bedsheet and sleep in between them, with a duvet on the very top.

it's warm when you lie down and gets toasty. I'm never cold, in fact sometimes I kick off the duvet as I get too hot.

Cantthinkofagoodname Fri 15-Nov-13 09:46:12

Make your own (almost) free heated neck warmer with stuff around the house.
You need a pair of old clean tights (i used a pair of DD's which are outgrown as kids' sizes are ideal) and some rice (I used 40p value stuff)
Tie the waist of the tights closed, then pour the rice into the legs, about a quarter full. Make two or three knots in each leg to hold the rice evenly through the length of each leg.
Nuke in microwave for 2 or 3 mins and wrap around your neck. Keeps you warm for ages!

KungFuBustle Sun 17-Nov-13 10:59:03

I got a nice hat yesterday, dark blue knitted, lined with fleece and with ear flaps. £1 from the pound shop!

SpencerPercival Sun 17-Nov-13 11:00:51

This is the oddest addition to classics ever.

MrsDeVere Sun 17-Nov-13 11:11:08

I put a curtain up over the front door yesterday. Blimey O'Reily it don't 'arf make a difference!

KungFuBustle Sun 17-Nov-13 11:14:53

Shhhh Spencer. There's obviously been a huge oversight, but due to a lack of wit and hilarious events I'll never make it again. Unless I go dry my minge with a hairdryer in a members only gym.

Yey MrsDeVere! smile

GiraffesAndButterflies Sun 17-Nov-13 11:28:01

This isn't exactly a heating tip, but I'm guessing lots on this thread have cold and possibly damp houses. I found a useful leaflet from the Scottish govt on how to deal with this and prevent mould.

ControlGeek Sun 17-Nov-13 11:54:11

I've got one of those candle heaters going now instead of having the heating on - it's only really beneficial close-to, but it's keeping my hands toasty while I type grin I've had to reduce it to one flower pot though - I tried with two stacked yesterday, and the outer one barely got warm.

This thread is officially amazing.

ControlGeek Sun 17-Nov-13 12:11:11

Just wanted to say that you lovely people have inspired me to give what I can to help others stay warm: my offer

I wanted to post this here, in case anyone on this thread would like one.

Sorry if this has already been posted, read most but not all! Someone mentioned those wheatbags you stick in the microwave that will keep you warm (I use one instead of a hot water bottle and accompanying me on the sofa in the evening). Well if you have a Home Bargains near you, they are only £1.79 which I think is fantastic!

TigerFeet Sun 17-Nov-13 12:45:13

If anyone's in the east Midlands please do pm me, I have the number of a company that will assess your house for energy saving measures which they may well be able to carry out for free even if you aren't in receipt of any benefits. We had cavity wall insulation installed and it hasn't cost us a penny, our loft insulation was already the required thickness otherwise we could havehad that done too.

We moved into a cold draughty house in February this year during a cold snap. Dh is especially sensitive to cold and draughts and went on a crusade to sort it all out. Some of the measures were £££ but some were incredibly cheap.

We replaced all the knackered windows with thermally efficient ones.
Blocked all draughts around doors with draught excluder tape around the frame and draught excluders at the bottom.
Blocked the chimney in the open fireplace.
Cavity wall insulation as above.
Making sure that the loft hatches are insulated as well as the loft itself, and again with the draught excluder tape around the hatch.
All curtains closed at sunset and tucked behind radiators.
Foil behind all radiators.
New fire in the front room as the old one was crap, meaning that we can now heat just one room rather than the whole house.
Thick curtains, lined with thermal lining, across all doors and windows. Floor length where possible. For the bay window in the front room I am making some curtains that have slits in them so that the middle bits can be tucked behind the radiator but the sides will still be long enough to reach the floor.
Not done yet but a work in progress... rods down the sides of the curtains in the front room which will clip into catches on the wall, stopping draughts coming round the sides of the curtains.

I appreciate that a lot if the above is expensive, we were fortunate enough to have enough equity in our old house to pay for it all after we'd bought this one. Dh is very resistant to wearing thermals and layers due to skin sensitivity issues, so we've draught proofed and insulated the house as much as possible.

commonsenseplease Thu 21-Nov-13 22:33:26

Next door fell asleep with a home-made candle heater burning. I was letting the dog out and saw the flames. I rang them (mobile in pocket, quicker than getting round wall), woke them and they managed to put it out.

Please be careful with these things.

commonsenseplease Thu 21-Nov-13 22:37:10

Oh, I knew there was something I wanted to ask - I'm a layers gal, but vests and leggings rather than an all-in-one types of undies/onesies (even though I used to wear bodysuits in the 80's and found them great at keeping my back warm - I tuck all the tops in the bottoms these days).

