The North East is a beautiful place with the best people on earth but it doesn’t half get cold, especially in winter. We may put on a brave smile, shrug off the cold and tell Southerners we refuse to wear a coat just to see the look on their faces but deep down it’s brass monkeys and we know it.
Heating is expensive enough as it is but when you live in one of the coldest areas in what is already a cold country the cost gets astronomical. You need to have your heating on for most of the time to feel the benefit and it’s just too costly. So what solutions are there for keeping warm and lurgy free this winter?
There’s no point heating your house if it’s draughty because it’ll be like burning pound notes just to warm your fingers. Go around the house and plug up gaps with filler or silicone sealant which you can pick up for pennies.
Get some thick curtains with a thermal lining or line your existing curtains with materials like cheap fleece.
Invest in some thick clothes like thermal socks, fleeces, long-Johns and vests. It doesn’t even have to be unfashionable either. You can get some great everyday clothes from outdoor retailers and the winter stock is just coming in across most clothes shops.
Maximise the amount of heat you can get for as little money as possible with an electric radiator like the Verismart Heating range for comfort and affordability. You can use it in place of your archaic water-fed systems or put wheels on it and keep it portable. A plug in system like this is far preferable and superior conventional portable heaters as it can actually replace your old radiators.
Once you’ve got that high quality and cheap heat in your house you’ll want to make sure that you’re not going to lose any so maybe think about other investments to keep your house warm.
If you live in an old house it’s likely you have a working chimney so stop hot air drift up and out of your house with a chimney balloon, available for under £30.
Buy some think rugs to keep floors warm and eradicate draughts around letterboxes and gaps under doors with a letterbox brush and draught excluders – which you can buy from discount home retailers or make yourself.
A bigger job, but one worth considering, is extra-thick loft insulation. There are many grants available out there so check with your council to see what is available. If there are no grants consider paying for it yourself as the £250-300 it costs for the average house will be earned back within 2 years in utility savings anyway.
An important part of keeping warm and healthy is having the right diet. We all love a Greggs but it alone won’t give you the balance of vitamins you need for your body to function properly and regulate your internal temperature. Eat lots of green veggies to boost your Vitamin D levels or consider taking some vitamin supplements. If your diet is good then you’ll be less susceptible to illness.
Exercise. Winter is an excuse for many people to stay inside but that’s the worst thing you could do if you don’t want to get a cold. Get out and about with the children. Don’t think of it as ‘bad’ weather, the British autumn and wintertime offers some unique landscapes and opportunities to enjoy out natural wildlife.
Have fun with the children by doing a nature scavenger hunt looking for things you can use for crafts later such as pinecones to decorate for the Christmas tree. Take a flask of hot chocolate, some soup and sandwiches and have a picnic in the park.
The outside is there to be enjoyed no matter the weather. Get your family outside for some fresh air and fun and you’ll enjoy your warm, cosy house even more when you come back.