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Penny-wise ways to heat your home

The conversation had turned to the Arctic microclimate of our student flat: “a plug-in heated onesie?”, four jumpers, three pairs of socks, two blankets, and a hot water bottle. And it’s not even partridge in a pear tree time yet.

As Edinburgh temperatures steadily dip, now is the time to give your flat a heat makeover. Take a look at these creative and easy ways to heat your home from CountryLiving all without burning up your student loan on utility bills.

Look for gaps first. Gaps under doors and around window frames let in cold air and let out warm air. Aluminium foil works wonders for sealing up those windows from icy winds.

For doors, a towel does the trick as a cheap and colourful draught excluder. Make sure to close doors to rooms you aren’t using as well. This will keep the heat in for the rooms you are.

The next problem area is the uncarpeted floor. The solution? Rugs, rugs, and more rugs. To save your feet from freezing, cover floorboards in cheap mats. Failing that, adopt a pair of hard-soled shoes as temporary slippers. Anything to lift your feet off the ground.

In saying that, you may want to keep your kitchen a rug-free zone for hygiene. Take this as your excuse to bake (even more).

Cooking will warm you and the kitchen up. Of course, make sure to eat for heat after. Once you have finished using your oven and turned it off, leave the oven door open to warm up the kitchen with its remaining heat.

Sitting down for long periods of time brings your body temperature down. Doing a quick stretch or going out for a walk in the fresh air will heat you up in no time.

Once you’re warm, you can then pile on the jumpers and blankets to keep that heat in. A quick note on blankets: it’s a science.

Those made of fleece or wool are your go-to winter warmers.

Even your blankets may need a bit of warming up though. As the night draws in, all you may want to do is snuggle up in what should be the warmest place in the flat: your bed. Except your pillows, duvets, and sheets are looking – and feeling – more like they’re made of snow.

Cue the electric blanket. Well, student-style at least. Hair dry your bedsheets for a minute or so, making sure to spread the heat evenly. After you’ve unplugged the hairdryer, slip into some toasty warmth.

Oh, the radiator. Granted, turning on the heating is the last resort. But when you do, you want to make sure every last drop of warmth is being squeezed out of it. And, even more importantly, that heat is not racing straight up to those high Edinburgh ceilings. A floating shelf keeps heat for longer down where it’s really needed.

Those with rented walls have no fear – there is no drilling or blue tack involved. Simply slot the floating shelf over the top of the radiator.

So, if you’re beginning to feel the winter chill in your flat, turning on the heating isn’t your only line of defence. A bit of aluminium foil will turn your Arctic into Australia in no time.

Image credit: S. Hermann & F. Richter