How to keep warm without having the heating on all day: thermal layers and curtains (2023)

Simple solutions for staying cosy this winter without racking up the heating bills, from insulated curtains, hot water bottles, to the best theromstat

How to keep warm without having the heating on all day: thermal layers and curtains (1)

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We are loth to condescend to you, as the nation faces ever-escalating electricity and gas costs, by saying “put an extra jumper on” or, even worse - “trying buying a new kettle, it’ll save you £10 on your bills.”

But the distressing fact remains that Ofgem has announced typical household energy bills will skyrocket in October - with further climbs expected next year. Naturally, people are looking to cut their electricity bills however they can.

And as the temperatures are due to drop over the coming months, heating the household is one of the primary electricity or gas drains.

So, what can you do to limit your outgoings and remain toasty?

(Some of these you may rightly dismiss as common sense, but we’d like to be thorough).

Ensure your heating is on intermittently throughout the day, not on 24/7 - use your timer to keep it off when you’re in bed, so it switches on half an hour before the household rises.

Make sure you have well insulated curtains/or blinds.

Double glazing costs a small fortune, so it’s far more cost effective to change your blinds or curtains to reduce heat loss.

Switch any curtains with thin materials for thicker fabrics or ones made with thermal fibres.

Make sure the floor is covered, too

Remember how your mum always told you you lost heat through your head, as a means to encourage you to put a woolly hat on when you left the house? Well, houses lose an estimated 10% of their heat through their property’s floor.

If you want to curb that, making your house more energy efficient, cover any solid hardwood floors with soft rugs to ensure the gaps

(Video) How to keep warm in winter without turning up the heating 🔥

If you have suspended flooring - that is, it’s raised off the ground - it needs to be insulated with a batt of insulation or spray expanding foam, which a professional can install for you.

Cosy up with a good ol’ fashioned hot water bottle

Hot water bottles are good for shaking off a chill - the lush White Company option, £35, is covered with faux fur and ideal for helping keep you toasty.

Additionally, applying heat of more than 40C to the skin where an ache is felt blocks the body’s ability to detect pain, so it will alleviate any muscle discomfort associated with cold weather.

For a budget option, the Wilko hot water bottle will get the job done for £6.50, while if you want to invest in a hot water bottle you can wear - great for walking around, the This is Silk hot water bottle will keep you cosy on the move - for a pricy £74.99 (yes, we realised that suggesting an expensive hot water bottle during a cost of living crisis is a bit of a contradiction - but if it saves you turning the heating on all day, it could be a sound long-term strategy).

Keep the chill out with a draught excluder

You’ll likely heard a lot of chat of late about draught excluders - they are essential for keeping the house warm if you don’t have a properly insulated property. They will keep the cold air at bay and the warm air in the house.

You can buy cost effective, stylish draught excluders from the likes of Wayfair, or lovely velvet options from Dunelm.

Make sure you have thermals on under your clothing

Fleecy clothing may feel cuddly, but you need more than that to properly insulate your body if you’re trying to stay warm while working. Thermals, long johns, base layers – whatever you want to call them, there’s nothing like a warm layer worn next to the skin to help keep the chill of colder weather at bay.

We’ve covered our favourite thermals for women and men in the gallery below.

Once you have that crucial base layer to aid insulation, then seal it in with a cosy fleece - our favourite for men and women are in the gallery below.

Get cosy under a high-tog duvet

“A warm duvet? For winter? Ground-breaking,” you say and we hear you - but a high-tog duvet can stop you reaching for a comparably costly electric blanket. We rounded up our favourite cosy comforters in this article on the best duvet sets for winter, and there is a review posted below of our all-round favourite - the Simbra Hybrid Duvet.

Install a smart thermostat to cut energy bills

Obviously, many of us will still want to rely on heating to keep warm when the artic blasts hits. A smart thermostat tracks your movements and helps limit your usage but turning and and off based on your standard heating habits. Our favourite - the Google Nest - is reviewed below.

How to keep warm without having the heating on all day: thermal layers and curtains (2)

For those of you who plan on installing your own smart thermostat, the Google Nest Thermostat E would be a really sound choice. This smart thermostat is particularly easy to install and uncomplicated to set up, with no smart hub or specialist knowhow required.

Nest is good for helping to cut your energy costs - it predicts when you want the house to warm up. Install it, and use it as normal - adjust the temperature when you’re too warm, or too cold.

