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Cheap Heats

Cheap Heats

Sydney winters are a cruel mockery of real wintery winters. It’s too cold for comfort, but not cold enough for snow. Snowfall can be seen as a currency- snow is given as a retribution for subzero weather, increasing in magnitude. But the only thing Sydney winters give is the flu. And along with the flu, the bonus bone chill of flu symptoms. It’s as though general weather mockery is not enough. Adding to that, our rising electricity bills show no mercy to central heating. Yet another slap to our cold faces. Here are some ways we can band together in this ridicule, face the mockery of Sydney winters on our meager student incomes and beat the heat, or lack thereof.


Heat moves and dissipates through a combination of radiation, convection and conduction. To retain warmth, we need to trap it. Stop the onslaught of draughts by stuffing stockings with old socks or grain. Doors are a great way to direct heat into various rooms or keep it from escaping. It’s also much cheaper to warm a small room. On the flip side, if you have access to a private bathroom why not keep the door ajar during a shower and let the heat flow to adjoining rooms?

Layer Up

Wearing layers is a great way to trap body heat. This is because warmed air is trapped between each layer you wear. It also removes the hassle if you need to dress for varying temperatures. Make sure you also wear scarves and beanies to prevent heat being lost from your core body, and also socks and slippers- cold floors have a tendency to conduct heat from your feet.

Tin Foil

Insulation is key to making the most of existing heat. If you own a radiator that backs onto a wall, cover the wall with aluminium foil. This will reflect the energy generated from the radiator back into the room and prevent it being conducted through walls, helping retain warmth and reduce energy costs. If you’re really into insulating, you might want to consider investing in a hot water tank insulator (do not use foil for this and follow the required instructions).


It’s great to pull up a sofa and sit in front of a heater or fireplace. The warmth on your toes, the heat on your face… But in reality, placing a large object directly in front of the source blocks heat from moving through the room. If you own an old fridge, you might even find that the back coils can get uncomfortably warm. Re-arrange your furniture so that there is an open space in front of your heat source and let convection do the rest.

Throw a Party!

People are great entertainment and a great source of natural body heat. So why not invite your mates over and throw a party? While you’re at it, turn up the music and get your body moving. Exercise gets your heart going and your muscles pumping, which generates heat. You’d be having such a blast you’d soon forget it was even cold to begin with!


Header Image: Brad Weikel



About Joanna Ng

Joanna Ng

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