How the hell don't you freeze your nuts off stripping out of these things to go to the loo?! Great if you're a bloke, not so easy for females.

ControlGeek Thu 21-Nov-13 23:33:49

Massively cold bum every time common sorry, no other advice to give. Other than don't sit on the toilet seat, hover!!!

commonsenseplease Thu 21-Nov-13 23:54:03

I So want one of those Japanese heated toilets!

KungFuBustle Fri 22-Nov-13 12:33:27

We store our toilet paper on the radiator. For an hour a day we have warm bog roll and I feel like the queen of the world.

madamweasel Mon 25-Nov-13 20:06:06

Make homemade draught excluders to reduce draughts under doors. Get old wooly tights and divide to make 2 stockings. Fill the stockings with anything insulating (old rags, socks, blankets, old clothes, wool, cuddly toys, balled up newspaper) and then sew the two open ends together, sealing the stuffing into a sausage. Jam the excluder tightly against the draughty door.

madmomma Tue 26-Nov-13 08:00:39

grin @queen of the world.
What a lovely caring thread.
My tip is to rub like fury after your bath or shower then use talc. Just makes me feel warmer being bone dry and the furious rubbing perks the circulation.
Co-sleeping is an absolute boon in cold weather, too.

perfectstorm Tue 26-Nov-13 08:06:53

I have an asthmatic child where the cold triggers the asthma, and just bunging extra covers on/putting him in a sweater can't heat what goes into his lungs. In winter we've had to have the central heating on all through the nights in his room - ruinous. We can't use any plug-in electric heaters either, as they make him cough. So I bought a really good electric blanket in desperation, and it works. Heats his lungs, and the air around his bed a little too I think - no more hacking through the night, anyway.

It was £39 so NOT a cheap option, I realise, but it costs 0.5 pence a night to run. And will last years. And they are so, so much better than the ones I remember from my own childhood - lovely and fleecy underblanket, with the heat the same as sinking into a warm bath. You can set it at 28 or 36 degrees, you can set it just to your feet, you can set it for an hour or 9 hours. Brilliant thing. And no need for all night central heating any more, either.

madmomma Tue 26-Nov-13 09:05:14

Good news perfect I'm thinking of one for my eldest. Which brand was it?

Bertrude Tue 26-Nov-13 09:57:59

Thank you all. I'm havig difficulties with FIL, MIL and nan-in-law. MIL got mightily offended a few weeks ago - she was complaining about rising fuel costs and how they were struggling to pay for adequate heating, so we offered the services of my mate's husband who does loft insulation and can help arrange grants for pensioners. She said they weren't in need of handouts or benefits and would simply have to adjust their heating settings to reduce their outgoings. They won't accept help as they are too proud to admit they need it, and living abroad we can't physically do anything but I can send them things that'll help masquerading as christmas presents.

Thanks to this thread I have now bought nan-in-law and MIL some tartan wheatbag things, and some nice draught luckily I noticed I'd typed draft before it was too late excluders with matching throws for their living rooms. These are obviously for comfort and house decoration and nothing to do with us thinking they can't afford their bills, oh no.

Nan-in-law also has a nice cashmere jumper which until reading on this thread I had no idea they were supposedly that much warmer than normal jumpers, and a big thick dressing gown each for FIL and MIL. I think I'll order some nice candles too.

jellyandcake Tue 26-Nov-13 10:01:58

Whoever mentioned trying to keep their two year old warm - mine refuses to keep slippers on, won't wear a dressing gown and kicks the duvet off at night. He has never been able to bear blankets/covers even as a baby. I feel horribly guilty snuggling up in all my fluffy warm layers whilst he trots around bare-foot divesting himself of jumpers etc!

perfectstorm Tue 26-Nov-13 10:51:41

Madmomma it's this one. (Out of stock, but Amazon did them for the same price when I was looking around.) I know you can get cheaper, but my memories of the things as a kid were they were a bit crap, and the new one is blardy amazing. Given a cheap useless item is a bigger waste than a more expensive effective one, we went for it.

It's so nice not having the poor kid cough and gasp his way through the nights.

HerrenaHarridan Fri 29-Nov-13 11:56:50

I just want to thank both the op and whoever suggested putting bubble wrap over your windows.

I have been waiting patiently on being able to afford to buy some and remembered I hoarded some from packaging.

I can finally have my curtain open in the day! You are wonderful.

