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I turned off the heating for a week to only use cheap gadgets like hand warmers – two stood out and will save you cash

WINTER is coming but as the cost of living crisis deepens, many Brits are trying to keep the heating off to slash costly energy bills.

The average bill has risen to £2,500 a year since the energy price guarantee came into effect last month.

Lynsey turned off the heating for a week – and one of her favourites was thermal clothes from M&S

But if you’re a large family that use a lot of energy, your bill is likely to be even more.

Other than wrapping up in layers and sipping hot drinks, are there any other ways to keep you feeling toasty and warm at home?

We asked mum-of-three Lynsey Hope, 41, from West Malling, Kent, to keep the heating off for a week and instead, to find alternative ways of keeping warm.

Lynsey said: “I work from home and have three children who all watch TV, play on smart tablets and we do a lot of cooking, cleaning and washing.

“Our energy bills are going through the roof so I’m keen to find ways of saving a bit of money.

“Keeping the heating off until it gets really cold may help – but I don’t want to freeze!”

Below Lynsey reveals how she got on after turning it off for seven days:


The temperature has already dipped and usually, my heating would kick in if the temperature at home drops below 17C.

I have a cold house so even in October it fell below this.

This week I’ve turned the heating off. It felt particularly chilly when I first woke up in the morning.

I dashed downstairs, made a warm cuppa and sat under an £79.99 heated blanket from Lakeland on the sofa. 

Lynsey also used the heated blanket from Lakeland to stay warm without heating

The blanket worked wonders and is great for curling up on the sofa in the morning or watching TV at night.

The kids all snuggled under when they woke up too.

I spend most of my day working at home in the office so it doesn’t make sense to heat the entire house.

After a little bit of research, I invested in a halogen heater, which is meant to be among the most energy efficient you can buy.

I tried one from Wilko, which only costs 13.6p an hour to run.

It was only £23 but actually did a really great job of keeping my home office feeling warm.

The rest of the house felt cold but it didn’t really matter.


Although the office felt nice and toasty yesterday, my hands were super cold.

There are lots of gadgets out there that promise to warm your hands up.

I tried some Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmers from Amazon, which cost £23.99 in an early Black Friday deal.

Amazon is selling rechargeable hand warmers for £24

I would have thought these were a bit of a gimmick but they did a great job.

I found them useful for popping in dressing gown pockets in the evening or I’d use them sometimes in between typing to warm up.

For £24, these were a good buy. 

In the evening, I snuggled back under my heated throw.

In fact, I even had it wrapped around me as I worked on my desk during the day. It’s very soft and snuggly.

Another issue I’ve had is drying clothes which takes forever when it’s cold outside and you can’t pop them on a warm radiator.

So, I decided to invest in a heated clothes dryer, which cost £39.99 at Aldi. This was a real game-changer.

Aldi’s heated dryer can help you get your clothes dry quicker

Where clothes were taking 48 hours to try, this will dry most stuff overnight.

It costs about 7p an hour to run, so not cheap, but it’s a good investment.


One of the biggest issues Monday and Tuesday was how cold it was getting into bed. It was freezing.

Today, I turned on an electric under blanket for an hour before going to sleep. This worked a treat.

I set it for an hour around 9.30pm and by the time I got into bed the sheets were toasty and warm and I drifted straight to sleep.

I used the Silentnight Yours and Mine Dual Control Electric Blanket, which costs £45.

The electric under blanket will make your bed nice and warm to get into

This only costs 1-3p an hour to run depending on which setting you choose, so it’s much cheaper than turning the heating on.

To keep my three kids Jacob, eight, Olive, five, and Ivy, two, warm I used hot water bottles.

I filled them up and popped them in their beds around an hour before they went to bed.

I noticed they all drifted off much quicker than they had the day before when it was cold.

My youngest Ivy still woke in the night so I’m trying to think how I can keep her room warmer overnight.


It’s even colder today, just 10 or 11 degrees outside. 

