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    freezing cold house with no central heating - help!
    • #1
    • 17th Nov 07, 5:29 PM
    freezing cold house with no central heating - help! 17th Nov 07 at 5:29 PM

    im not sure if this is the best place to post this question... but any advice would be very much appreciated!

    I live in a rented flat in a very old house which doesn't have central heating. The windows are all very old and seem to let in a lot of cold - and let out any heat.

    I tried masking tape last year and am going to make some thick curtains but i now need to find the best way of actually heating the flat.

    At the moment i have plug in electric heaters which let out hot air from the top. these cost a small fortune to have on and the second i turn them off all of the heat dissapears from the room!

    I am just constantly so cold that it it making me feel miserable to be at home. any advice as to the best way of heating my flat and actually containing th heat would be greatly appreciated.

    my debt...
    Next Directory: £392
    Yorkshire Bank CC: £3400
    O/D: £1000
    Loan £8995
Page 2
    • johanne
    • By johanne 17th Nov 07, 11:27 PM
    • 1,905 Posts
    • 13,678 Thanks
    From experiance:

    -throws or blankets thrown over you on the couch/chair when your sat around. If you have a spare duvet (e.g. a summer weight one and a winter one) then chuck a throw/blanket over the sofa and then snuggle under a duvet... you'll be snug as a bug in a rug!

    - candles do help it feel warmer and in a small room can give off surprising amount of heat....but be careful not to knock them over or catch your blanket or anything with them obviously!

    - when you make a hot drink make it in a big thermos and take it and a mug with you to whatever room your in - reduces your need to make trips to the kitchen etc which is probably gonna be cold!

    - you may feel an idiot but when your in the house wear a scarf and a wooly hat. End of the day you lose most the heat out your head so wear one outside so why not inside?! I have even been known to sleep in my beanie on very cold nights!

    - If you can (say your out all day at work so dont need the daylight coming in) keep your curtains closed all the time Opening them lets the cold draughts in! Just warn any good neighbours that may think theres something wrong if you havent opened them!:rolleyes:

    - Layers of clothes and hot water bottles as others have said.

    - heating one room with a portable heater, probably the living room, and living, eating and sleeping in there with doors shut all the time and only venturing to other rooms when totally necessary.

    - after cooking tea and finishing with the oven i used to leave the oven door open to let all the heat out while i washed up as there was no heaters in the kitchen and it was so cold you could see your breath, so the heat off the oven just took the chill off the air long enough to speedily wash up!

    I dont know if any of these will help but i spent last year living in my partners house which has no central heating and very poorly fitted old single glazing, and the year before i lived in rented accomadation and was on benefits in the winter so couldnt afford to heat the house properly!
  • Bungarm2001
    Just thought I'd add my bit here too as someone who spent most of her childhood absolutely freezing! My mum used to pile up loads of coats on our beds to keep us warm...I had so many on top that I could hardly breathe ...anyway, my tips are; wear loads of layers. I find that you can buy really thin wool jumpers in the charity shops and layering them up with t-shirts, long and short sleeved with a fleecy top over the whole lot works really well. (I had 5 layers on one day...!) Keeping the layers thin is the trick.

    Don't forget tights are almost always warmer than socks.

    Hot water bottles are a real must, in or out of bed.

    Fix holes in the windows with wet paper (good suggestion by another poster) and use the plastic 'hair dryer' double glazing if you can get it.

    Big thick curtains right down to the floor...I used to sew velcro to the lower 2 feet or so of curtain, then stick the other strip of velcro to the wall so the curtains stayed right up against the windows (bit over the top I know, but it worked!)

