If you’re in bed and your fingers and toes are freezing, it can be difficult to relax into a deep slumber, or get up in the morning. Yes, it can be tempting to crank up the heating but, alas, who wants to be hit with a mega power bill at the end of the month.
We all know heating in New Zealand doesn’t come cheap. Typically heating accounts for about 30% of a household’s annual energy consumption, according to Smarter Homes. However, there are ways to maintain a warm bedroom during winter that won’t contribute much, if at all, to your power bill. And there are also ways to ensure heat stays in your room and doesn’t escape through cracks or crevices, so if you do decide to run a heater for a short time before sleeping, your bills shouldn’t be sky-high. Canstar shares our top tips below:
Check for drafts
If your windows have gaps or cracks, your heated inside-air is being wasted, leaking outside (and taking your hard-earned dollars with it). To maintain a warm bedroom, it’s a good idea to check all your windows and doors that open to the outside for noticeable gaps. When you do find a crack or source of air leakage, use caulk to seal it. You could also use a door sausage to stop drafts coming into your bedroom while you sleep.
Hard flooring like polished wood can look beautiful and is easy to clean, but a warm bedroom isn’t one of its benefits. Consider laying down a thick, warm rug during winter to help insulate your room. It’ll give your feet a warm treat to step onto when it’s time to leave the cocoon of your bed, too.
Positioning of your bed
Keep yourself toasty by shifting your bed: this could be a tip for you if your bed is usually positioned under a window and you’re able to move it. You’ll sleep a little warmer by moving it to the other side of the room, as glass cools down considerably during the night, which chills nearby air.
Close off unused rooms
Don’t let heat escape into rooms you’re not using. Can you close off your living room, bathroom or perhaps a spare bedroom? Keeping the doors to those rooms closed will focus warm air circulation in parts of the home you’re actually using, keeping you toasty. In this case, your warm bedroom!
Swap out your summer sheets
Thin, cotton sheets are great for summer. But now it’s chilly? Swap out those cooler sheets for thicker flannel sheets to warm those toes and fingers. It makes a huge difference. You could also layer blankets on the end of your bed; think cosy, thick blankets to add an extra layer of insulation.
Heat pads and hot water bottles
It’s something our parents might have done for us as kids, warming up our bed with a hot water bottle, but who says we can’t use them now? It’s such a treat to slip into a bed that’s been warmed by a heat pad or hot water bottle, and it saves you from heating a whole room. Think about putting a fluffy pair of socks on, too, before bed.
Hot tea before sleeping
Have a cuppa before heading to bed. Something like a soothing chamomile or valerian root tea will not only warm your belly, but could help you have a better, more relaxed night’s sleep.
Preheat your bedroom
A small heater in your bedroom can actually save you money if you use it wisely. Instead of turning on your main source of heating at home at night, consider using a portable electric space heater to warm up the room before you go to sleep. Basically, you want to just take the chill off the air to create a more comfortable sleeping temperature.
Canstar has a great overview of the best electric heaters to cut your power bill costs. Just make sure to switch your heater off before you go to sleep, though, for safety, power-saving and health reasons. Sleeping with a heater on isn’t exactly the greatest for your health. Hot, dry air can leave you with flaky skin, itchy eyes and a scratchy throat.
And if you are using a heater, check out Canstar’s research on New Zealand’s electricity providers. You can compare providers for free and work out whether you could be getting a better deal:
Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.
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Canstar Blue NZ Research finalised in April 2021, published in June 2021.
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Change the direction of your ceiling fan
Most ceiling fans have a switch that changes the direction of the blades’ rotation. In the summer, set the blades to rotate counterclockwise to create a cooling draft. And in winter, flip the switch so the blades rotate clockwise. This will make the fan pull cold air up and circulate warm air out to the walls and down toward the floor, keeping you toastier!
Make sure your curtains are keeping in the heat. One of the main ways to protect your bedroom from losing heat through the windows is to have curtains with a thermal lining. Well-installed curtains can help to reduce heat loss through your windows, provided they’re installed without gaps that allow air movement between the window and the room. Ensure you open curtains during the day and close them just before it gets dark to allow your room to gain heat from the sun during the day, and better retain it overnight.
Check out a variety of electricity providers with Canstar and compare prices by hitting the button below: