SA cold front: 11 cheap ways to stay warm at home

As temperatures drop drastically, these ideas will help keep you warm at home. Picture: Amin Hasani/Unsplash

As temperatures drop drastically, these ideas will help keep you warm at home. Picture: Amin Hasani/Unsplash

Published Sep 13, 2023


South Africans are really feeling the cold as snow, wet weather, and icy temperatures grip the country.

This is made worse by the fact that load shedding takes away our power sources for heating appliances and the cost of electricity forces many of us to cut down on our usage.

Even though we cannot use heaters, there are some cheap and clever ways to keep toasty.

Here are just a few:

1. Block any cracks or crevices in your home

Picture: Shlomaster/Pixabay

Spaces underneath your doors and gaps around your windows may appear to only let in a little cold air, but it is enough to bring a definite chill into your home.

If you are able to, fix any windows that do not close properly, before the temperatures drop further. For all other cracks or crevices, you can use towels or other thick materials to block any drafts, and then secure them with tape. You can use draft stoppers on the bottom of your doors.

2. Insulate your windows

Picture: Stefan Schweihofer/Pixabay

Did you know that you can help keep cold air out by insulating your windows with bubble wrap or plastic wrapping? All you need to do is cut the wrapping to the size of the window, secure it to the window with sticky tape, and then use a hair dryer to melt the plastic to the sticky tape.

3. Bring out your sleeping bags

Picture: Hans/Pixabay

Sleeping bags are designed for outdoor use and this makes them warmer than regular blankets. Whether the power is out or not, you could use them in the lounge when watching TV, or even in bed while you sleep.

4. Consider erecting a tent

Picture: Irhap/Pixabay

Just like sleeping bags, tents are made for outdoor use and designed to insulate occupants. It may be unconventional but you could set up a tent inside your home. You could gather inside it during the colder days or evenings and even sleep in it. Plus, the kids will love it.

5. Reverse your ceiling fan

Picture: Alina/Pexels

By reversing the direction your ceiling fan turns, you will push any warm air near the ceiling down towards the floor of your home.

6. Open curtains during the day

Picture: Hemanth Nirujogi/Pexels

During the day, make sure your blinds or curtains are fully open to let in as much light and warmth as possible. At night, ensure they are closed to then keep that warmth in your home for as long as possible and help block out any drafts.

7. Make use of rugs

Picture: Element5Digital/Pexels

By covering your floor with rugs you can help prevent heat escaping through the floor boards. For extra effect, use rugs made of fabric that offers insulation.

8. Drink warm drinks regularly

Picture: Jill Wellington/Pixabay

Keep your body warm by consuming warm drinks, and/or soup, every couple of hours. If you are able to heat water on a gas stove then your supply of hot drinks should not be hampered, but if not, then make sure you check your load shedding schedule and prepare for the outages by boiling water beforehand and storing it in flasks.

9. Fill up hot water bottles

Picture: Succo/Pixabay

Fill water bottles with boiling water and the heat should last you a couple of hours. Children, however, should not be left to use hot water bottles unsupervised. An alternative is to make use of bean bags that can be warmed in the microwave.

10. Light some candles

Picture: Asia/Pixabay

While candles are often used as home décor, they can be a good source of heat, especially if you use a few of them together. Set up some candles on a table and they will eventually start to warm the nearby areas. Do not leave candles unattended though.

11. Layer yourself

Picture: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels

Don’t just rely on a warm jacket or gown, but, rather, layer your clothing while inside the home. Not only will this keep you warmer but will also allow you to take layers off should you get too warm.