Have you ever woken up to a cold house and realised that your boiler’s on the blink and had to make do with very little other than wearing extra layers, snuggling under blankets and drinking cups of tea until it’s fixed?
We did last Christmas when we woke up to no heating on Christmas morning and I can tell you, in case you’ve never been through it that it’s not a pleasant experience at all. We were without heat for just a few days and although it was awful, it was almost an adventure for the kids as we found new ways to keep warm and laughed about how we were having a white Christmas inside the house thanks to the chill. The relief when we heard our boiler whirring back into action was immense and that first hot bath I had was the best bath I’ve ever had!
I can’t imagine not having heating for longer than those few short days that we were without it. Aside from it being freezing, there are all sorts of knock on effects that living in such a cold house could bring on – not least of which would be the health issues that having to live in a cold house could cause, especially where there are elderly people and children involved.
We all know that there are many people in this country who struggle to pay their heating bills every year though and a lot of them just do without because there is simply no money to spare and they genuinely have no choice. That makes me sad but at the same time, I know that I can’t change that fact so I do the best I can by regularly donating to the food bank in the hope that my food donations might somehow free up some money in families to pay for their heating. Does that make sense?
Last night, I read a really sad thread on Facebook about people who couldn’t afford to heat their homes and reading their stories and the effects that living with no heating has on them and their families has really made me think about how lucky we are to live in a nice warm house.
Because I know I can’t change things for everyone, I’ve been trying to think of some advice to share with people who can’t afford to heat their homes. What can they do to get as much warmth as possible for as little money?
These are the ideas that I have but I’d love you to leave some more ideas in the comments so we can make even just a small difference by suggesting as many different ideas as possible to help someone who needs it….
- Blankets, blankets and more blankets – on top of you, underneath you and wrapped around you.
- Hot water bottles are amazing to take the chill off your bed on a night and to snuggle with on the settee during the day.
- Burn candles – you’ll be surprised how much heat a couple of candles can give you.
- Sleep in a sleeping bag under your quilt for an extra layer and to avoid cold feet if your partner steals the quilt of you wriggle about in your sleep.
- Make sure that all drafts are blocked – a rolled up blanket or sheet will do just as good a job as a draft excluder.
- Use someone else’s heat – libraries, museums, soft play, friends or grandparents houses. Anywhere that’s warm is fine!
- Open your curtains during the day to let the sun warm the house and close them as soon as the sun starts to go down to retain as much heat as possible.
- Use thicker curtains or make some linings for the ones you already have up – even an older pair of curtains will do as a lining.
- If it’s safe to do so, leave the oven on after you’ve used it so it’ll give you some extra heat in the kitchen.
- Drink warm drinks – just boil the kettle once and pop the water in a flask if you’d rather not keep boiling the kettle.
Now it’s over to you – what ideas do you have to help someone who can’t afford to heat their home?
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