If your boiler gives up the ghost in the middle of winter then you are going to be cold unless you take some practical steps. Our ten top tips for keeping warm indoors are easy to follow and require very little preparation.
1) Get it fixed!
A no brainer you would think but a lot of people procrastinate over important decisions like this. The truth is the sooner you contact a heating engineer for a call-out, the quicker your boiler will be fixed. Always check your home insurance policy first and your boiler warranty, as you may be covered for emergency breakdowns.
2) Cuddle a loved one
We have all seen it in survival movies and documentaries, and even Luke Skywalker used a Tauntaun to beat the cold – although he was technically inside it rather than cuddling it – but sharing body warmth with a partner or a loving pet is a great way to keep warm.
3) Wear extra layers
Before your house starts to cool down, apply more clothing layers to trap body warmth. You don’t need to go over the top and look like the Michelin Man, but digging out your thermal base layers and woolly jumpers would be a good start.
4) Be active
Standing still in a chilly house will soon lead to you getting cold. Do something active such as hoovering and cleaning to generate body heat and take your mind off your predicament. as well as leaving you with a gleaming house!
5) Stay in one room
Heat rapidly dissipates through an unheated house so close all the doors and concentrate heat in to one living area. If your house is relatively draughty then think about blocking the bottom of doors with a towel or old coat.
6) Light a fire
If you are lucky enough to have a wood burner then now is the time to light it! Burn it hard to start with to warm up the fire and the room, and then reduce it for a steady release of heat.
7) Use emergency heating
For those people without a log burner, getting instant heat needn’t be difficult if you have an electric ceramic, halogen or fan heater. They are relatively inexpensive to buy these days and are always handy to have as a back-up.
8) Fuel your body
Try and keep yourself well fed and watered to ensure your bodies internal heat supply works at maximum efficiency – mainly through digestion. Avoid foods that will chill your body such as iced drinks and frozen foods, and try and consume foods you can warm up. Soups are a great example as they are warming, nutritious and also have a high water content.
9) Boil water
Electric kettles are not the most energy efficient of devices, but they can be used to fill hot water bottles for a quick heating fix, as well as providing a hot drink – just remember to check the bottles rubber seal if it hasn't been used for a while.
10) Close your curtains
Windows can be one of the biggest areas of heat loss in your house. Even double glazed units will allow warmth to be lost. To prevent unnecessary cooling of your room, ensure your curtains are closed at night.
Obviously prevention is better than cure, so ensure your boiler is serviced regularly to avoid preventable breakdowns. Should you be in a situation where you heating is not available in cold weather, common sense is often the best remedy.
If you are struggling to heat your house and pay your utility bills then speak to your supplier or get further advice and help from Citizens Advice