    Don't forget the floor too...sometimes, even carpeted floors can be really cold. Buy a few rugs or if you don't mind the look of 'em, spread a few blankets on the floor (another one of my mum's tricks)

    Last but not least, as others have said here candles can actually help, and make sure you eat well and have lots of hot drinks.
    • sammy_kaye18
    • By sammy_kaye18 18th Nov 07, 8:08 AM
    • 3,066 Posts
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    AS someone who really cant afford to heat the place alot and i was on meters last year (my god i hated them) i picked up these few tips
    • put any extra duvets/fleece blankets under bottom sheet of bed - helps insulate heat and you'll be shocked how much snugglier the bed is and how well you sleep
    • Plenty of soups and other warming foods.
    • When finished cooking, leave oven door open to allow heat ot escape into the room
    • Get the cling film stuff if it helps.
    • Put cardboard covered in tin foil behind any outer wall radiators to help reflect heat back into the room
    • Fill any holes at windows (filler in £1 in poundland and the special pump thing you need is abotu £1.50 in wilkinsons) small price for big effects
    • Line any windows with curtains or spare blankets (check charity shops)
    • If possible snag a few blinds as these help keep outheat and drafts (as i found this year!
    • Layers , Layers , Layers - whether its a vest or tshirt under work stuff or a jumper or fleece blanket wrapped round you in the home.
    • Candles - a god send in black outs and will help to psychologically trick you into thinking it warmer
    • Make sure if any littlies in the house have PJs, slippers and dressing gown.
    • Rice bags can be usedin little ones beds and are prety snug but make sure you use them correctly, i find them much safer for my DS aged 3 tan a hot water bottle
    • Hot water bottles - put them in bed to heat it up before getting in or sit cuddling one whilst watchign telly, even under feet whilst at the computer
    • If no hot water bottles, make rice bags. Easy and effective but make sure you use tem properly
    • Draught excluders. Easy to make or cheap to pick up and you'll be surprised the draughts they keep out. You might even find making a window ledge sized one will help with draughts at windows too or if not it can be used to tuck curtains under and therefore keep your heat in
    • When closign curtains sit them on the window ledge or tuck them behind the radiator - what point is there closing curtains and them falling over the radiator becasue then all the heat is trapped behind the curtain and escapes
    • Buy Pyjamas for bed and some bed socks.
    • buy a slow cooker - mine is tiny but you'd be surprised hwo much heat it gives off - i have a tiny kitchen and its always lovely and warm in there form my little slow cooker plus i have the bonus of a warm meal too
    • If ou can do it and its really cold why not go to bed early and sit in bed watchign TV or reading a book, witha nice cup of hot chocolate etc
    • Make your bed in teh morning, you'd be surprised hwo much warmer it is than getting into a bed that has been unmade as the sheets are always freezing (this form someone who has NO heating in her bedroom and forgets on more than a few occassions to make the bed)
    • Any bare floors, add soemthing to it , whether its rugs, blankets or even a spare duvet - you'll be shocked at how snuggly the place feels with somethign nice nad soft under your feet.
    • Put cushions on any chairs if they are leather for example - leather tend to be pretty cold (speakign form experience) when in an unheated living room and at 6am! not only do cushions make the chair comfier butthey are there to snuggle in and in turn help you keep warm by insulating you!
    and if your still stuck check out the preparing for winter 2007 thread - lots of helpful ideas and solutions for various problems.


    Finally sorting myself out.
    Debts - £2022.18 owed. 8 lenders
    Comping - November - £200 approx in wins.
    Selling to clear a debt - £14.85/£120
    • LisbonLaura
    • By LisbonLaura 18th Nov 07, 8:25 AM
    • 995 Posts
    • 1,392 Thanks
    Charity shop discarded blankets hung from the walls, & over the windows. Done it, it helps a lot, stops much of the dreaded downdraught.

