It’s begun. That inescapable wintry nip in the air come nightfall… Those cravings for carbs… Sunlight hours barely lasting our day in the office before they’re all but spent… And you know what that means? Soaring energy bills as we desperately try to keep the chill from biting. But with a little creative problem solving and some good ol’ fashioned common sense thrown in for extra measure, you might just be able to keep those electricity costs to a minimum.
First things first, layer up! There are two ways warmth is lost in the colder months, either through conduction or convection. Conduction is the transfer of heat between two solid surfaces in close contact with one another and convection is the transfer of heat between a solid mass (such as your body) and a gas or fluid. Thermal or silk underwear helps to keep the body warm close to the skin and ensures you retain the heat you otherwise lose when pressed up against a cold surface. Beyond this, multiple layers of clothing over and above a single warm layer helps to better insulate the body against cold winds and draughts in the home.
Accessorise! Celebrate all winter fashion has to offer with an array of warm hats, thick scarfs, shawls and toasty mittens or gloves. Often we tend to rely on our heaters, all the while flimsily clad. But if all those additions seem like a bit of a commitment when you return home after a long day, a pair of snugly lined slippers and woolly winter gown can do the trick just as effectively. That way, even if you do call on that oh-so-effective heater, you may not feel the need to have it on as high or as steadily.
Spend now to save later. Often a candle-lit bath is the best way to warm up. But this can lead to an ever-increasing electricity bill. As it stands, in many households hot water already contributes to roughly 50% of energy expenditure. Investing in a solar water heater may hurt the pocket now, but it ultimately saves in the long run. A properly insulated roof is another expense that could see you saving on heating expenses in months to come. Otherwise, consider investing in a heater that has a built-in thermostat and will intermittently switch itself off when it reaches the desired temperature thus regulating the warmth of your home all the while keeping costs down.
Make your home a winter wonderland! Merrily scatter your floors with rugs of all varieties, shapes and colours as heat is often lost in the home through draughty wooden floors or cold tiled surfaces. Create an ambience of winter cosiness by dimming lights and getting out the candles. When purchasing energy light saving bulbs, make sure you opt for the yellow variety over and above stark, white fluorescent bulbs. Whether your idyllic winter getaway is a log cabin or a sensuous palace of velvety textures and fabrics, recreate your space as the place you’d most likely be found hibernating. After all, there’s no place like home.
Date Published: 07 June 2016