Ways to stay warm this winter
Seeing multiple posts from people "struggling with heating, sitting cold after kids have gone to bed, waking up in cold houses" one Mumsnetter decided to do something about it. The No More Cold Mumsnetters thread threw up hundreds of practical suggestions on how to stay warm in your home over the cold winter months. Here's a selection of some of the very best.
1. Should the central heating be on at all?
"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 and being more clever with how we keep warm. So many UK houses are so poorly insulated, it is like heating green houses!"
"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."
"We never put the central heating 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."
2. When you've got it, keep it
"Bubble wrap your windows. Bubble wrap is your friend. 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."
"Tinfoil - Wrap it round cardboard and whack it behind your radiators. You can buy special stuff for this, but if like me that isn't an option this is better than nothing. We noticed a real difference."
"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."
"Make sure that the loft hatches are insulated as well as the loft itself, and again with the draught excluder tape around the hatch."
3. Draughts are your enemy
"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 lets in almost no draught. Previously the draught was severe..."
"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."
"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."
"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."
4. Layers - the hot new trend for Winter
"Gilets are great. You can wear them indoors without feeling like you are wearing a coat and they make a massive difference to your warmth - particularly the down-filled ones."
"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!)"
"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."
"Jeans are cold! Took me a long time to realise this. Tights and leggings are your friends."
6. Heating through eating
"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."
"Eat 'little and often'. Metabolising small meals and snacks raises body temperature."
"Ginger, honey, coffee and garlic are all great foods for heat. Known as yang foods in China."
7. Between the sheets
"Flannelette bed sheets - I got us all full bedding sets on BOGOF from Woolworths (online). 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."
"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."
8. Four legged friends
"Get a cat, or two! Mine are always draped all over me with their warm, furry little bodies."
"Get a dog. When my (large) Labrador is on my lap I'm
less comfortable much warmer."
And the single most important thing to remember this winter?
"Forget heating the house - heat you!"