    I bet there is no roof/ceiling insulation? --- Esp. if there is a flat above you. All you will be doing is keeping the folk above you warm(er)

    Friends bought the downstairs of a house in Scotland. The vendors lived ...........Just guess who has the huge heating bill?
  • twisty37
    Cheap and effective
    I saw this idea:
    and tried making one. I now have 3 and even tho' I'm in Northern Ireland, they do make a real difference and take the edge off the cold if you've no central heating. Raid the penny jar if you have one and give it a go. To be honest I didnt think it would make much difference but have been really surprised.
    Good luck and happy building!
    • annie123
    • By annie123 24th Nov 07, 6:44 PM
    • 4,221 Posts
    • 17,241 Thanks
    I saw this idea:
    and tried making one. I now have 3 and even tho' I'm in Northern Ireland, they do make a real difference and take the edge off the cold if you've no central heating. Raid the penny jar if you have one and give it a go. To be honest I didnt think it would make much difference but have been really surprised.
    Good luck and happy building!
    Originally posted by twisty37
    interesting web site.

    good science project idea, now to convince DH that he does want to build one!! just to see if it works
    • thriftmonster
    • By thriftmonster 24th Nov 07, 9:08 PM
    • 1,636 Posts
    • 7,867 Thanks
    Huge sympathies - we don't heat the upstairs of our 3 storey Victorian house and until we could afford double glazing ( several years in) or in fact heating for downstairs, we did:

    layers and layers on beds - duvets, quilts, blankets, fleece cot blankets on sale in Mr T which the children still use, those freebie tartan blankets from the garage

    the children slept with us for warmth - for PC sake I will say follow advice re co-sleeping up to whatever age

    hot water bottles - if your feet are warm, it's much easier to get to sleep

    layers and layers in the house - we wear thermals - yes they can be expensive but compare it to the price you pay for anything else

    And I agree with the poster who mentioned proper slippers - my mum bought us all proper sheepskin slippers one year for Christmas and they helped a huge amount.
    “the princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly all along. she never needed those wings.”
    Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in this One
    • Steve-o
    • By Steve-o 24th Nov 07, 9:11 PM
    • 4,028 Posts
    • 7,520 Thanks
    I saw this idea:
    and tried making one. I now have 3 and even tho' I'm in Northern Ireland, they do make a real difference and take the edge off the cold if you've no central heating. Raid the penny jar if you have one and give it a go. To be honest I didnt think it would make much difference but have been really surprised.
    Good luck and happy building!
    Originally posted by twisty37
    That is a wonderful idea! There is a downside, and an upside to it: the downside is that it only works in the daytime, and the upside is that you could make big ones to absorb more heat when you are not in the house (warm room when you get back, and doesn't matter that more window area is covered cos you're not in).

    Bricks that have been painted black, with daylight shining on them, will store heat and then give it off at night. Putting them on the window sill in the daytime would mean a nice amount of heat absorbed (as long as it's not drafty there), and then bring them into the room at night when the curtains are drawn.

    Slightly less obvious (if your room gets plenty of light in the day) is a coffee table with the base made from bricks painted black, with a glass top: the bricks absorb the daylight heat, and the glass top allows the light to hit the bricks at the back.
    I have no signature.

    • sandy2
    • By sandy2 25th Nov 07, 8:41 AM
    • 1,927 Posts
    • 2,781 Thanks
    laptop on your knees and fingerless mittens
  • champys
    both OH and myself wear long johns around the house for most of the winter - my winter trousers are a size bigger to accommodate them! if you tuck them into your socks they are a lot warmer than tights.
    our other favourite is the electric blanket - of course hot water bottles work too, but this is just magic!
  • 200
    a bit of cavity wall insulation,
    and window films wich if you google it youl findloads of
    insualating film. other than that a small wood burning stove fan assisted is all i
    can sugest.
  • annie2005
    Another good draught excluder is two pair of curtains. We use this to combat 30 year old double glazing. Charity shop heavy lined curtains. Hung on alternating hooks and then Velcro to the walls alongside the windows. Also the plastic layer of double glazing really does work if you use a decent plastic. Again Velcro will save the paint work as well as enabling you to open the window underneath for cleaning etc during the winter months. Also make some draught excluding rolls and if you get over-long floor length curtains these can help seal out the cold air as it falls.
    • flossyblog
    • By flossyblog 14th Jan 09, 7:48 PM
    • 198 Posts
    • 415 Thanks
    My dutch tutor was really frugal, she told me she heated her living room with the fridge - back of
    Last edited by flossyblog; 14-01-2009 at 7:52 PM.
  • 200
    i googled those doubles glazing kit
    and companies do sell them
    • Snowy Owl
    • By Snowy Owl 7th Feb 09, 8:51 PM
    • 435 Posts
    • 770 Thanks
    Snowy Owl
    My wee flat can also be very cold and has no central heating. It does thankfully heat up quite quickly when I put the electric heaters on. Agree with all the above, lots of layers, hot water bottles in bed, etc. During the winter months have clothes fryinh in kitchen - i know it's not idea but have no other option so when finished using the oven, I leave the door open to give a bit of extra heat out. Also have a blanket and a quilt on my bed to keep me warm at nioght. As I am a very cold tattie, also wear a jumper (sometimes 2 - 1 borrowed from dear fiance) in bed. Therefore kept as snug as abur in a rug!! Snowy
    • beautiful_ravens
    • By beautiful_ravens 7th Feb 09, 9:58 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 2,874 Thanks
    All of us (me & OH + 3 kids) have either a fleece blanket or a fake fur throw ontop of the bedsheet, which we lie ON. The kids just wear normal PJ's and are really toasty warm. We hate it when its time to wash the 'furry blanket' on our bed, because we have to lie on an ordinary sheet - luckily the fur throw dries very quickly!!

