How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather

It's important to remember that knowing how to stay warm in cold weather means more than just bringing out the winter wardrobe. Keeping warm in winter can sometimes feel difficult, but ensuring you stay at a comfortable temperature throughout the colder months should always be a priority. Here, we take you through our top tips on how to stay warm in cold weather and the best ways to make sure your boiler and heating oil tank is ready for the winter temperatures.

Why Is it Important to Keep Warm in Winter?

It's no surprise that the winter months and harsher weather comes hand-in-hand with seasonal illnesses like colds and flu. To prevent these, it's important to find good tips for keeping warm in winter, especially if you are more vulnerable to the cold. For anyone who also has a serious health condition, keeping warm in winter is one of the best ways to prevent unwanted illnesses that may impact your health.

How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather

  1. Keep your heating at a constant temperature

There's nothing worse than running out of heating oil in your home or business when the weather is at its coldest. You would be surprised at how much more oil you use when the cold weather kicks in and you increase the temperature level in your home to compensate. In fact, the best way to keep warm in winter is to keep your heating at a constant temperature; this burns less oil overall and will help you to stay warm.

For staying well in winter, the NHS advises your living room should be between 18-21°C, and the rest of the house should be a minimum of 16°C. For those who are more vulnerable, such as over-65s, those less mobile or those with a health condition, the recommended minimum is 18°C.

If keeping the heating on in all rooms in your home is out of the question, set your heating to come on at intervals throughout the day in the rooms you use the most frequently, such as your living room and bedroom.

  1. Stop any draughts

A constant draught throughout your home can bring down your home's temperature. To stop the heat escaping, ensure your windows and letterbox are closed and any large external keyholes are covered to prevent any draughts.

It's recommended to keep your internal doors closed whilst you have the heating on to keep each room at an optimal temperature. If you still find there's still a cold draught, a draught excluder works wonders and can even add a decorative element to your room!

  1. Warm up your bed

This is one of our favourite tips for keeping warm in winter – who doesn't love getting into a cosy bed in cold weather? An affordable way to warm up your bed is to place a hot water bottle underneath your duvet about half an hour before you plan on getting into bed. Not only will this make your bed warm, but it will also mean you feel much more relaxed for a well-rested night's sleep.  

  1. Wrap up warm

Whether you're trying to keep warm indoors or want to go on a walk in the cold, the best way to keep warm in winter is to wear extra layers. Although most people believe that wearing one thick layer will make all the difference when they are cold, wearing multiple thin layers is a much more effective form of insulation.

Additionally, when trying to stay warm indoors, it's a good option to wear an extra pair of socks with slippers. If you're venturing outdoors, remember to wear warm shoes with good grip to make sure you stay on your feet on those snowy and icy days.

  1. Stay active

In the colder months, it's easy to feel lethargic and want to avoid exercise. However, an important tip for keeping warm in winter is to keep active, as this gets your blood pumping and will keep you warmer. You may not wish to exercise outside at this time of year, especially if it is raining or snowing, but there are plenty of ways to stay active indoors, from walking around the house to doing the hoovering. Movement invigorates the body, and if you're sitting still, you're much more likely to notice the cold creeping in than if you're occupied with something else.

  1. Eat well

Eating lots of good food is a great tip for keeping warm in winter and one we can all get on board with. Make sure that you have lots of hot meals – porridge is a great breakfast for keeping you warm and slow energy release throughout the day! Don't forget to keep eating healthily, too, and include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet to keep your immune system up. In the colder months, soups taste great, and they're an easy way to consume your five a day.

  1. Warm up your clothes

When getting dressed in cold clothes, you'll feel colder as your body heat slowly starts to warm them around you. To avoid this, one of the best ways to keep warm in winter is to decide what you're going to wear the night before and hang it on a radiator-friendly air dryer. This will warm your clothes without impeding the heat from coming into the room, and when you put them on, you'll stay much warmer.

  1. Hot drinks

We Brits never need an excuse to have a good cup of tea, but winter would be the perfect one if we did. Not only will the tea (or coffee, hot chocolate or hot toddy) warm you from the inside, but holding a hot mug keeps your hands toasty too. Even better, the steam will thaw out your nose and stop that pesky Jack Frost from nipping at it…

  1. Spend some time in the kitchen

Baking is a prime winter activity – between Christmas and New Year, many of us have more time off, and home baking makes great Christmas presents or office snacks. But did you know it can be one of the best ways to keep warm in winter, too?

