As first-year students, you’re now entering your first autumn-winter period. There are few students now who will not have the heating on. Unless you’re living in catered halls, you will be responsible for your own utility bills; whether gas or electric, heating will be the most expensive element of those bills. It’s tempting to keep turning up the thermostat as it gets colder, but you can stretch your budget just a little further by using other means to keep warm.
Close Interior Doors
In the warmer months, you keep doors open so the room doesn’t feel quite so stuffy. It’s good for a building to keep air flowing. However, it’s easy to forget that what keeps you cool in the summer keeps you cold in the winter. Communal areas can be draughty and are not usually selected for heating. Closing interior doors behind you is a wonderful way of keeping heat in the most important rooms. If the building has draught excluders, use these too.
Most curtains have some degree of thermal insulation, even those that are not advertised as such. With building insulation significantly better than it was even 10-20 years ago thanks to energy performance expectations, most heat is now lost through the windows. Even double glazing can account for some loss. Curtains reduce the amount of heat loss and the need to play with the thermostat.
You Need Layers
There is one simple test for knowing whether the house thermostat is too high: if it’s November, December, January, February or March and you’re not wearing a jumper indoors. Get into the habit of wearing layers on top and thicker bottoms, and you’ll soon feel too warm. Instead of taking off a layer while indoors, simply turn down the thermostat until you are at a comfortable temperature. We should all wear thicken clothes in the winter, men and woman alike and have items for a winter wardrobe.
Rely on the Kettle
Over the cold months, you and the house kettle are going to get quite intimate. You’ll drink more tea and coffee and hot chocolate, naturally. But you’ll also come to rely on the kettle to fill a hot water bottle. These are now back in fashion and can be a lifeline for the perpetually-cold student. These thick, rubber devices keep heat for many hours and can save a considerable amount of money on heating bills when used effectively.
Temperatures can drop quite considerably overnight. Though most of us might switch our duvets from low to high tog, it’s easy to forget just how cold it can get. There are few things in life worse than waking up to freezing temperatures when the heating has just come on. A dressing gown will help keep you warm in the mornings while eating breakfast.