How to Keep a Home Warm During Load Shedding
How can you keep a home warm when load shedding takes place throughout the day and night?
Load shedding has affected households in many ways and we have had to adapt to altering our lives to work around the inconvenience. With the arrival of colder weather, South Africans are going to be struggling to keep their homes warm when increased load shedding schedules make it difficult to use many electrically-operated appliances. But don't despair, there are more than a few tried and trusted ways, some old-fashioned and others not so old, that will keep your family and home warm this winter.
1. Don't waste what you have
Any form of heating in the home is a waste of time and money if your home is not insulated or sufficiently insulated. Heat escapes in many ways but mostly through windows and doors. Adding insulation to a home is not expensive and all the supplies you need can be found at any Builders store around the country. Here are the top priorities in order to provide a decent level of home insulation.
Foam sealing strip
- A 5-metre roll of self-adhesive foam sealing around windows and doors to seal gaps costs approximately R80. This easy insulating solution is affixed around window and door frames to seal or close any gaps that would normally let heat in or out, so it effectively keeps a house cool during summer and warm during winter.
Draught seal or door sweep
- When fitted to an exterior door, a draught seal closes off the bottom of the door to keep draughts out. They are also handy when the rain blows to prevent rainwater from gaining access under a door. You can expect to pay around R200 for a decent draught seal (draught excluder) but it is well worth the cost and easy to install.
There are so many crafty ideas for making a draught excluder, including using a pool noodle.Give it a try!
- I have a tendency to push this form of insulation, simply because it is so important. My house was hot in summer and cold in winter and it was only the installation of ceiling insulation (Think Pink) that made a difference. Ceiling insulation closes off the roof space from the rest of the house - and we know how hot it can get up there - thereby regulating the temperature of the entire house. A 6-metre roll of thermal insulation costs around R550 at Builders and you have the option to do-it-yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
2. Common sense fixes
There are a lot of other ways to regulate the temperature inside a home, and many of these are so simple you can put them into action immediately at no cost. Some fixes are just plain common sense but might overlook them, but below are some of the best ways to keep a home warm this winter and not have to worry about load shedding.
Keep doors and windows closed
- The easiest and simplest method for warming a room is to close doors to other rooms. as it is far easier to heat a small space such as a room than try to heat the whole house. While windows should stay open a bit if you have gas appliances, try to limit this to only a small gap for air circulation.
Blankets and throws
- Having blankets and throws available for the colder seasons of the year and dressing up in warm clothes is possibly something you already do, but so many people tend to overlook this in favour of turning up the heat. Since you can't switch on a heater putting on more clothing will keep you cosy. Layering blankets or a throw on the bed will also keep your body heat in and make for a good night's sleep.
Alternative energy source
- If you have not already looked into this, consider investing in a gas heater. It is so simple to rent a gas cylinder and swap this out when empty for a new one, and it isn't that expensive and gas quickly heats up a room. With the way load shedding is going to continue for the foreseeable future, investing in gas appliances of any type is worth the investment.
Bring heat to the bed
- There is nothing wrong with cuddling up with a hot water bottle and, even when the power is off, you will still find hot water to fill up your bottle for a cosy night in bed. If you like this idea, buy your hot water bottles now, as they tend to disappear quickly from the shelves when cold weather hits.
Keep warm underfoot
- Laminate and tiled floors might be on trend and great for summer weather but they are cold in winter. Whether you buy a pair of slippers, wear thick woolen socks, or purchase a few rugs to put down over cold floors, having something warm underfoot is a must in a family home.