Using the oven or the hob creates warmth in the kitchen and, while it should never be your primary source of heat, it is a pleasant little boost on those cold days. For bonus heat, leave your oven door open after you've used it (so long as it's safe to do so – do not leave an open oven where children or pets could get at it) to let all that heat escape into the room!

Ways to Look After Yourself in Cold Weather

As well as staying warm in the cold weather, looking after yourself and your well-being during the winter months is vital.

  1. Get your boiler serviced

As the cold weather arrives, it is important to check that your oil boiler operates as efficiently and safely as possible. If you didn't manage to get your heating oil boiler serviced through the summer, we strongly recommend that you do so before the sub-zero temperatures kick in. You can then rest assured that your oil boiler will be running as effectively as possible, ensuring it remains the best way for you to keep warm in winter.

It is recommended that you have your oil-fired boilers and heating oil tanks serviced by an OFTEC-qualified engineer, and the recommended frequency of service is every 12 months. This will ensure they are running at maximum performance levels to keep the bitter nights at bay.

  1. Get your flu jab

In current times, the flu jab is more important than ever. Flu can spread quickly in the winter so take all the steps you can to protect yourself. The flu jab is free on the NHS if you are pregnant, over 50, live in a residential home, care for an older or disabled person or have certain medical conditions.

  1. Practice good hygiene

Because flu is more of a risk in winter, it's now more important than ever to practice good hygiene to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. After the year we've had, no one is a stranger to the benefits of hand sanitiser, washing your hands regularly and disinfecting any surfaces.

If you do unfortunately get ill, don't share towels or face cloths with other people in your home, cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing, and try to avoid contact with those who are vulnerable.

  1. Use your car safely

If you need to use your car – often a necessity for those living more rurally – it's vital to ensure that you do so carefully. Only drive in difficult conditions if you really need to, and always thoroughly de-ice all your windows before you set off. Check out our winter driving tips for more ideas.

  1. Remember to check on your neighbours

As well as looking after yourself, it's now more important than ever to check on your neighbours in the local community. If you have an elderly neighbour, be sure to check in with how they are doing. You could offer to go to the supermarket for them or take them to run errands.

Heating Oil Provisions for Keeping Warm in Winter  

It's time to check your heating oil tank to ensure it's in tip-top condition for the cold weather. Duncan Lambert, Director of Rix Petroleum's Yorkshire depot, walks you through his top tips for keeping warm in winter in the video below, encouraging you to make sure your boiler is in good shape and has been well-maintained.

  1. Check your oil tank

Be sure to check your tank for signs of wear and tear that might have occurred throughout the current year or that might have been missed at the end of last winter. Look out for rusting, bulging, leaks or general damage. If there are any leaks, you will be able to smell the kerosene on the ground. If that happens, you should contact an OFTEC engineer as soon as possible.

  1. Clear the area

Be sure to keep an eye out for slippery footpaths around the tank. Not only could these be a danger to you whilst you're checking the tank, but they could also camouflage any leaks or cracks on the base of your tank. In addition, if there are plenty of leaves around your oil tank, these can turn icy in the colder months.

  1. Ensure your tank is secure

The majority of heating oil thefts occur during winter when you're more likely to have a full tank. Check that any locks are still working correctly and that any theft prevention measures you've set up are still keeping your oil tank safe, such as outside lights, cages or even plants for disguise.

  1. Prepare your home

It's essential to check your own home for any issues that could result in unnecessary heating loss to keep your heating oil bills down. Check for any gaps in your windows or doors, and be sure to bleed your radiators.

When asked 'how to stay warm in cold weather?', we always advise insulating your oil tank to prevent the oil tank pipes from freezing. You can purchase additives that lower the freezing temperature of heating oil or purchase pre-treated oil such as K+ Heating Oil to keep your oil tank healthy.

  1. Buy heating oil at the right time

Historically, the best time to buy heating oil is when demand is low in the summer months, and typically ordering your oil in the summer will also bring the price down. If you have the room to store heating oil, top up your oil tank before the temperatures plummet. Usually, if you bulk buy a reasonable amount of home heating oil, you will likely get a better deal with more oil for less money in the long run.

And there you have our top tips on how to stay warm in cold weather. We hope you now understand the importance of servicing your oil tank and boiler to keep warm in winter. If you are worried about the price of heating oil, read our blog on how to save money on your heating oil. Or, to get your home heating oil at a competitive price, why not contact us today or reach out for a quick heating oil quote?