3 tricks to save on heating costs

In winter, what could be better than cuddling up with a blanket on the couch inside your own four walls and forgetting how icy cold it is outside? Unfortunately, that's not possible for many people, as their apartments are drafty and they have to put up with badly-insulated windows. These 3 simple tricks will help you to recognize the problems and to take action against them.

1. Detecting a draft

You'll need:

  • tea light or candle

When you notice that there's a draft, but don't know exactly where the cold is coming from, then place a tea light or a candle in the place you suspect.  This will most likely be near a window or on the floor in front of the door to the room. Just look where the flame flickers. In this spot, you can use Trick #2.

2. Making a draft stopper

You'll need:

  • 2 empty rolls of giftwrap
  • 1 thick pair of pantyhose
  • 1 fluffy hand towel

As you've already found out where the cold air is coming from, there are at least two possibilities for crafting solutions against it.

The first one is particularly suitable for doors: for this one, first spread the pantyhose out in front of you and cut away one of the legs. Pull the cut-off leg completely over both cardboard rolls and tuck the open end inside one of the cardboard tubes. Stick the pantyhose in place with a few strips of tape, if the fabric doesn't stay in place.

The job is done as soon as you install your draft stopper so that there is a cardboard tube either side of the door. The great thing about this trick is that it doesn't cause any problems when it comes to opening and closing the door.

The fluffy hand towel is best deployed when cold air is coming through the window. Roll the hand towel up tight and place it directly on the windowsill under the window. That's an end to the cold for now.

3. Tea light heating

You'll need:

  • 2 clay pots of different sizes (each with a hole in the bottom)
  • 1 bolt with a screw thread (12 - 14 in)
  • 3 nuts
  • 3 washers
  • 2 bricks
  • 1 plate
  • at least 2 tea lights

First, screw a nut on to the bolt and place a washer on top of it. Stand the larger clay pot on its head and feed the bolt through the hole in the middle. Then turn the pot over. It should now be standing on the washer and the nut. Now place another washer on the bolt, then screw a bolt on. Then, again, place another washer on the bolt before sliding on the smaller clay pot, followed by the last washer and the last nut.

Now you just have to bring the individual components of the heating system together: to do this, lie the bricks parallel to each other on the floor. Leave space in between them for your heat source: a plate with the lit tea lights. Finally, set the upturned clay pot construction on the top of the bricks. The pots should be directly over the tea lights.

That should offer some respite from the cold for now. Maybe you should acquire a bulk pack of tea lights if you want to use the heating system for longer.

In the long term or in the event of a long winter, maybe you should seek out expert advice on good insulation, but these quick solutions are practical when you want to warm things up immediately. Stay cozy!


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