Tips For Keeping Warm And Saving Energy This Winter.

Tips For Keeping Warm And Saving Energy This Winter.

Being warm and feeling cosy and content during the colder, wintery months is so important for our health and wellbeing and this winter, many people will be wondering how they can keep their houses and families warm without adding an unmanageable financial burden to their lives.  From a climate change perspective, it’s also really useful from time to time to rethink how we keep warm, what energy we need to use and how we can increase our energy efficiency. So here at BIBICO we’ve come up with some top tips to keep costs down and keep cosy this winter:

  1. The serious bit - check your thermostat or use a thermometer to check how warm your rooms are. The World Health Organisation advises that the lowest room temperature for our overall comfort and wellbeing is around 18-21 degrees for most of us (and slightly cooler for sleeping). Lowering our thermostats by even one degree can reduce costs significantly.


  1. Layering up - before flicking the heating on or turning up your thermostat, layering your clothes up is a great way to keep warmth in the core of our bodies where we need it. Mountaineers and polar explorers have long known that multiple thinner layers work far better than one thicker layer as air is trapped between the layers, insulating us further against the cold. Clothing made of natural fibres such as organic cotton is ideal as this is breathable and does not trap sweat against our skin making us feel clammy and uncomfortable. Cosy woollen jumpers are also breathable and can make us feel even more snug and content when the cold weather bites.


  1. Eat well and keep active - it may seem like common sense, but keeping our bodies as healthy as possible on the inside will also help. Keeping active is a great way to keep warm by boosting our circulation and doesn’t have to be outdoors or strenuous. Just find something that works for you and that you enjoy. A light workout, yoga, stretching or even gently moving around to music in the kitchen can help keep us warm. Enjoying good food is also one of the best things about the colder months and aiming to eat lots of fresh, unprocessed foods is a good idea. If you can get outside, make the most of the bright, cool days with a walk in the invigorating fresh air which will make you feel even cosier when you do get back indoors.


  1. Have a warming drink – this may also seem like common sense but a cup of tea or warming hot chocolate heats us up from the inside, warms our hands and is instantly comforting. 


  1. Keep extra cosy without extra heating costs with these simple ideas – 
  • Update your wardrobe with warm woollen jumpers (if you can’t afford new, try the charity shops or if you can, knit your own!). 
  • Knee blankets are perfect for sofa time and hot water bottles for bedtime
  • Cold feet? Make sure you have some woollen socks or slippers and keeping your feet up off the floor can also help. Double layering your socks is also a great idea. Try wearing a thin pair with a thicker, wollen pair on top… so cosy.
  • Make a big pot of nourishing soup.  This is also a fantastic way to use up any odd bits of veg you might have in the fridge. Add noodles or pasta and cook all together for a filling meal.
  • If you’re feeling the chill, it’s worth layering your clothes but also adding a scarf and hat. We lose a lot of body heat from our heads and cold draughts around the neck are never pleasant! 


  1. Batch cooking – with energy prices rising it’s wise to rethink how we cook.  Cooking uses a lot of energy but it takes just a little bit of pre-planning and organising to make this energy use more efficient.  Winter foods such as soups, stews, curries, tagines, lasagnes and bolognese sauce as well as many other things can be cooked in batches and frozen until ready to eat.


  1. Keeping the heat in – a well-insulated modern house is more likely to be energy efficient but there are simple things we can do to keep the warmth in once the heating is on:
  • Use draft excluders under doors, especially external doors – there are loads of online tutorials which will show you how to make your own easily and cheaply. Try stuffing old tights with rags or using a rolled up towel.
  • Close your curtains in the evenings – this will also help to stop draughts and heat escaping. Also, open blinds and curtains on south-facing windows during the day to let heat in.
  • Heat and insulate your main living room to a comfortable temperature and try to keep this room warm when you’re inactive. 
  • Double glaze windows if possible.
  • An obvious one – turn off unnecessary lights and equipment and make all family members aware and responsible for this. 
  • Insulating your loft is a great way to save energy.
  • If your radiators feel cold at the top you can bleed them, making them heat your rooms more quickly. Lots of online how-to guides are available.


  1. Washing   - washing clothes or putting on this dishwasher? Look for the energy efficient cycle and make sure the load is full! Clothes don’t always need a wash after the first wear. If they are next to your skin, they’ll need washing more often but outer layers such as woollen jumpers and cardigans can often be aired rather than washed. Learn how to wash and look after your favourite wool jumper here.


  1. Use, reuse and recycle – reducing our day-to-day spending on the things you might usually buy might also take the pressure off if essential costs are going up. Minimising food waste by trying to plan meals and using less meat is a great way to save money on shopping bills. Reusing clothes and other items which can be repaired rather than replaced is also worthwhile.  Can your unwanted items be useful to someone else? Giving to charity shops is a great way to move things onto new homes but also there are websites where you can sell used goods and make a bit of extra money. 


  1. Natural fibres and our wellbeing – when choosing our clothing, opting for garments made from natural fibres such as wool, cotton or linen can help our bodies to regulate their temperature.  Our skin is the largest organ of the body and synthetic fibres can upset our natural balance with our body temperature fluctuating as a result of overheating and then sweating. Keeping cosy with breathable, lightweight layers, a wool jumper and woollen socks and slippers is a great way to stay warm, relaxed and content.


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