17 ways to keep warm without cranking the heater
Feeling the chill? Here’s how to keep warm without cranking up the heater this winter.
As the days grow shorter and that pre-winter chill sets in, it’s all too tempting to crank up the heater to cosy up the house.
RACV’s Emergency Home Assist service has seen a spike in callouts in recent weeks to inspect or repair faulty heating systems, as Victorians are turning up the heat for the first time in months.
But before you dial up the thermostat, consider that heating is one of the biggest power guzzlers in your home. Those extra running costs can add up and, before you know it, your energy bill has snowballed.
Don’t let the winter frost bite into your bank account. From reversing your ceiling fans to going to bed with a hot water bottle, these energy-saving tips will help keep you snug without blowing the budget.
17 winter warmth tips
1. Rug up
It’s no wonder you’re feeling the chill if it’s Arctic outside and you’re wandering around the house in a T-shirt and bare feet. Warming yourself is cheaper and easier than heating your whole home so, instead of cranking up the thermostat, try putting on a pair of thick socks, slippers and a jumper. Better yet, wrap yourself up in a blanket and snuggle up on the couch.
2. Control the thermostat
When it comes to heat settings, 18 to 20 degrees is the magic, not to mention most efficient, number. Every degree warmer than this can increase your energy usage by 10 per cent and, given heating and cooling account for up to 50 per cent of the average Australian household’s energy bills, that extra cost can quickly add up. If you have zoned heating, heat only those rooms you are using and close the doors to empty areas.
3. Reverse your ceiling fans
Heater on but still have cold feet? Hot air rises so sometimes all you need to do is give it a little nudge in the right direction. Most ceiling fans spin in an anti-clockwise direction to create a breeze in summer. In winter, you want to reverse this so they are turning clockwise at low speed, to help push the hot air back towards the ground.
4. Take shorter showers
While this applies year-round, keeping your showers short and sweet is especially pertinent in winter, when standing under the hot water until your whole body resembles a sultana is particularly alluring. To make stepping out into the frigid air a little less shocking, try towel drying in the shower (after you’ve turned off the tap, of course) while it’s still nice and steamy.