Give Nest a week or so and it will start adjusting itself based on tracking your habits - so it will pre-warm your house as you are coming home from work, or shut the radiators off just as you leave the house in the morning. It sends updates about your energy usage, so you can track your habits and adjust to try and save energy wherever you can.

Remotely controlling the temperature via the connected Nest app is a breeze, and there’s also a handy option to control the thermostat by voice.

One downside is that there’s only one smart assistant you can use to operate the Thermostat E: namely, Google Assistant. However, if you’re happy with that limitation, we think you’ll find the Thermostat E to be both highly effective and easy-to-use.

You will not require an engineer to set up.

(Video) Do Curtains Keep Heat In? TOP 4 TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR ROOM WARMER!
How to keep warm without having the heating on all day: thermal layers and curtains (3)

Simba are manufacturers of some of the finest mattresses on the market, so it comes as little surprise that they’re equally adept at making duvets that are great for keeping you comfortable.

This duvet is double-sided - one side has ‘Stratos’ fabric - initially created by NASA to help astronauts regulate their temperature at night.

(Video) Insulated Made To Measure Curtains Keep The Cold Out And The heat In.

The other side has a breathable 300-thread-count cotton - a breathable material. Cannily, these two materials envelope a duck down filling.

What you end up with, then, is a 10.5 tog, extremely toasty duvet that’s nevertheless breathable and luxuriant.

Opulent, toasty, machine washable, and available in four sizes - this is a seriously impressive winter duvet.

How to keep warm without having the heating on all day: thermal layers and curtains (4)

Base layers are what Icebreaker do best, and they’re always some of the top-performing designs when we test out base layers.

£75 (top), £60 (bottoms)

If you want to invest in a great set of thermal underwear, our pick of the pack are their Oasis base layer top and their Everyday Thermal leggings.

Slip them on and the first thing you’ll notice is how deliciously soft their 100% Merino wool make-up feels against the skin.

The Oasis’ 200g weight is a good warmth to weight ratio for most outdoor adventures, and the Thermal leggings live up to their name, keeping you delightfully warm even on winter hikes and ski adventures.

Icebreaker’s merino layers are worth the spend, and will last you for years without losing their shape or their warming abilities.

The bottoms are available here.

How to keep warm without having the heating on all day: thermal layers and curtains (5)

This set of quality, Columbian-made garments are what you need when the temperature really starts to plummet.

Favoured by mountain guides and outdoor instructors, these garments are constructed from Nikwax Paramenta G fabric which is woven into a distinctive gridded pattern for maximum wicking proficiency.

Worn under another garment and you’ll feel the immediate benefit from its warm fleece-like material, but more surprising is the high degree of wind protection it offers worn as a single layer.

We also love the extra long, thumb looped sleeves and high rise collar for maximum, neck to knuckle protection. The long johns also feature a handy ‘old-school’ fly pocket for rapid access should you get caught short in the cold.

(Video) Winter Home Hacks Everyone Should Know
How to keep warm without having the heating on all day: thermal layers and curtains (6)

One of Finisterre’s original products nearly 20 years ago was a fleece, so this new 1/4 zip Hegen option is likely to be popular, made with new GRS certified recycled wool and recycled polyester.

It feels sturdy, durable and like it could easily withstand a range of conditions and situations - it’s also one of the warmest fleeces we tested and comes in two earthy, attractive colourways too.

How to keep warm without having the heating on all day: thermal layers and curtains (7)

Swedish outdoor brand Fjallraven have applied their know-how to fleece and made a basic hoody into a seriously covetable jacket.

The Övik is made with recycled polyester, and has a deliciously soft brushed inner layer and a bobble-resistant knitted outer.

Zipped pockets and a well-cut hood make it easy to wear anywhere, and we found it one of the most wind-resistant models we tried out.

The Övik was not the most breathable fleece on test, but it is very warm – ideal for everything from casual winter walks to wearing down the pub, and this fleece is also thick enough to work alone as a jacket in warmer weather.

(Video) $$ HOW TO INSULATE EXISTING COLD WALLS ON A BUDGET DIY $$ Stop Loosing Heat and Start Saving Money!!


