As I mentioned last week in Part 1 of these two articles we are already in autumn, and temperatures will come down dramatically in much of the country during the day and at night. In this sixth year of crisis, with rising prices of key households' supplies this autumn and winter will be extra tough for most pensioners and many other people. So here are a few more tips following last week articles to avoid cold temperatures to penetrate our dwellings and, at the same time, saving lot of money on heating.
A lot of the very expensive energy we pay for goes down the drain through the cracks and gaps around bad window and door joinery.
Cover your cracks!
If you cannot buy new windows, it is possible to plug in cracks and gaps through which expensive energy escape. Use common putty or silicone, a cheap solution that will allow you to make good saving on heating. Sealing tapes are also a good insulator.
Use weather stripping.
Often below doors and around their edges cold air could filtrate in creating small air currents. If they are sealed, the heat will stay in longer. You can also put rigid bars of wood, aluminium or pvc screwed to the bottom of the door; these devises are very efficient some fall down onto the floor finish to make a better seal and when the door is opened it raises up so as not to smudge or scratch the floor below. In addition, if various rooms remain closed, they keep better the heat, especially if other spaces within the house are empty and have the heating turned off.
Take advantage of the heat from other rooms.
If on the contrary, a part of the house, the temperature is very high, you can allow the heat to flow out into other areas. I am thinking here of south facing walls with large glass French windows. A few minutes of sun shine is capable of heating those rooms and the heat from there can be allow into other less privileged spaces.
Sometimes after a bath, the temperature will increase so when the bath time is over the heat from the bathroom could be let into other rooms instead of opening the window, as it is sometimes done to prevent steamed glass.
More practical solutions.
Carpets and rugs also help to conserve heat in the building, especially if the floor finish is one such as the very popular terrazzo floors, which is nice and cool in summer but terribly cold in winter. Rugs could keep the cold away from our feet and therefore from the rest of the body.
Meals and hot drinks.
Glorious hot soups, teas and in general, hot meals are good allies against the cold. Not in vain, in winter and in house which are not well heated, the consumption of hot food and beverages help to raise the body temperature during a long while.
Use warm clothes.
This seems an obvious solution but many people are reluctant to put away their summer clothing even if outside temperature fall dramatically and opt instead for raising the central heating thermostat. It is ineffective (energy wise) to continue this practice such as being at home with a t-shirt and the central heating turn on full blast.
Changing to winter clothing is one of the cheapest ways to make large savings on heating. This applies also to bed wear: use flannel sheets instead of cotton, quilts rather than heavy blankets and warm pyjamas are other keys to stay worm at night.
Hot water bottles.
If the bed is cold before going to sleep, nothing is better than to insert a hot water bottle for a few minutes under the sheets and then keep it next to the body. It is a cheap source of heat without hardly any cost and which has been used successfully for many, many decades.
Ventilation of bathrooms through ducts which prevent condensation of moisture and odours is essential in a dwelling, but should not be forgotten that they become authentic flues where hot air flow out freely.
Closing them is not the solution, however you can find in the market special grills that allow closing them and open them to our own convenience.