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How to keep your home cosy this winter

By Rikki Cook

Break out the hot water bottles

Energy efficient and effective, a hot water bottle is a tried and true method of heating the bed before you head to sleep. A hot water bottle is an incredibly easy source of warmth on colder nights, and depending on the quality of the water bladder, retains a lot of heat for long periods.

As with any heat source, of course, there are risks involved with hot water. If you’re worried about having hot water bottles in bed with the kids, pop a couple of them under the covers before bedtime, so the sheets heat up from the residual warmth. When it’s time for bed, remove the hot water bottles before tucking the kids in.

Close curtains earlier

Even in winter, the sun continues to shine. When the sun goes down, however, nights can get quite chilly – and fast. Closing your curtains earlier means that you’ll trap all the precious sunlight and warmth that trickled through your windows during the day.

This is where thick blackout curtains are a fantastic investment. The extra layers help in trapping heat during the winter, and when summer strikes the thick fabric helps keep excess heat out of the home. As an added bonus they also filter out early morning light when you’re needing a sleep in on the weekends.

Invest in draught stops

Especially in older homes, a gust of wind can wreak havoc on the temperature of your house. To keep heat in and reduce cold airflow, purchase a few draught stops to keep by your bedroom doors. This heat retention is energy efficient too – as you’re not losing precious warmth from your rooms, you won’t need to run your heating systems as long as you would with uncontrolled draughts.

Slip on socks

One of the best ways to keep warm in the winter months is to keep socks on. As well as protecting your toes from cold floors, they can actually raise the temperature of your entire body. Humans rely on hands and feet to regulate body temperature – when to heat or cool down. This is known as thermoregulation. Covering your feet helps keep your temperature in check, so you’re less likely to be hit with hot flushes or wake up in the night.

Move furniture away from heaters

Though it’s tempting to keep your couch in front of the heater, it’s actually doing less for your warmth than you’d think. As well as posing a fire hazard, fabric couches in particular absorb heat, blocking it from spreading throughout a room. Leaving a decent space between your heater and your furniture means that warmth has room to freely disperse across the space. Don’t keep your room too open, however – remember to close doors and curtains to trap the heat where it needs to be.

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