Quick fixes for cold snaps

July 13th, 2015

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We Australians love to poke a bit of fun at our friends in the northern hemisphere for being unable to handle hot weather (“Temperatures may reach 30 degrees C in Britain? The poor dears…”*).


That said, we ‘strayans can also be massive sooks when things get a bit chilly (“Snow? What is this I can’t even.”).

Vombatus_ursinus_(Wombat_in_snow) source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vombatus_ursinus_%28Wombat_in_snow%29.jpgsource: Fir0002 on Wikimedia Commons

While prevention is always the best cure (possibly with the help of a reverse cycle split system air conditioner), that’s no good if you’ve been suddenly surprised by a massive temperature drop, with icy winds blowing straight off the polar vortex.

Here are a few quick fixes for staying comfortable during surprise cold snaps, that don’t involve excess effort or expense:

Comfort food!

Now is the time to rustle up something hearty in the kitchen to take the edge off the season.

If you have a bunch of ingredients in your cupboards and fridge, throw a bunch of them together in a slow cooker and leave them for a few hours. Not only will this create a stew or casserole that’s (hopefully!) tasty, but it should fill your home with an aroma that will help keep your mind off the shivering.

Seal everything up!

If you can get your home’s air halfway warm, you’ll want to keep it securely locked indoors, rather than slipping out through drafts.

To keep your home’s hot air from escaping, dig out those long snakey sock things and place them under your doors.

cat draft excluder source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fauxto_dkp/7433057506/“I is a draft excluder…” source: fauxto_digit on Flickr

Keep your windows closed, and cover them up with curtains to prevent heat from escaping through the glass – though if your window receives direct sunlight, you’ll want to leave the curtains open and draw in as much of the Good Stuff as possible.

Portable heater/aircon

Want to avoid freezing to death in your own home, but don’t want to spend the time, effort or expense on having a complete central heating or reverse cycle air conditioner installed?

Delonghi Electric Panel Heater HCS2552FTSDelonghi Electric Panel Heater HCS2552FTS

A compact portable heater can be quickly and simply delivered to your door, and will take the edge off the chill in one room at a time. Electric heaters are usually the quickest and simplest option, as they can be set up anywhere in the home, usually without much more installation than plugging into a power point.

Gas heaters also do great work, but can require specialist installation to your home’s natural gas supply (and if you’re living in Victoria, there are a whole bunch of extra regulations involved).

As mentioned earlier, prevention is indeed better than cure. If you’re the forward-thinking type a portable reverse cycle air conditioner could be a great investment, as these can cool your home in summer as well as heating it in winter. Though these usually also involve attaching an exhaust hose to a window, and as mentioned earlier, keeping these closed can help lock the heat inside your home.

Cli-Mate Air Purification System CLI-AP30Cli-Mate Air Purification System CLI-AP30

And while it won’t make your home any warmer, an air purifier can be a big help during winter to help keep your home free of dust and germs. When your loved ones come home with the sniffles, and you need to shake the dust off the woolly blankets you’d put into storage, you’ll thank me.

Oh, and electric blankets can also be handy.

Put your ceiling fan in reverse

I didn’t know you could do this, but apparently some ceiling fans have a switch that lets you reverse the direction of their usual spin.


Running this reveres spin at a low speed means that the fan’s angled blades will actually draw air up to your ceiling rather than forcing it down, which will in turn displace the warmer air that tends to collect up there and dispere it through your room.

Certainly simple enough to give it a try!

Fresh clothes!

Big drops in temperature often come with big drops of precipitation, whether that’s rain, or in some cases snow. If you don’t want to spend your time shivering in wet clothes, you’ll need to get them quickly washed and dried.

A new clothes dryer can be a great investment for winter, especially a condenser dryer, as they don’t blast out their exhaust moisture as steam to create indoor rain showers.

If you only have limited space available, a washer dryer combo could be for you, though these space-saving machines can only efficiently dry half-loads of laundry – use them wisely.

And thanks to the Legendary Service from Appliances Online, you can get one of these large appliances quickly delivered and connected, and even have your old one taken away!

Now THAT’s a quick fix!

*To be fair, the typically miserable British weather means that every home and workplace has been constructed with the goal of trapping and retaining warmth, which is a Bad Thing when a heatwave hits. Stay safe, northern-hemispherians!

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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