The current cost of living crisis is making it difficult for some families to heat their homes.
Here are a few hints and tips to help keep you warm and to save you money.
If you're struggling to cope with the rising cost of living go to www.bedford.gov.uk/costofliving for information about various forms of help that may be available.
Remember to turn off your appliances when not in use. Leaving them on standby will still cost you money because they are still using power.
Close doors to keep the heat in the room and cover keyholes to block draughts.
Open your curtains when it's sunny and shut them when the sun goes down as they act as a form of insulation.
Move sofas away from the radiator so that the hot air can circulate properly, warming your home quicker.
Dress in layers. Clothes made from wool, cotton or fleecy fabrics are warmest and wear a hat, gloves and scarf when going out. When you're indoors, wear warm socks and slippers to keep your feet snug.
Wool and cotton fleece blankets keep you warmest because the spaces between the fibres in a fuzzy or napped blanket trap warm air.
Remember to have regular hot drinks and food such as porridge, soups and stews.
Keep as active as possible to boost your circulation. Move around at least once an hour and avoid sitting still for long periods.
When you're sitting, put your feet up if you can as it's coldest nearest the ground.
A hot water bottle will help you stay warm but be careful not to scold yourself when filling it and make sure the lid is properly sealed.
Do not give hot water bottles to babies or young children as their skin is too sensitive.
Do not use boiling water as this can damage the seams of the bottle and add to the risk of burns. Once the water has boiled allow it to stand for a couple of minutes before filling your bottle.
Do not fill the hot water bottle more than two thirds full.
Do not use hot water bottles if you are an older person with sensitive skin or have reduced feeling in parts of your body.
Do not sit or lean on a hot water bottle as this can cause them to burst or leak.
Microwave warmers are great alternatives to hot water bottles. Instead of using hot water to heat up, they contain flaxseed or wheat which can be heated in the microwave. Some look like traditional hot water bottles, others can be used to warm your neck, back, hands and feet, for example.
A modern electric blanket is safe to use but it's not recommended to keep them on all night. It will warm up your bed before you get in but remember to switch it off before you go to sleep. They are not recommended for children under the age of 5 years.
Try and keep your main living room at 18-21°C (64-70°F) and the rest of your house at no lower than 16°C (61°F). If you can't heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep.
Energy saving light bulbs (LEDs) use approximately 75% - 85% less electricity and last for years.
Radiator panels or a shelf placed over the radiator will help ensure that your radiator warms up your room and not the wall.
Rugs on bare wooden floors help keep your home warmer but be careful they don't become a trip or slip hazard.
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