    Ive got 3 pairs of curtains hanging at my dining room window - they are all attached to each other by the tape hooks - so theres the 1st pair, with a 2nd pair hooked onto the curtain tape, and that 2nd pair has a 3rd pair attached onto its tape - but you DO need sturdy curtain fixtures to do this !!

    I remembered this year to block up the unused chimney holes - the living room has an open fireplace, but I put a fake woodburner-fanheater in the hole.....So in the autum I cleared out behind it (cobwebs) and couldnt believe it when I looked up the chimney and could see straight up to the sky!! I stuffed an empty compost bag up there, and then fitted a piece of chipboard stuff (from the back of a picture clip-frame) into the hole. One less draught!!

    One old house we lived in had literally up to one inch gaps between the floorboards and skirting board - so when we redecorated, I made alot of paper mache, filled up some smaller areas, and when it was dry, gloss painted over it same colour as skirting. Some other areas were too big for this, and we had to hammer strips of 1x1 wood over the gaps instead. It made a noticable difference to the warmth in the room.
    ''A moment's thinking is an hour in words.'' -Thomas Hood
    • Butterfly Brain
    • By Butterfly Brain 7th Feb 09, 10:04 PM
    • 8,736 Posts
    • 61,001 Thanks
    Butterfly Brain
    Have a look at the preparing for winter and saving money on gas and electric threads there are loads of brilliant ideas on them
    • mrsr
    • By mrsr 7th Feb 09, 10:28 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 1,160 Thanks
    Have to agree with leaving curtains drawn all day if you can ,makes a big differance.A proper themal vest is worth every penny (never thought i would say that sounding like my mother)sitting under a throw with hot water bottle and cuddling my little dog.I'm luckly i have a warmer house now just need to cut my costs but I well remember when there was no heating or dg it was awfull I feel for you.
    • Pennylane
    • By Pennylane 7th Feb 09, 11:19 PM
    • 2,030 Posts
    • 5,581 Thanks
    Oh my lord this brings back memories. Our first home was a one-bed rented cottage and while it looked pretty in the summer it was ffffffreezing in winter. It had just one coal fire in the front room & that was it. The kitchen was so cold that the milk used to freeze in the bottles and pop up like lollipops. The kitchen was built on some years before & I'm sure was just one brick thick. That was the only cold place I ever lived in. I vowed that I would go without anything in order to stay warm. I just hate it & feel miserable.

    Here's what I'd do. First of all I'd speak to the landlord because they really ought to be doing something about either cavity wall insulation/loft insulation and draught-proofing.

    I'd get some good thermal underwear and socks.
    Thick lined curtains from charity shops or freecycle. There are some other great ideas on here and I can't better them. But DO speak to your Landlord.
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