The double cold front has arrived, bringing sub-zero temperatures along with it.
Over the weekend, South Africans were warned of icy weather on the way. And as the week began, the weather did indeed turn as cold as ice.
The cold front is expected to last till the end of the week, and you may be getting cold feet just thinking about the cost of extra electricity to stay warm. But this is where your loadshedding skills really come to the fore.
Here are five ways to keep warm without relying too much on power:
1. Wrap up warmly
The first step to keeping warm is to layer up before you even think of heading out of the house. Unless you're a Wildling (have you really not watched "Game of Thrones"?), do not leave your house thinking a tee and jacket will protect you from the cold.
Dress in layers. Try to wear something warm (long sleeves or an extra jersey) before putting on your favourite jacket. Consider wearing long or two pairs of socks, get some gloves and a scarf, and wear a beanie — you'll feel the difference and be happier for it.
2. Maintain the temperature
Have you ever wondered why it is so cold in the house and how the piercing breeze always seems to creep up on you, even inside? It may be because you're not managing and maintaining the temperature in your home.
It is important to trap heat in a room by ensuring that all windows, doors and any other openings are closed. It is also a way to save electricity. For example, warm a room with a heater (preferably a fan heater) for 30 minutes with the doors and windows closed, and then switch the fan off. The room will maintain its temperature and you will be on your way to Netflix and Chill (while Toasty).
It's easier to stay warm than to warm up, and a tried-and-tested way to keep warm is the classic mink blanket. You know, those heavy-but-beautiful blankets that your mother only takes out when there are important visitors coming over.
They are soft, warm and can making sitting on the couch or sleeping in winter a really pleasant experience. Don't go to bed thinking that one duvet and a cover will protect you, layer your bedding with the thinnest and most dense blankets on top.
4. Soups and hot drinks
Say goodbye to cold drinks and juice, because warm soups will be your new best friend. Not only do they taste good, but they keep you warm and are a way of maintaining that 37 degree body temperature.
For the caffeine addicts, its business as usually, as coffee does indeed keep you warm, as does tea, for the tea lovers. So consider all hot drinks, even hot milk and honey or a cup of Milo or hot chocolate. But stay away from heated liquor, as alcohol doesn't really help during the cold weather — unless it's an Irish coffee...
5. Choose heaters wisely
Heaters are vital during the cold front, but it is important to figure out which ones use the least energy and which heaters consume vast amounts. According to eNCA:
- Oil heaters consume smaller amounts of electricity because they warm up gradually and consistently.
- Bar heaters, on the other hand, warm up much faster, using more electricity.
- Wall-mounted heaters take a long time to reach optimal temperatures, drawing a lot of electricity in the process.
Think about electricity consumption. Oil heaters and small fan heaters are generally best for heating the average home.