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17 Ways To Keep Your Home Cosy This Winter

Winter is coming. Here are some easy, inexpensive ways to keep out the cold.

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3. Let in the low winter light.

*Kicki* / Via Flickr: kh-67 / Creative Commons

Make sure the curtains on the south and west sides of your house are kept open during the day to take advantage of the low winter sun – but pull them shut once the sun's down to keep that heat in!

4. Stop heat loss through windows with DIY bubblewrap insulation.

World of Oddy / Via Flickr: worldofoddy / Creative Commons

You can use bubblewrap to effectively insulate your windows. Just spray water across the window and stick the wrap bubble side down across the glass, cut to whatever shape you need. If you have judgmental guests coming over, you can peel it off and reapply it easily once they've gone.

No matter what you do to your windows, it's important to note that contrary to popular opinion, windows are only responsible for about 10% of your house's heat loss. Thirty-five per cent goes out of the walls, and 25% through the roof – so see that your walls and roof are properly insulated first and foremost.

5. Or, if you've popped all your bubblewrap, use simple plastic sheeting and a hairdryer.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via greenityourself.com.au

This heavily pregnant Australian woman will show you how.

7. Make use of leftover oven heat – but only once it's off.

Jennuine Captures / Via Flickr: picturepurrfect685 / Creative Commons

If you're cooking with your oven, leave it open after you've finished so that the heat dissipates into your house rather than going to waste.

But seriously, make sure it's off, and please don't burn yourself or die of carbon monoxide poisoning. It's just something you might as well do if you've already heated up your oven anyway.

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8. Block draughts from ceiling vents with sticky plastic.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via greenityourself.com.au

This same amazing Australian woman will show you how.

9. Use draught-sealing tape on internal doors.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via greenityourself.com.au

Seriously, someone give this lady a DIY show.

10. Find draughts around your windows, vents, and door frames.

Chad / Via Flickr: invictus / Creative Commons

Hunt down draughts in your house by slowly moving a lit stick of incense or a candle around the edges of your windows. When the smoke or flame flickers, you've found your leak.

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13. Don't drain your bath or shower water until it's cooled down.

Leslie E-B / Via Flickr: charminglydaft

That way, the heat will warm up your bathroom rather than your pipes. This is only worth it if you were going to use up that hot water anyway – it would be expensive, inefficient, and a waste of water to run a hot bath just for the sole purpose of heating your house a bit.

Also, if you have a problem with mildew in your bathroom, you'll want to avoid the extra humidity this tactic would create. But if you're after humidity, this will help! Plus: Higher humidity will hold heat in the air for longer.

14. Make a DIY radiant heater from terracotta flowerpots and tealights.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

There are plenty of different tutorials online with slightly varying methods, but the basic idea is that a couple of flowerpots over a couple of tealights can heat up a whole room for almost nothing.

As with any candles, don't leave your heater unattended, and be careful not to burn yourself – you wouldn't touch a space heater, would you?

15. Just say no to portable, gas, electric, space, and fan heaters.

*Bitch Cakes* / Via Flickr: bitchcakes / Creative Commons

Yes, they'll warm you up quickly, but they're horribly inefficient and may send your energy bill through the roof. Compare the cost of different kinds of room heaters here. Depending on the size of your house, it could well be cheaper and more efficient to turn on the central heating on at a low heat than to hunker down in a single room with an electric heater.

16. Line the back of your fireplace with aluminum foil or a fireback.

Oleg Dulin / Via Flickr: olegdulin

Placing aluminum foil at the back of your fireplace will help heat radiate out rather than up through the chimney. To do this, you'll need a deep enough fireplace to be able to set the foil far enough behind the fire so as not to be charred.

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