Snowflakes or snowdrops?

Lorraine Heller

Lorraine HellerLast summer I had a few rants about how we never really had a proper summer. Now I’m taking it all back because the bad summer had been balanced out by a good winter – and that’s something to be grateful for!

In London, at least, there’s barely been any rain, we’ve had plenty of days of sunshine, mild temperatures, and when it’s snowed it’s been in a short sharp burst of cold followed by beautiful days and no icy roads.

Having said all that, let’s not get too excited before we’re sure that spring is well and truly here. Just this morning I read that the cold snap is due to come back this weekend, with night time temperatures falling below 0°C.

With that in mind, it’s unlikely that our radiators can be turned off just yet – so I’ve put together a list of practical points that help cut down on energy bills without turning our homes into igloos:

  • Put foil behind radiators to reflect heat back into the room – even ordinary aluminium foil is supposed to help reduce heat loss
  • Install shelves above radiators so heat doesn’t escape to the top of the room
  • Keep heat on a low temperature (rather than switching it off then back on again on full blast), use the timer and switch off radiators in rooms you’re not using
  • Defrost your fridge
  • Leave your computer in hibernation mode if you’re likely to use it several times throughout the day – it prevents wasting lots of power rebooting every time
  • Cook with lids on
  • Wash clothes on a lower temperature if you can get away with it

By the time you’ve tried out all these tips, winter will be close to over. Last week there were snowflakes in my street, this week there are snowdrops… We’re almost there!