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Six tips to stay warm in Yurihama this winter

2014.01.16 (Thu)

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Winter is here! Being from a warm place, I watched the first snowfall with equal parts terror and amazement. It’s going to be COLD. So here are some tips to keep your place and yourself warm this winter without sending your heating bills skyrocketing.

 Block drafts and cover bare floors.

Obviously it’s a good idea to close your windows, but what about that gap under your front door that sends cold air whistling through your place? It may seem like a small gap, but blocking it can make an instant difference. You can block drafts with self-adhesive foam strips, or buy drauft excluders. You can even make your own with old stockings and a filling like rice or dried beans. Along the same lines, covering bare floor with a rug will help keep your space—and your feet—warmer.

 Insulate your windows.

Your windows are the source of a lot heat loss. Thick curtains will keep heat in and cold out – especially ones with thermal backing. If your budget doesn’t stretch to new curtains, even a cheap plastic shower curtain (behind your existing curtains) will help. Another method is bubblewrap directly on the glass – this insulates your windows but still lets light in during the day. Check out this tutorial on how to do it.

 Close off rooms, use a timer for your heater and set your heater as low as you can.

This may be obvious, but it’s worth saying. If you have your heater on, close off rooms that you aren’t using. That way, you only heat the space you need. Also, putting your heater on a timer can make sure that it isn’t on all the time, but it is on when you need it. Finally, try to get a little acclimatised to the cold, by setting your heater as low as you can manage. Every degree lower saves more money on your heating bill. Somewhere between 18C and 21C is good for most people, especially if they dress warmly.

Layer up.

Dress for the temperature and you’ll find your energy bill lower and your life more comfortable. Wearing several thin layers is a better way to keep yourself warm than one thick layer. Get some thermals, and layer them with jeans, long sleeved shirts, cardigans, jumpers and so on. Scarves, hats, gloves and good socks can make a big difference too. Uniqlo has a good range of heat-tech and other winter clothes at a pretty reasonable price.

 Heat yourself.

Heating yourself directly, rather than the air around you, is more efficient way. Hot water bottles can be used in your bed, or to warm you up when you’re on the couch. Also, while you’re on the couch, use a blanket or throw to stay warm. Heating pads, electric carpets or kotatsu are also good ways to directly heat yourself. Also, get into hot drinks, like tea, coffee or cocoa, or even just hot water, and stick a kairo on the outside of your innermost layer of clothes. If you’re near the Matsuzaki or Hawai onsen footbaths, go dangle you toes in there! Or better yet, pop into an onsen.

 Stay healthy

With short days and cold temperatures, it can be easy to feel low. Staying healthy will help to you stay warm, so try to get enough sunshine, water, nutrients and social activity. Also, if you’re chilled to the bone and can’t get warm, do 20 minutes of vigorous exercise before you see if you need to crank the heater up to tropical strength. It will help your body and your brain.

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