How can I make my room warmer without heating? ›

10 Ways to Warm Up at Home Without Turning on the Heat
  1. Close up any cracks in your window frame. ...
  2. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. ...
  3. Invest in the best blankets. ...
  4. Make your curtains work harder. ...
  5. Use draft stoppers on your doors. ...
  6. Cover your floors with rugs. ...
  7. Prevent drafts around electric outlets.
18 Dec 2015

How do I cope with no heating? ›

I lived without heat for an entire winter—here are my top tips for staying warm
  1. Reverse the ceiling fans. ...
  2. Choose your space heater wisely. ...
  3. Cook in the oven as much as possible. ...
  4. Use a humidifier. ...
  5. Close off rooms that you aren't using. ...
  6. Open and close your curtains at the right time of the day.
17 Jan 2020

How can I keep my house warm during the day? ›

So here are 10 simple tips for keeping your home warm for little or no extra cost – just in time for that severe weather warning.
  1. Use your curtains. ...
  2. Use timers on your central heating. ...
  3. Move your sofa. ...
  4. Maximise your insulation. ...
  5. Wrap up warm. ...
  6. Turn down the dial. ...
  7. Block out the draughts. ...
  8. Install thermostatic radiator valves.
9 Nov 2016

How did people keep warm without central heating? ›

People made walls out of mud, straw, rocks, or bricks. These thick walls would protect the house from heat in the day and would provide warmth at a steady rate after the sun went down. In places that had extreme seasonal changes, homes would have overhangs.

How can I generate heat in my room? ›

How to Make a Room Warmer
  1. Insulate your windows. Windows that are not insulated let in cold air and let out warmth, not to mention the energy it takes to re-heat cold air. ...
  2. Install insulated curtains. ...
  3. Clean your windows and use the sun to warm a room. ...
  4. Keep doors closed around your heat source. ...
  5. Install carpet.

How do you survive a cold house? ›

If it's very cold, set it to stay on longer, rather than turning the thermostat up. Close the curtains when it's getting dark. Tuck them behind the radiator and shut the doors to rooms you use most to keep the heat in. Stay warm with a hot water bottle or electric blanket – but don't use both at the same time.

How long can you stay in a house with no heat? ›

As winter storms become more intense and unpredictable, you may be wondering, “how long will my house stay warm without power?” The average home will stay warm for 8-12 hours after the power goes out. After the first 8-12 hours, most homes will experience a gradual cooling over the course of the next couple of days.

Does closing curtains keep heat in? ›

Absolutely. Curtains reduce the amount of air exchange between a cold window and the rest of the room. For keeping heat inside the home, high-quality curtains can reduce heat loss by around 40%, particularly if they are floor length and close to the wall and window panes.

How do people in cold countries keep their house warm? ›

People compensate for temperature extremes by installing air conditioning. In remote areas air conditioning can cost as much as $25/day in summer. As part of the project existing houses were modified in a range of climates, to make them warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

How can I insulate a cold room? ›

The easiest way to re-insulate your walls is to spray foam insulation into the wall cavities. Spray foam insulation expands to fill small gaps and enclosed spaces. You can apply spray foam insulation into each wall cavity through small holes in your wall.

What keeps homeless people warm? ›

Some sleep in their tent, or a cardboard box,or in their car, with lots of blankets, and some have a heater in their tent or car. If it gets below freezing, there are warming shelters set up, but it's only temporary. I have seen people sleep at bus stops, in an alley, in doorways of a small business.

What is the cheapest way to stay warm in the winter? ›

8 Ways to Keep Warm on a Budget
  1. 1) Block Out Draughts. The best way to keep your home warm without turning up the heating is to stop the current heat from escaping. ...
  2. 2) Use Your Curtains. ...
  3. 3) Lay Down Rugs. ...
  4. 4) Layering Up. ...
  5. 5) Socks & Slippers. ...
  6. 6) Hot Food & Hot Drinks. ...
  7. 7) Hot Water Bottles. ...
  8. 8) Keep Moving.
13 Mar 2020

How can I heat my room cheaply? ›

Once you have made sure that heat loss from a room is kept to a minimum, gas central heating is generally your cheapest option. If that's not possible, then consider using an oil-filled heater for larger rooms or an electric heater for small areas if you're willing to use it in short bursts.

Will candles heat a room? ›

A candle can only produce very little heat. In fact, it produces a twentieth of what a space heater can produce. The heating capacity of a candle is just enough to keep a tea hot. A space heater can keep a whole room toasty.

