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28/02/2018 Home & Lifestyle

Top Tips for Cold Weather

Home Energy Savings Tips

Met Éireann are predicting a rough few days ahead. It is worthwhile taking a few moments to make sure that you are prepared to face the worst that winter could throw at us this week. Here are some tips from Calor’s cold weather experts.

Make sure you are topped up.

Calor customers can benefit from automatic delivery to make sure they never run out of gas. Calor monitors your tank, to ensure that radiators, cookers and heaters will always have fuel. However, If you are using a fire or a heater which is powered by Calor cylinders, make sure you have a good supply of fuel for the days ahead.

Visit any of the Calor retailers in your area to ensure you are well stocked up for cooking and home heating over the coming days.

Locate your closest Calor retailer here: http://www.calorgas.ie/retailers-cylinders/retailers-map/       

It is easy to reduce the amount of heat that leaves our house. Even the smallest draught can cause the temperature to drop in our homes. Closing doors and windows can greatly reduce heat loss. Draught excluders can really help to keep the heat in our homes also. Adding a rug or blanket to wooden floors can also be of benefit.

The cooler temperatures that are predicted over the next couple of days will likely mean that we will be tempted to increase the temperature of heating in our homes, this can also aid in avoiding frozen pipes and the costly repairs of resulting burst pipes

Beware of hazards

  • Heaters: Remember the "Three-Feet Rule". Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from your heater at all times.
  • Fire: It's easy to snooze in front of a fire, but always make sure that fireplace embers are completely extinguished before going to bed for the night.  Also, always use a fire guard.
  • Alarms: Always make sure that you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Protect Pipes

Setting your thermostat at the same temperature day and night will help prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting. This is particularly important if your house is to be unoccupied over the coming days.

Locate the water shut-off valve in your home in advance of weather warnings, so you know where to go if a pipe bursts. 

Keep your toes toasty.

The feeling of coldness, and even hypothermia, is more likely to begin in extremities like your head, hands and feet, so keeping your toes warm is important. Whether you're walking to work or just around the block, make sure to wear boots, shoes and slippers with non-slip soles. And, if the weather gets very bad, do not go out unless you need to.

Think layers

Lots of thin layers keep heat in better than a small number of bulky items. This is because the layers heat and trap warm air close to our bodies. When dressing for the cold, lots of layers is the way to go. For example;

  • Clothing; Hats, scarves and gloves are essential items
  • Bedding; Keep heavy flurry bedding closest to your body,  topped by dense thin blankets to prevent any leakages

Be a good neighbour

A cold snap can be particularly difficult for older and more vulnerable people. Be a good neighbour and keep an eye on older friends, relations and neighbours. Make sure they aren’t left in the cold or running low on key supplies.

Bake all day, and include drink too

Using your oven heats up the whole house. Eating healthily in the winter is important to fend off colds and the flu. Eating extra healthy fats during the winter can help rev up your metabolism. If your New Year's resolution was to drop a few pounds, don't worry -- you can always skip the extra fat and try eating warmer foods and drinks. Try soups, hot coffee and teas to fend off the chill!

Although alcoholic beverages might make you feel warm, they actually decrease your core temperature and can be dangerous during winter months. Keep hydrated with water, tea, and coffee. Cooking on gas makes it all the more efficient. 

Keep moving

Keep as active as possible to boost your circulation. Move around at least once an hour and avoid sitting still for long periods. Even light exercise will help keep you warm. When you do sit down, put your feet up as the temperature is coldest nearest the ground. Chair-based exercises and home exercise are popular and great for people of all fitness level.

Assemble a Car Emergency Kit

Create a car emergency checklist to ensure you are prepared in case you have a roadside emergency during hazardous weather. Some essentials extras to add to your regular kit include a disposable heat retaining adult foil blanket, torch, spare battery charge, bottle of waters (an extra for windscreens), blankets and de-icer.

Don't warm up your car while it is unattended

Although letting your car heat up before you hop in can be tempting, leaving your car running when you're not around opens up a perfect opportunity for car theft.  Instead take turns with other family members of sitting in the car while it heats up.

When defrosting windows, use warm and not boiling water.  Boiling water can crack windscreens. 

Also, remember when the weather gets bad, to only take journeys that you absolutely need to.

In the meantime, look after yourself, roll out the rug and have a hot drink.