I live in an old miners cottage with super high ceilings, thick stone walls (with cavity insulation), no loft insulation and SINGLE pane windows.
This bubble wrap or GREAT smile

EduCated Fri 29-Nov-13 13:21:14

I'm working from home today and really noticing the cold. Having flashbacks to my student igloo house. About to go and don another layer!

Has anyone bought the UniQlo thermals? I like the look of them but no idea if they're any good, or of the sizing.

PigletJohn Fri 29-Nov-13 13:29:42

OOI I have been offering several electric blankets on Freegle (near Chichester) and had no takers. I supposed used bedding is a bit too personal.

They are quite cheap in places like Tesco, but at their cheapest in July.

Abra1d Fri 29-Nov-13 13:34:26

Uniglo have good value cashmere jumpers, around £40-50. And they wash well. I hvae just bought another one. I also recommend their thermotech longsleeved tshirts. If you wear thermal vest, thermotech plus cashmere jumper you will feel much warmer. it's my winter uniform.

HerrenaHarridan Fri 29-Nov-13 13:59:47

Oo oo piglet John, if I paid the postage would you mind sending them up to sunny Scotland.

Pretty please smile

KungFuBustle Fri 29-Nov-13 14:07:11

Another one in Scotland who would be happy to pay postage if you wouldn't mind posting them.

PigletJohn Fri 29-Nov-13 14:09:54

I don't mind posting them, but it would be a big parcel so look at local suppliers first, to see how much a new one costs. I think Tesco sell Silentnight and own-brand.

EduCated Fri 29-Nov-13 18:11:55

Ooh, I didn't think my flat had even been that bad, but today I made a draught excluder from a pair of tights and an old, shrunken wool cardigan, and foiled behind the radiator and I am definitely noticing a difference. Suddenly realised I wasn't quite as cold. I'd never have done it without this thread, so thank you smile

WhatWouldFreddieDo Fri 29-Nov-13 18:41:38

From an old, cold house in Scotland:

We have heating on 1 hr in morning and 1.5hrs in evening. The rest of the time we heat the room we're in with electric heaters on low.

YY to draught excluders. Don't go for fancy ones, either make your own or the bog-standard brush or weather-shield door trims are really good.

If you are rural, on oil and have friendly neighbours, it is really worthwhile organising an oil-buying ring. DH has done this with about 15 households, and we can negotiate a much better price because we're ordering so much, and at the same time can order whatever amount we can afford at the time without missing out on the better deal.

Electric blankets - I couldn't live here without them.

Thermal tops, cashmere and fleece gilet are my daily uniform. I see ccashmere as investment, and cheaper than heating oil!

Also thermal knee-high socks.

Finally, small dog on lap grin

KungFuBustle Thu 05-Dec-13 11:01:53

Thanks for the tip pigletjohn. Had a look and they're not as expensive as I thought. I always imagined them as a luxury item.

We've had windy storm here last night. Our window broke and flew open. Taping the bugger up at 1am.

PigletJohn Thu 05-Dec-13 12:22:48

OK. still got some available foc to anyone between Chichester and Portsmouth. Seems a shame to bin them.

barbarossa Fri 06-Dec-13 10:59:29

Alternative source of heat.
I installed an AGA Little Wenlock SE wood-burning stove in Feb. 2011.
I more or less HAD to buy this particular stove because of where I live. It's a smokeless zone and any multi-fuel stove suitable for my area cost twice the price of the AGA ( £550 ).
16 days ago, the flue blanking plate broke in two and fell off the back of the stove, meaning the stove was unusable.
I contacted the supplying dealer who phoned AGA for me and he duly reported that a replacement part was on it's way to me FOC as the stove had a 5-yr parts guarantee.
I foolishly presumed that the spare part would be with me within a couple of days so when it didn't arrive I contacted the dealer again and he told me this time that it would take 7-10 working days. And if I wanted AGA to fit it for me, it would cost £115 + VAT !!!!
AND this was if it was just a matter of unscrewing the old plate and fitting the new one. £115 + VAT to remove and refit TWO screws.
They have got to be joking !!!
BUT - as some idiot at the AGA factory decided it would be A Good Idea to use ordinary steel screws, rather than the stainless type neccessary in such an installation ( cast iron, massive amounts of heat, moisture from wood and various chemical by-products of the combustion process ), the screws were corroded into the cast iron and could not be removed.
The AGA engineer would have to take the stove away, send it back to the factory, the seized screws would have to be ground-off, fresh holes drilled and tapped before the replacement part could be fitted.
The estimated labour costs were so great, it would have been cheaper to buy a new stove !!!!
So much for burning wood as a cheap source of heat !!!
Needless to say, I fixed it myself.
I removed the stove, used my angle-grinder to get rid of the seized screws, drilled fresh holes and fitted the two halves of the old blanking plate using stainless bolts and SIKA heat-setting thermal sealant. Large washers ensured the two pieces of late stayed in place.
I thought this would be a short-term fix, but two weeks after my initial contact with the AGA dealer, the replacement plate had still not arrived.
So once again I contacted Mr. Dealer - who should really carry spare parts for all models - and e said he would phone AGA and find out what was happening.
Yesterday I got a phone call from AGA informing me that my initial request for a spare part hadn't been actioned and it would be Jan 17th 2014 before the part was available.
So it will be 7 weeks minimum before I get the new part !!!
Thankfully, I was able to cobble together the old bits and ensure they were gas tight ( I'm an engineer by trade and have much experience of such things ) but suppose I was not so qualified ? What would an elderly person do, or someone with no tools or skills who had had an AGA installed in order to save money on heating and/or use an alternative heat source ????? They would be stuck with no heat-source during one of the coldest times of the year.
So beware of AGA - Jilly Cooper's AGA-Sagas may paint a pretty picture of such things, but the reality is piss-poor service and bits that break and fall off in less than three years.