Can you really heat a room with candles and flower pots? ›

Yes, you can get a surprising amount of heat from this setup. But it doesn't work the way some think it does. The same amount of heat is coming out of the candles whether there's a pot above them or not, so it's not that you're 'making the candle hotter. '

What household items produce heat? ›

Natural gas for space heating, water heating, and cooking, Electrical for spot heating (radiant), circulation, pumps, air conditioning, lighting, television, computers and radio all of which contributes to heat in the house.

What is the cheapest form of heat? ›

As a general rule, heating your home with a natural gas furnace is the cheapest way to keep warm through the winter months. Electricity is usually significantly more expensive than gas, so even the most efficient heaters will be a bigger drain on your pocketbook than a traditional furnace.

Can I live in a house without heat? ›

Especially knowing that it is possible to live without heating or air conditioning, even though it is not easy. One of the main keys to achieving this lies in changing the distribution of our home, a decision that can help us greatly reduce our gas and electricity bills.

How can I stay warm without heat or electricity? ›

7 Ways to Keep Your House Warm Without Power
  1. 1.) Keep the Curtains Shut at Night. ...
  2. 2.) Use the Fireplace & Candles. ...
  3. 3.) Cook a Meal. ...
  4. 4.) Close the Doors of Unused Rooms. ...
  5. 5.) Get the Entire Family in a Single Room. ...
  6. 6.) Apply Tape or Plastic to the Windows. ...
  7. 7.) Invest in a Backup Generator.
25 Feb 2022

How do I prepare my house for extreme cold weather? ›

10 Ways to Protect Your Home Against Cold Weather
  1. Arrange for a home energy audit. ...
  2. Feel for under-door drafts. ...
  3. Seal around windows. ...
  4. Add insulation – especially around pipes. ...
  5. Update your appliances. ...
  6. Install a programmable thermostat and keep temperature no lower than 65 degrees. ...
  7. Protect water pipes from freezing.

How long can a house go without heat before pipes freeze? ›

As a general rule of thumb, in order for your home's water pipes to freeze, the outside temperature needs to be below 20 degrees, for a total of at least six consecutive hours.

How cold is unsafe inside house? ›

According to the World Health Organization, it is dangerous to live for a prolonged period of time in a home under 64 degrees. The uncomfortable truth is that cold indoor temperatures can have a significant impact on our health, and could lead to serious, if not fatal health complications over time.

What temperature is unoccupied house in winter? ›

What Temperature to Leave a Vacant House in Winter. Whether you plan to leave for a vacation or for the season, most heating and cooling professionals recommend setting the thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should you leave curtains open or closed? ›

Whether to keep curtains open or closed is always a tricky decision. Leaving them closed during the day makes it look like there's no one at home so best to leave them open and get security lighting. Try not to leave valuable items, such as your TV, stereo or computer, where thieves can see them.

Is it warmer with curtains open or closed? ›

If you're trying to beat the heat inside your home, energy-saving window treatments will go a long way in reducing the amount of heat streaming into your home. Closing curtains can help cool the interior, save money on utility bills and lessen the wear and tear on your HVAC system.

Do thermal curtains really make a difference? ›

Technically, yes, thermal curtains can help reduce hot air entering your room in the summer through air leaks along your windows. They trap heat behind the layers of fabric. But the overall reduction in energy waste is small, as thermal curtains don't reduce your overall air conditioning load.

Do humans live longer in hot or cold climates? ›

Data collected and examined from the research points towards the argument that human life expectancy can be extended by living in colder climates. Colder climates overwhelmingly display higher life expectancy in all four socio-economic country classifications.

How do Eskimos keep their houses warm? ›

Because ice's thermal conductivity is low, like the thermal conductivity of air, an igloo works by stopping heat being transferred into the surroundings, even when the temperature is really low. The ice and the still, unmoving air both act as highly effective insulators.

How do Japanese keep their homes warm? ›

Japanese people usually heat their homes one room at a time. In general, homes do not have central heating in Japan, because many Japanese believe it is better to keep yourself warm than heating a whole house. In old times people had one hearth in a central place called an irori (いろり).

Why does my house feel cold at 73? ›

Your house could be cold due to an old air filter, a faulty furnace, improper insulation, or leaky ductwork. The simple fixes, like replacing an air filter, are relatively easy to complete. However, if the heater itself needs repairs, it's best to call in a professional to take a look and determine the problem.

