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Discuss the 'Heat the human not the home' guide

edited 5 April 2022 at 5:48PM in Energy
88 replies 19.4K views
MSE_SarahMSE_Sarah MSE Staff
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MSE Staff
edited 5 April 2022 at 5:48PM in Energy
Energy costs are soaring, leaving many struggling to heat their homes. We wish we didn't need to be publishing this, but we've written a guide on how to Heat the human, not the home and would appreciate your feedback.

How did you find the info? Was it useful? Do you have any other tips you'd add?

Thanks for your help!

MSE Sarah

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  • Not a good idea suggesting  putting down rugs to help your feet stay warm, these can be a trip hazard for the elderly!!
  • karen2205karen2205 Forumite
    3 Posts
    Second Anniversary First Post
    I don't think you're communicating well how layering works.

    Commercial base layer + 'mid layer' + waterproof layer only works for people being active, wearing specialist, technical clothing. Moisture wicking is important in those circumstances, because people are moving enough to generate enough sweat to be uncomfortable/to make their clothes wet.

    In other contexts and where people aren't wearing specialist clothing, the principle is that more thinner layers keep you warmer than a couple of thick layers because air is trapped between the layers. Three layers isn't enough. Three layers ought to be an autumn/spring baseline of vest + shirt/T shirt + jumper. For warmth in a cold home, aim for four to six layers, most of them T-shirt/top weight, at least some of them with long sleeves.
  • LinaBMLinaBM Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    I got a heated hoodie from the online home shop in winter and it's fantastic for layering as it is oversized, and really warm even without the heating function. It is also fairly cheap compared to the heated gilet in the original article, costing £25

  • DavecvDavecv Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    When trecking in Tibet they had a system in the lodges called a "Tibetan Hot Table" (also see Japanese Heated Kotatsu Table) which could be modified for UK.  In the evening the temperature dropped below zero. The large table with all the guests was surounded by benches with solid fronts. The table had old army blankets nailed to its sides. So sitting at the table with the blanket around your waist the space under the table was sealed.  The lodge owner put a stove under the table. With a coat/jacket on the guests had their legs heated and we stayed warm even as the temperature dropped below zero.  When the stove ran out of fuel that was the signal to run to your sleeping bags.
    Modifying this for the UK - with a coffee table in front of the couch/armchair and blankets over it all a small fan heater on low would keep you warm.  For safety reasons the fan heater should be kept clear of any blanket perhaps weighted down in the center of the table or with clear air provided to the heater with tube made out of heavy cardboard box material. 

  • Olinda99Olinda99 Forumite
    824 Posts
    500 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    When shopping for food, think about the energy costs of cooking. Canned carrots, potatoes etc can be as cheap as buying them fresh and don't need as much energy to cook them. Ditto canned chicken, steak etc
  • maisie_catmaisie_cat Forumite
    2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Academoney Grad
    The most practical advice is wearing proper clothing indoors, my nephew wears shorts and T shirt indoors and has the thermostat at 24 degrees. The clothing doesn't need to be technical clothing, although my ancient merino base layer is warm I rarely need it as it's too warm in the UK.
    I am now wearing a cotton T shirt and a fleece, plus cotton 3/4 leggings, no socks because I don't like them, although I do tend to sit with my feet under my bum.
    We have feather cushions on the sofa seats, mostly because I find it more comfortable to sit on  but they actually add a layer of insulation that makes sitting warmer.
    Decades ago I worked street markets and we used to wear fur lined boot things with a plastic bag between 2 pairs of socks plus tights under jeans and layers on the top, that translated quite well to living in an old cottage.
    We don't have fitted carpets, we have slate floors with one sitting room rug so I wear flipflops around the house to prevent my feet getting cold, cold feet do make the body feel cold.
    The heating hasn't been on today and it's 19 degrees in here although it biting wind outside, it doesn't feel cold or hot.
    We do have some throws from camping although they are mostly for the cat, I never use them but they are there should I need to. 
    Although I don't shower everyday, when I do it's just before bed because it warms you up getting into bed.
    For those who need it an electric blanket is excellent, we don't have one now but did years ago in another house without heating, 10 minutes is enough.
    We always have the bedroom window open at night, we don't want damp caused by condensation.
    I'm sure about these other heated things, although hubby has handwarmers for when he's stargazing that he swears by.
    We also eat lots of soups and similar, tonight chorizo and vegetable/potato stew spicy enough to warm you up and filling enough to not go to bed hungry.
  • DrJDKDrJDK Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    You can loose up to 25% of your body heat through your head.  Wear a hat, is something I don’t see in the “Heat the human not the home” advice.  A great aunt of mine always wore a knitted hat, similar to a beanie hat, indoors.  She was born in 1898, so long before houses had heating anywhere except the front room (for special occasions) and the kitchen (in the range for cooking).

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