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How To Keep Warm This Winter On A Budget

There's only so many blankets you can wrap yourself in before you can no longer move.

It's that time of year again.

The days are shorter, the temperatures are dropping and getting out of bed in the morning means trudging around the house in flannelette pajamas, ugg boots and your ten-year-old dressing gown.

It's costing you a fortune to keep the heating on overnight but we've got some money-saving, heat-trapping tips that won't add to your bills.

1. Put a fan in front of your heater or fire place

Fans are a staple in Australian homes during summer, designed to keep us cool by creating a constant breeze. So, putting a fan in your living room during the middle of winter sounds like a crazy idea, right?

Wrong! Placing your fan in front of your heater or fire place on a low setting encourages airflow, circulating the heat and spreading the warmth around the room.

As hot air tends to rise, a fan will disperse the heat more evenly keeping you feeling toasty all winter long. Keep an eye our for ceiling fans with reverse settings for winter, too.

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2. Use Rugs

Aside from sprucing up your home decor and preserving the life of your tiles, floorboards or carpet, rugs are a great way to keep your house warm by acting as insulation between the floor and your feet.

Look for rugs with a higher stitch count (the number of loops or threads of yarn used in the rug) and choose wool rugs that are generally denser, more durable and tough on stains. Wool rugs are also fire resistant, so don't worry if your fire place flames get a little too close.

Sure, wool rugs may cost a little more than a cotton or acrylic alternative, but in the long run, they'll save you on gas or electricity bills.

HOT TIP: Use rugs in areas of your house that are tiled. Tiles absorb heat less quickly, so putting a rug in your bathroom or kitchen is an easy way to keep cosy.

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3. Invest in some curtains

While heavy curtains make it harder for cool air to penetrate the glass and creep into your home, the materials aren't as important as the seal the curtain creates against the window.

Thick, heavy curtains that are too short or too narrow won't do much more than block out the sunlight. Install curtains that fit tightly against the window frame to trap cold air.

If you're renting, buy curtains with metal hook rings and hang them from plastic, adhesive wall hooks. Alternatively, if DIY-ing isn't an option, rearrange your furniture to deflect drafts by placing items away from windows and doors.

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Standing in front of a hot oven on a cold day, while waiting for the timer on your favourite baked goods to ding, is one way to heat your hands and legs temporarily.

Make the most of this oven heat by leaving the oven door open after you've turned it off. This will allow compressed heat to filter through your kitchen, warming up you and your house.

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As tempting as it is to do the same in the bathroom and leave the door open to let the heat spread through your house, don't.

We all known what it's like to enjoy a long, hot shower or bath only to step out and notice your mirror is fogged up and there's a billowing haze circulating the ceiling. While the steam may be warm, it doesn't make for the best heater.

Condensation build up can turn into damp living space, which can encourage the growth of mould and trigger respiratory problems such as asthma -- exactly what we don't need when we're already suffering from the cold as it is.

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