While noses go red and fingers turn blue, the winter chill is about to set in, so stay warm or you’ll get the flu.

When the temperature drops, even a little, we tend to blast our heating systems to ensure our homes stay warm. This isn’t the most sustainable decision for our pockets or our planet. Here are 8 energy-saving, while warming, winter hacks you can use to survive this season’s sting:

ONE: INSULATE

Have you ever swaddled yourself on a cold winter’s night, climbed into bed and after a few moments felt a cool bite seeping through a crack in your quilted armour? Your home experiences the same thing.

As the season begins to change, make sure to seal all leaks in your home so no warmth escapes. Hold a lit incense stick to every nook, cranny, door and window frame to identify problem areas and get them fixed. Home insulation kits are relatively affordable and easy to install. They consist of a small plastic film you place over your window that can be set using a hot hair dryer.

TWO: MAKE THE MOST OF NATURAL LIGHT

On the rare occasion that the sun makes an appearance during these cold and rainy months, use it to your advantage. Draw your heavy curtains and let warming rays shine in. You’ll feel noticeably better from the zen-like qualities and Vitamin D you get from the sun too.

THREE: KEEP EMPTY ROOMS CLOSED

Seems a little silly to say,  but it’s an easy one to forget. Heat has a nasty habit of escaping when it gets the chance. Stop it from sneaking into spaces you rarely use by ensuring that doors stay closed.

FOUR: STOCK UP ON THERMO-REGULATING CLOTHES 

If you’re feeling a little nippy, consider warming yourself before you warm the space. Investing in a few pairs of long johns and long-sleeved undergarments will serve you well.

If you shop wisely, you won’t even need to buy chunky clothing to keep you warm. Bamboo fabric traps in heat and negates the need for thick, heavy fabric. A snug beanie won’t go amiss either. By covering all the points your body heat could escape through, you’ll find it unnecessary to turn on the heater. The little ones will appreciate an extra layer of defense, so buy them a few cute onesies.

FIVE: CHANGE YOUR CEILING FAN’S ROTATION 

Sounds crazy to turn the fan on at all during winter but hear me out. Fans normally spin anti-clockwise to draw warm air up and away from the area you want to cool. By reversing this rotation, the fan pushes warm air back down and towards the area you want to heat. Keep the speed low otherwise the breeze your fan causes will be counterproductive.

SIX: LIGHT A FIRE 

Heaters hemorrhage through energy and your electric bill will show it. You’ll have better luck lighting a fire that needs little to no attention for hours on end. Be sure to seal the chimney damper before winter or you stand to lose 30% of the heat your fire will generate.

SEVEN: DITCH THE ELECTRIC BLANKET 

Another massive energy consumer. Sure, it’s nice to feel like you’re sleeping in a pre-heating oven but the risks of burning yourself, causing a fire or tripping the fuses in your home is far too high. Opt for a hot water bottle or wheat bag instead. Though the jury is still out on which of the two is more eco-friendly (because hot water bottles waste water if you’re not reusing it, and wheat bags rarely stay hot long meaning you have to pop them in the microwave multiple times a night), they are both more sustainable than an electric blanket.

EIGHT: MAKE THE MOST OF RESIDUAL HEAT 

Like to take warm baths? Keep the door ajar when you’ve gotten out the tub and are getting dressed. This is a cost effective way to warm multiple rooms in your home without having to turn on an unnecessary appliance – the air will also stay humid trapping the heat for longer.
Just baked a batch of biscuits or warmed a winter stew? Leave the oven door open. Not only will the toasty air travel through your kitchen and into your lounge, the aroma coming from the oven will smell amazing too.