Alternatives to turning the heating on

Anna·25 February 2023·4 min read
Alternatives to turning the heating on

Let’s face it, there’s an energy crisis, it’s cold, and you’re a broke student. It feels like the only two options you have are to keep the heating off and freeze or spend money you don’t have to try and stay warm. This doesn’t have to be the case. As a fellow cold student, I’ve compiled a list of alternatives to turning the heating on.

1. Bundle up!

Self-explanatory and you’re probably already doing it. If you’re spending time in your unheated house, layer up. The extra layers will keep you much warmer than simply wearing a shirt and some joggers. Add an extra jumper and fleece. Double up on your socks and don’t forget those blankets!

2. Go to a café or Library

If you don’t want to spend your own money on heating, go enjoy it at places you don’t have to pay for it! Get a coffee at a coffee shop or head to your university library. Chances are they have it nice and toasty in there. This can be a great time to catch up on some work, but it doesn’t have to be productive. Take some headphones and watch Netflix in the warmth of the library.

3. Eat and drink

Whether you’re an avid tea drinker or prefer coffee, making a hot cup of your favourite beverage is a great way to warm you from the inside out. Stick the kettle on and enjoy the warmth of the mug in your hands. Similarly, eating food that takes longer to digest can warm up body temperature so don’t neglect making dinner because it feels too cold.

4. Heated blanket

Heated or weighted blankets are a great way to keep warm. You may have to spend a little money initially but in the long run they are far cheaper than keeping your central heating on overnight. Many electric blankets feature self-timers that allow you to set them to come on for just an hour or two before bed, or while you drift off to sleep – helping to reduce running costs even further.

5. Heated water bottle

Get cosy with a heated water bottle. They are much smaller than heated blankets and can be used in many ways. If you’re sat working at your desk set it down on your lap. At night, place a hot water bottle under your duvet 5-10 minutes before falling asleep and feel the difference!

6. Turn the heating on in increments

Technically, this doesn’t fit the ‘Alternatives to Turning the Heating on’ title but it’s a great way to heat up your house without spending an extortionate amount. Turn your heating on for an hour in the evening, or whenever you feel it would be the most beneficial. In our house, we turn it on for an hour at 19.00. This gives our rooms a chance to heat up and stay warm after we turn the heating off.

To have to sacrifice warmth because of lack of funds feels dystopian. Unfortunately, it’s the current reality for students across the U.K. Hopefully these tips can help you feel less cold and save you more money. Remember, summer’s just around the corner!