Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Ah! Those delightful winter months! That time of year, when you think about glistening white sheets of snow, snowflakes on your nose! Cold, dark and gloomy, yet a season that never fails to entrance and conjure up your imagination of all things warm and cozy. Sitting by a roaring fire, curled up in that warm armchair with your favorite book by the window while the snow slowly and silently falls down piling into a beautiful sheet of white sparkle in the early morning sun. To smell that first nip of the winter air, pine and spruce trees all decked in their winter best. Toasting mash mellows besides the fire or roasting chestnuts on a coat fire down in the garden. Winter visualizes all the fun it brings, ice skating, building snowmen, and snowball fights.
But hey let’s get down to stark reality now, what about those long cold days and months of winter when you need more consumption of electricity and the time of year that your power bill goes sky rocketing thorough the roof. Just as the long and cold winter months brings joy and good tidings because of its festivities that loom up closer to the month of December, what about the headache of thinking of those colossal pile-up of electricity bills that keep piling up during the winter months of doom? And how do we save this precious power and energy without having to pay so much. So we need to find some ways and means of saving electricity.
First of all it is a good idea to keep yourself super warm, as warm as toast! Wrap yourself up well. Wear layer upon layer. Start off with wearing an insulating thermal layer. Oh! Yeah! No doubt you will look like the incredible hulk, a sight worth mentioning! Then from there look into your wardrobe and wear whatever else that you feel might keep you warm and cozy which is the key note to keeping you super warm. Top it off with a jumper or sweater along with a nice warm woolen shawl, a Bennie or woolen cap jacket etc. Don’t forget to protect your hands and feet too, with socks shoes or boots to prevent your feet and hands from getting frost bitten. Have an extra pair of socks ready in case the one you are wearing gets wet and cold in some way.
Wind through exposed gaps- Block all those exposed vents in the windows and doors with rolled up newspapers. If not you will feel the icy fingers of cold clinging on to your legs! You can buy these rolled up snakes from the store the snake like scary stuff and put it under your door as well to prevent the draughty air from coming in. These snake like things are super cute and might scare the living daylights off your friends! But don’t worry they are merely there to prevent the icy cold draught from coming in.
Have lots of heavy drapes in your living room and bedroom keep in the warmth of the house from escaping. During the day you can draw them open to let in some sunlight in. You can keep it open through the day until evening; this will enable the room to be kept warm with the natural light and sun coming in and keep the room warm, during the long winter months. Remember to draw the curtains close, in the evening.
Try not to drink alcohol- Contrary to all the hype where it is said that drinking a tot on a cold winter’s day will warm you up. It does not. So try and avoid that drink with your buddy friends at the pub or at home. Drinking alcohol will only help lower your body temperature. So cut off on that booze. Instead what about a piping hot cuppa mug of chocolate? Cocoa or Soup. Drinking hot chocolate will keep you nice and warm and cozy. Remember to bundle up as mentioned above as drinking a hot beverage will make you sweat and then cool you down once you start sweating, but if you are properly clothed for the cold then the sweat will not be able to evaporate, this will help keep you warm and snug as a bug!
Use a Hot water bottle – before you go to bed, remember to boil some water and pour into a bottle and keep it in your bed wrapped in a warm blanket or cloth. This will help your bed to keep warm when you are ready to bunk down. If you are using the electric blanket switch it on for about two hours before you go to bed, after which you can switch it off and save energy. But the hot water bottle is the best idea. Something which the Victorian people of olden days did to warm up their beds.
Heat and insulation of the house- See that your house is properly insulated. If a poor job is done on the insulation then prepare yourself for loss of heat in the house. Good insulation of a house is a must so get that seen to so as to keep your house warm, the air trapped in will banish the icy fingers of cold from clutching you and coming in to find you! And this will also reduce the amount of energy that will be needed to heat up the place.
So what about your Electric Heater. Just check to see whether it is in good working order and not just sapping away lots of wattage and eating up on electricity. Electric heaters are one heck of a power eating gadget and the scrooge of all electricity bills! While electric heaters are a necessity during the beastly cold weather, remember it will also swallow you up in energy. See that your heater is fixed in the living room, where you spend more time with the family, and then there will be no necessity to install any other heaters in every blessed room as this will cost you an arm and leg in bills! Also if you are in a small house or room remember to invest in small heaters. This uses less power but will still do its job of heating up the room. Actually the better idea would be for you to invest on an energy saving electric heater with thermostats. This will help you a lot to save on your electricity bill. Oh! By the way if you have an old fashioned fireplace use it, as it is much cheaper to use all the firewood in the garden to light up a roaring fire in your living area which will be so much cheaper than running electric heaters or an electric fire place, and also very much so much prettier too with that illuminate Christmas tree all lit up and Fido seated by the fireplace chimney waiting for Santa!
Thank God, for central heating during the long winter months that drag on, but you have to remember to use it carefully or expect a stunning rise of your bills at the end of the month. It is good if you can keep your heat on up to about 18-20◦C as every degree that goes above this range is going to cost you big time baby, so try and save this without going overboard. Don’t leave the heater working the whole night through, just switch it on to run itself for 20 minutes before waking time and before you go to bed.
If you are using the oven to bake and cook tonight switch it off as soon as the food is cooked. Once cooked you can leave the oven door open to let out some of the heat into your kitchen, this will let you have some warmth in the kitchen, so have that pot roast ready without any fear of extra energy being burnt but only the heat that was used for your pot roast.
If you have a ceiling fan, remember to switch it onto reverse mode. This will allow the blades to run counter clockwise thus allowing the heat to fan downwards to you as it spins in the reverse. This is a very simple way to keep warm in winter.
Heating water is very costly. If you want to have a shower, don’t stand under the shower for hours and hours and waste power and energy; instead conserve it, by having a short shower on winter nights or during the day. It is truly nice to feel the warmth of the water on your body on a cold day, but try and cut down on your showering as heating up will cost you more. If you install a geyser the consumption to heat will be more. The geyser uses lots of energy when heating it up the water. It would be better if you can replace it with a solar powered heater. This will cut down on your energy cost even before you can utter the words ‘Jack Robinson”!!!
Every time you cook on the gas stove you will notice your bill sky rocket. So every time you cook something and take it out, there will be lots of heat in the oven, use this heat to heat up the rest of the food or dishes that may need to be heated up. Switch of the gas, this will save time and gas, but still remain in the cooking mode as the oven is still burning hot. Finally check your floor boards and roof, chimney, ceiling to see whether there are any gaps or holes that need to be sealed, as otherwise you could expect any draught to whistle through the winds