As the end of September creeps up, thousands of university students are moving into their accommodation for the next year. If this is you, you’ll know that the constant struggle between spending your beer money on heating and enjoying just one month without a chest infection from damp is real. We’re here to help with some ideas about how to keep warm in a student house!
In my university days, I tried everything to avoid the age-old housemates’ argument over putting the heating on. You know the deal: sit at your desk in a duvet, wear so many layers it’s difficult to move your limbs, make sure to find a terraced house and carefully select elderly neighbours so as to sponge as much heating as possible… As a result of our stinginess, my housemates and I spent three years sharing our bathroom with actual mushrooms, sprouting from the walls.
It’s no surprise that student houses are cold – heating is often the first thing to be culled when you’ve gone over budget at the end of the month; and in general, landlords don’t consider it worth spending money on insulation when there’s nothing in it for them. The UK’s housing stock is largely inefficient and lots of student houses are old solid-walled properties. If you’ve ever seen Fresh Meat, you’ll know what I’m thinking.
While Autumn’s rarely freezing in the UK, the cold weather will inevitably arrive at some point, and when it does you’ll be the one paying the bills. With energy prices on the increase, keeping warm in our own homes has become less of a right and more of a privilege. We have a few tips on how to stay warm on a budget – keep bills low and damp at bay with these easy energy saving tips.
This is the easy fix that people forget. Clearly, getting some blood pumping around your body will help to warm you up. Take the opportunity to blast out some Bieber and clean the kitchen… You’ll feel better and there’s the added benefit of happy housemates too!
Make the most of your radiators
Invest in radiator reflectors – they’re really cheap, easy to install and cut bills. Instead of letting expensive heating escape through walls, good radiator reflectors can reflect 95% of the heat emitted from the back of your radiator back into the room. Even better, GreenAge readers can get an exclusive 20% discount using offer code TGA20.
Shut the door
Doors are there for a reason – to stop draughts. Close them when possible to keep warm air in and cold air out.
Grab a hot water bottle
A kettleful of hot water won’t break the bank and hot water bottles can be a really effective way of boosting circulation.
Double-up on duvets
You can buy duvets for as little as a tenner and putting an extra one underneath you at night (on top of your mattress) will make your bed about as cosy as it can get!
Put a stew in the oven instead of cooking on the hob – it’ll help to warm your kitchen up.
You’re not allowed to moan about being cold until you’re wearing a huge fleece and thick socks…
Don’t forget ventilation!
It’s easy to think completely sealing up your house is the best way forward when trying to keep heat in. But it can encourage damp and mould and have impacts for your health too. Crack a window from time to time, especially in steamy areas such as bathrooms and kitchens where condensation could be an issue.
If all else fails, go to the pub.
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