LEMoncehadacatcalledSANTA Wed 01-Jan-14 12:18:16

barbarossa - that is an interesting post, my DP and myself fit log burners (although not as a main part of our business) and have recommended AGA wenlocks due to the defra thing, but that has made me think twice, that is appalling customer service sad

AnUnearthlyChild Wed 01-Jan-14 14:03:24

Those who can't wear wool, have you tried merino?

I cannod stand wool, leaves me crawling with itchy. But when i was backpacking in my more affluent youth (!) I bought a couple of merino woollies.

Cost similar to a Helley Hansen thermal, but is STILL going 10 years of constant use later. Omg they are warm. I have whitefinger and it is important to keep my core temperature up so I don't get 'attacks'.

Haven't checked, but you should be able to get secondhand on eBay, they can go a bit bobbly, so I can imagine people will replace perfectly serviceable garments and pass the old ones to charity shops or sell them.

Some ace tips here thanks. I really struggle to keep warm. Even when it isn't actually cold. sad

SwimmingMom Wed 01-Jan-14 14:38:05

Small idea but works wonders for us. We put a heavy cloth/carpet/rug at the foot of the main door (ie rolled up to seem bulky) to plug the floor level leaks & this makes a huge difference to the overall home temperature.

Same works on window sills & patio doors - if you feel the draft it indicates small leaks..

KungFuBustle Wed 01-Jan-14 19:08:03

We made top 10 of the year.
Hoping you all had a warm end to 2013.
wine Cheers.

kateandme Thu 02-Jan-14 00:23:49

swimmingmom we do that and it makes so much difference.weve rolled up old towels,blankets faste tight with selotap and put at the bottom of the doors that have draft.excelent.

also stuffing outdoor keyholes or untily keyholes with tissue especially at night works wonders for that draft that seeps through.

SwimmingMom Thu 02-Jan-14 15:18:23

Kate - yes, we also used to stuff the letterbox slot at night in an older house ((shudder!!))

LilacwineGirl Tue 04-Feb-14 22:17:21

Ive hung quilted bed spreads instead of curtains at the windows. They look good and are thick enough to keep the draughts out of our tissue thin glass windows.

ImMarmite Tue 04-Feb-14 22:33:58

I swear by a onesie. We had a throw too...

Also I turn our boil off at the wall until we need water or heating...

I've heard slow cookers aren't good on electric??

I've just read this and am angry that so many people are cold in this day and age!

I taught myself to knit on Boxing Day, I'm not amazing but I'm more than happy to post some scarves, blankets, etc that I make out to people or if you want some needles and a small ball of wool, it's really easy to learn using wikihow or YouTube. It might help someone, please pm me if i can help. Either that or I'm in West Sussex, the baby and I hang out in doors most days, it's warm here and you're more than welcome for a cuppa.

hollyhunter Tue 04-Feb-14 22:53:27

tuck your trousers into your socks

when you go to bed take two extra pillows and place them either side of you ( as if there are three people in the bed) this traps the heat in and is lovely and snuggly. when dh gets out of bed he always turns his pillow next to me so i dont get cold.

hollyhunter Tue 04-Feb-14 23:14:36

i bought some fleece which was 1 meter wide, then made it into a dressing gown with a high collar. but i made it so that there are three one meter panels sewn togeher at the sides

this means my dd can get inside with me!

hollyhunter Tue 04-Feb-14 23:15:10

wear a pair of woolen gloves with a pair of fingerless gloves over the top! toasty

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