We are NOT putting the heating on yet! 8 easy ways to keep warm when working from home.
Working from home is great! You can take breaks when you like, you can spend the day in your pyjamas (or at least pj bottoms) and you no longer have to spend all that time, energy, effort and money on the daily commute. Unfortunately, however, there are down sides too. You actually find that you miss the chatter in the office; the little table in the spare room is really not designed for working at for hours at a time; school holidays are hard work and now the weather is getting colder too, which means you need to put the heating on. With energy prices rocketing, this is not the slightly jokey subject it once was. Lou has grown up knowing that in our house, you simply wear extra jumpers and socks until the heating goes on at October half term. The trouble is, even if we make it until the end of October, we are still not used to having to pay for heating throughout the whole day.
Never fear! I have some sensible and some slightly wibbly ideas to keep you warm this winter....
1. Reduce drafts. This seems an obvious one. Everyone knows to check around doors and windows and to apply that squidgy sticky strip (I'm pretty sure that's what it's called), all the way round. You also need to give a bit of thought to letter box flaps and key holes; they don't look like much, but they can really bring down the temperature of your hallway which then spreads throughout the house. If you have beautifully sanded floorboards (lucky you), you may also want to invest in a rug or two for the winter.
2. Bleed your radiators. Now, I thought that this was a well known thing, but after talking to a couple of 20-somethings, maybe it's an age thing! If your radiator is warm at the bottom, but cold at the top, then it may have trapped air in there and we all know how uncomfortable that can be. You can easily let this out with a radiator key. Have a quick look on You Tube if you think this may be something you need to do this weekend, you party animal, you. It really is dead easy and only takes a couple of minutes.
3. Keep an eye on your thermostat. No, it's not going to run away, but if it is in a cold room (like the hallway) then it will be constantly telling your boiler to put the heating on. You can also try knocking it down by just 1 degree. You'll be surprised at how little difference you feel. By the by, most people in the UK apparently have their thermostats set somewhere between 18 and 22 degrees - now you know!
4. Thick curtains. This is another obvious one really, but worth pointing out. During the day, you want your curtains as open as possible to let the sun-warmth in, but as soon as dusk begins to fall, then whip round the house and get them all tightly closed. It will make you feel more cosy too!
5. Free radiators. No - don't release them into the wild, but do make sure you haven't got the sofa right in front of it, blocking the heat, or it's covered in wet towels all day.
6. Thermostatic radiator valves. This is the proper grown up name for those dials you get on each radiator that enables you to turn each one up or down. This means that you can have your radiator on a lower heat in those rooms you don't often use, like maybe the spare bedroom or front parlour. I would LOVE it if one of you actually has a front parlour!
7. Do a keep fit session. Yes, it's a little left field, but it would definitely warm you up and get you match fit for the Christmas dinner. Just remember to keep warm afterwards as you'll soon get chilled if you are sitting around being sweaty - not to mention how you'll look on those Zoom calls.
8. Wear more. If you have to look professional on video calls, then a thermal layer underneath is fab, or maybe a funky jumper would work for you. Remember to root out your grandad slippers and/or your fluffy socks and of course don't forget your lap blanket!! You knew it was coming!! A cosy blanket over your knees can do wonders. Not only does it keep you warm and toasty, but the colours and patterns can really make you smile. And I know just the place to get one too! 😉
There are obviously loads more ideas such as doing the ironing and leaning on a hot water bottle (not too hard - mopping up is not good for productivity levels!), but I will leave you with my slightly random mix of the sensible and the lateral, but always practical.
I will leave you with one last fact taken from the Best Heating Advice Centre:
"Last year, 35% of Brits admitted to wrapping themselves in a blanket while working from home."
Now if that's not a great idea for a Christmas present, then I don't know what is!!