My toes have been like ice at home so I decided to try something to keep my feet warm and stumbled across this Beurer Foot Warmer.

The Beurer foot warmer may look silly but it’s efficient

I felt a bit silly popping my feet in it whilst working at my desk but it has a cosy fleece surface and it did keep my feet warm.

You do have to remember you’re in it otherwise you might trip up if you get up and try to walk off.

It’s quite pricey at £41 at Argos but the good thing is you can move it around really easily.

I’d often have it under my desk during the day and move it to the sofa so I could use it while watching TV in the evening.

It only costs about 3p an hour to run.


The coldest I’ve been all week during this experiment was getting out of the shower.

My bathroom feels particularly cold and it’s really unpleasant – I’ve been so tempted to reach for the thermostat and that’s only going to get worse as temperatures dip further.

All week I’ve been looking for potential solutions and I started by putting a draft excluder by the bathroom door as any heat left in there seemed to be escaping pretty quickly.

It’s so cold my towels often take more than 24 hours to dry so I’m drying off with a cold, wet towel too.

Rather than putting the heating on, I stuck my towel in the tumble dryer for ten minutes before I needed it so it was nice and warm when I stepped out and wrapped myself up.

This really worked but tumble dryers are also quite energy intensive so dry and heat your towel for ten minutes it will cost around 38p.

It sounds like quite a lot, so I also bought a micro fibre towel for my hair to help it dry off quicker.

This was great too and seemed to absorb the water quickly and I warmed up much quicker after using it. 


Sales of thermal clothes have been soaring as people worry about rising energy bills.

If clothes can keep you warm enough to keep the heating off, it sounds like a good investment.

I bought some thermals for £16 per piece from M&S and wished I’d bought these at the start of the week.

Not the sexiest things you can wear, but these really worked to keep me feeling warm no matter how cold it was outside.

They were stretchy and comfortable and in fact, when I was running around after the kids at some points I got too hot wearing them.

Incredibly you can also buy heated scarfs like one from Menkind for £19.80.

Menkind is selling a heated scarf for £20

Wearing this when it was particularly cold was also helpful.

It’s definitely the hands, feet and neck that tend to get cold most often so keeping those bits warm definitely made me feel more comfortable.

It’s USB powered so you can even connect it to a power bank for warmth on the move!


Keeping the kids’ bedrooms warm has been one of the biggest challenges this week.

If they are cold, they wake up repeatedly through the night and then no one is happy.

I’d rather switch the thermostat on.

I didn’t want to pay out for big heaters in every bedroom as clearly this would end up costing a bomb so I tried a £19.99 plug-in heater from Coopers of Stortford instead.

The plug-in heaters are small but Lynsey found one to be surprisingly powerful

I found it surprisingly powerful and it did a great job of warming their small rooms.

It’s energy efficient too, costing just 17p an hour to run so you could turn it on for two or three hours in the evening and it won’t break the bank.

There’s a timer if you don’t want to leave it running overnight.

I spent the day in my thermals and felt quite warm even though it was cold outside. 

The electric blanket was definitely helping me to get to sleep without freezing.

Overall verdict

Living without any heating is tough.

My house is cold anyway and as I work from home most of the time, I don’t like to sit about with chattering teeth.

However, we’re all worried about rising energy bills and need to find ways of reducing how much we spend on central heating.

What I’ve learned doing this experiment is that there are plenty of gadgets and gizmo’s out there to help make you feel more comfortable at home. 

My favourites were the M&S thermal clothing and the electric throw from Lakeland.

I’m going to be using those daily through winter.

I’m not planning to live without heating at all, but using a few of these products will definitely help me to reduce the thermostat a bit.

According to The Energy Saving Trust, turning it down by just one degree can save you up to £100 a year so they are definitely a good investment.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: I’m an energy expert & I’m warning Brits over simple heating mistake that can add to bills – here’s how to fix it

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