How do you make cold walls warm? ›

If you have walls cold to touch and you want to make them warmer, the easy answer to this is to insulate the walls, which can involve some large scale works like installing an external insulation system.

What do homeless people need the most in winter? ›

Donate warm clothes, socks, and blankets.

Don't let those coats and hats go to the trash. Shelters and individuals will be grateful for your gently used items, especially socks and blankets, which are even more necessary during the cold months.

How do older people keep warm? ›

Keep Warm Inside
  1. Set your heat to at least 68–70°F. ...
  2. Make sure your house isn't losing heat through windows. ...
  3. Dress warmly on cold days even if you are staying in the house. ...
  4. When you go to sleep, wear long underwear under your pajamas, and use extra covers. ...
  5. Make sure you eat enough food to keep up your weight.
3 Nov 2022

How can I keep my house warm without heating? ›

10 step guide to keep your house warm without heating
  1. Rejig your furniture. ...
  2. Use a terracotta heater. ...
  3. Invest in insulation. ...
  4. Think about your habits. ...
  5. Put a shelf above a radiator. ...
  6. Bleed your radiators. ...
  7. Analyse any draughts. ...
  8. Block your chimney up.
26 Aug 2022

How do you keep a poorly insulated house warm? ›

Apply Foil To The Wall Behind Your Radiators

Poorly insulated walls give the heat a fast escape route from your house. A way to combat this is to use foil behind the radiators. This will reflect the heat from the radiator back into the room instead of allowing it to escape through the walls.

What can I use instead of a room heater? ›

Add room-to-room vent fans: This is one of the most useful space heater alternatives if you have a fireplace that makes it very warm in one room, but way too cool elsewhere. Room-to-room fans, also called “through the wall vent fans,” help to improve the distribution of heat throughout your space.

What is the best alternative heat? ›

15 Alternative Heat Sources for Power Outages to Keep You Comfortably Warm
  1. Indoor Kerosene Heater. Kerosene heaters can make great alternative heat sources during power outages. ...
  2. Opt for a Propane Heater. ...
  3. Use a Pellet Stove. ...
  4. Go for Catalytic Heaters. ...
  5. Soapstone Heaters. ...
  6. DIY Your Heater. ...
  7. Use Burner Can. ...
  8. Utilize Rocks for Heating.
10 Feb 2022

What is the cheapest way to heat your home in 2022? ›

Gas boiler

It's not as cost-effective without solar panels, but a gas boiler is still the cheapest way to heat your home – though that's set to change soon, with the cost of gas rising more than twice as quickly as electricity.

How do you make myself warm in a cold room? ›

Here are some toasty tips for those days you can barely get out from under the covers.
  1. Focus on your breath. ...
  2. Bundle up the smart way. ...
  3. Layer your blankets properly. ...
  4. Eat something fatty. ...
  5. Tie your scarf correctly. ...
  6. Make DIY hand warmers. ...
  7. Think happy thoughts. ...
  8. Sip something warm.
8 Jan 2018

Do candles heat a room? ›

A candle can only produce very little heat. In fact, it produces a twentieth of what a space heater can produce. The heating capacity of a candle is just enough to keep a tea hot. A space heater can keep a whole room toasty.

How do you survive in a cold room? ›

15 Genius Hacks to Help You Survive Winter
  1. Stuff towels under and around your doors as much as possible. ...
  2. Keep your curtains open when the sun is shining. ...
  3. Buy a rug if you don't already have one. ...
  4. Keep your robe and slippers right next to your bed. ...
  5. Invest in a set of flannel sheets, which are amazingly warm.
8 Jan 2015

What keeps heat on overnight? ›

Sleep scientists suggest that for optimal sleeping conditions, room temperature should be between 60 and 67°F. That figure is considerably lower than the daytime recommendation, furthering your heating bill savings while also reaping improved sleep.

What do most people keep their house temperature at? ›

Everyone is different, and that's definitely true when it comes to ideal room temperature. That being said, the average room temperature in most homes falls somewhere between 68 and 76°F.

What is the safest room temperature? ›

A safe temperature is accepted to be between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit for people above the age of 65. The temperature inside your home should not reach below 68 degrees Fahrenheit in any case, as that increases the risk of respiratory disease and even hypothermia if there is prolonged exposure.


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