It’s no secret electricity in Spain’s expensive. I dread winter and the cooler months electricity bill. All I did was have a radiator on and the lights on for longer thanks to the those longer winter nights! So today I’m sharing how I keep warm without or hoping that the electricity bill isn’t sky high. Some involve money spent, however the return’s money saved in the long run.
Heat Only The Rooms I Use
I don’t think Spain knows what central heating is. In the UK it’s almost standard. Winter’s are cold here, but are apartments designed to cater for summer. The apartment has central heating via air conditioning. However I refuse to use it A; as it’s too expensive, B; I can’t choose which rooms I want to heat. I have to heat the whole apartment, C; it’s too noisy, D; I can wrap up in layers, polar bears can’t remove layers in the summer as they have less sea ice. I see it as excess heat that affects polar bears habitat. Instead I use in the living room an oil radiator space heater. Oil as it heats more efficiently than electric heaters and I think they’re safer than electric heaters. A good one costs around €60-80 however it’s an investment for future winters. You can also take it to other rooms to heat with you. I stick to the living room preferring a cooler temp for sleeping.
Blankets! Cover the Sofa/Couch Seats with Blankets!
I have the cats to thank for this. Layers keep you warm! I use blankets also as an additional layer on a duvet, made nests out of them on the bed for the cats and thanks to the cats I as soon as it’s gets cooler I put blankets down on the sofa/couch seats. Trust me sofas can be cold to sit on in the winter. Placing a blanket down you’ve instantly warmer. The cats always sat on blankets on the sofa, often kicking each other off for their turn. I thought why not just put a big blanket down on the sofa so they don’t kick each other off and in doing so got a dose of cat logic. I choose blankets the same colour as the sofa and tuck them around the seats along with more blankets for snugging under on the sofa! I even have a blanket on my office chair seat keeping my bum warm! One of my Mum’s many sayings is buy the best quality you can afford. This couldn’t be more true for blankets.
Curtains or Blinds Drawn/Down
It amazes me how people don’t know this trick! If you layer up to keep warm it makes sense to layer up the house to keep warm, right? I love having the curtains open all year round. I feel boxed in if they’re drawn or in my case, blinds down. However in the winter just like layering up clothes, curtains or blinds drawn or down will trap heat in as heat escapes through windows.
Curtain over external doors
The front door’s draughty. P put excluder tape along the door frame which helps keep some draft away and also put a curtain on a shower rod hung above the door to keep heat in or the cold out. A small trick that’s super effective! A friend did a similar trick with sheet suspended in her hallway between the living room and sofa. Keeping the heat where she needed it.
Fluffy Socks and Slippers
Warm feet, happy Nat.
Dressing Gown. Bonus If It Has A Hood
In the evenings during the winter I tend to get changed into my PJ’s as soon as I get back. And a warm bathrobe! I always go for ones with a hood. The hood keeps me warmer in the morning when I get up or after I’ve switched the heating off. When the hood’s down it acts as another layer keeping me warm and for some reason is warmer around my neck than a bathrobe without a hood. Bonus as your bum’s covered with another layer you’re warmer too! I always choose in winter coats that cover my bum too. No cold air travelling up. Brrrrr! During the day time if I’m in I layer up. I like to have the balcony door open as I feel boxed in if it’s closed (and my skin feels weird). In the afternoons I close it. A blanket as a shawl also works.
Fresh Ginger In Salads. All Year Round
Sod’s law I’ll come down with a cold, but I swear adding fresh chopped ginger to my salads keeps colds at bay. I usually get knocked out for 24 hours once a year and any sniffles and subsequent nose and throat problems are usually allergy related. Since I’ve been adding fresh ginger to salads all year round I’ve noticed I hardly get colds. Boost the immune system! Prevention’s better than cure right?!
Thermals or HeatTech Clothes
A good thermal tops should last you a few years. Uniqlo does great HeatTech tops at reasonable prices. Lightweight, not a bulky fit, great under jumper without being seen!
Scarf even if it’s a Buff or small silk type scarf will keep you warm if you don’t want to really pile up layers. Another trick my mum taught me. You’ll be amazed how much warmer it keeps you. No air is getting down collars! This is great if you don’t like wearing turtle necks.
Long sleeved jumpers/tops/cardis you can roll the sleeves up or down depending on what you’re doing.
Sometimes even with the heater, blankets, layers after a while I’m still cold. That’s when I know I need to move. Get up, tidy up, get off my phone. Not always sometimes I’m no, I’m not moving but moving gets blood pumping, your heart rate goes up, you get warm.
Do you have any heat saving tricks when it’s cold af outside?! Please share in the comments below!
Eh?? There’s heating in Spain!! Well, it seems everywhere except in the coast hahaha. I also had no heating in my apartment when I lived in Valencia. And I think in Sevilla they don’t need it. But I know for a fact there’s heating in Caceres, Madrid and Granada, hahaha.
Here in Suzhou my old friends the chilblains are back. Always on my right hand only. It’s because one day 4 years ago I walked Nico and forgot my gloves. It seems I will have to remember that day until the day I die. This year they are specially big and red. One of them looks like a regular blister right now. Grrrr. I do what I can layering up (thermal underwear is a must in China), I put foam tape on the front door and the balcony door but can’t put it on the windows as they open towards the outside, I work with fingerless gloves on. But I’m still cold! So I have to turn on the hot air con, although I only turn it on in the evening mostly…
Nooooo! Chilblains! I don’t know what to say or recommend. Maybe some oils mentioned here could: https://www.disabled-world.com/medical/alternative/homeremedies/chilblains-cure.php I hope they get better soon. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain.
Can you hug or use a hot water bottle while working? I forgot to add that to my list. Yes, I know something your abuela would use. Even Alcampo sells them here now! And big fluffy socks! We’re the same, brave the cold during the day, only heating at night!
They’re more itchy than painful actually. I’ll check those remedies.
I have a water bottle collection hahaha! But I cannot hold one and type at the same time hahaha. I also have a hand warmer which like like a small pillow with a sleeve in which to put your hands, and inside it has something that looks like a water bottle but that is electric and gets warm when plugged in. However now it’s BROKEN and it doesn’t warm up. BWAAAA! Would like to get it fixed instead of buying a new one but no one fixes these things here, just throw them away.
I also had something like a “cave” with a mouse pad in which you put the computer mouse and your hand inside and it’s warm hahaha. However I sold it in a second hand app because the temperature couldn’t be regulated and I was burning my hand hahaha. I have tried SO MANY weird things from Taobao to try and stay warm in the miserable winters here…
Noooo! Can you hug the hot water bottle to keep your core warm? That might help. I sometime use my dressing gown belt to hold it while I sit. I really don’t know what to say, but poor you, like you don’t know that! Apart from long sleeves to keep you wrist warm typing. That might help a bit but I’m you do that anyway. I get the itch. When I get eczema bad all I want to do is scratch it and that’s the worse thing I can do.