Electric Dreams: How a heated throw rug had me heating my words…by Lish Fejer

The following guest blog post is by Lish Fejer creator of DIY website Green It Yourself…

I’ve always found comedy in the excessive production of utterly useless electric appliances. The butterfly tin opener was replaced by the electric can opener, ugg boots replaced by heated slippers, a trip to the pie shop replaced by a pie making machine and only a few years ago the humble doona was trumped by a plush electric ‘throw’ blanket?

Oh, how I mocked the early adopters of that technology. Why did we need to heat our blankets before we put them on? What would our pioneering grand-women make of such folly?

And surely at a time when we are trying to reduce our energy use, buying another electrical appliance is not going to help bring down our bills.

Well, I’ve had to eat some humble pie (made in afore mentioned pie maker) because when it comes to keeping warm in winter, sometimes it is warmer when you plug something in. In the case of the electric heated throw rug … it is one of the cheapest ways of getting warm without doing exercise.

The revelation came when I was running a heating workshop to show folk the best way of keeping warm for the lowest cost.  Using a thermometer and three pillows we used 3 different sources of heating to prove which had best bang for buck … and if you just wanted to heat yourself, while sitting on the couch, reading a book, watching teli or reading 1millionwomen blogs at the desk the best choice, by far, is the much-mocked, heated throw.

They cost around $80 to buy, and at full power use around 190 watts to keep you toasty warm. Most other heaters use at least 10 times the energy to get the same heating effects.

Why heat up a whole room when you could just heat up yourself at a fraction of the cost. Any time that the heater can be turned off, or turned lower, and you can be toasty warm, has got to be good.

So to stay warm without spending heaps, think wisely about how you heat yourself and your home, use your heater wisely and do all you can to keep that precious, and expensive, heat in the house – draught-proof, zone, insulate, put up curtains and pelmets …you know what you have to do, it’s just getting it done that’s the tricky bit.

At the risk of banging on with an exhaustive, and exhausting, list of things to do, I want to praise you for getting this far. Hoorah hoorah to you.  Making these changes takes more than just words – you’ve heard them all before. The trick is in knowing enough to get the job done or make the change.  That’s why I developed Green It Yourself – a video-based DIY site for non-DIY folk and people who don’t know one end of a caulking gun from the other (or indeed what a caulking gun is at all!). It aims to make energy efficiency achievable, effortless and invisible.   

So, before you go out and buy another heater to combat the cold here are a few things you can do to keep warm. When you’ve mastered one thing, move onto the next. These things do really work. Follow the links to learn how to do some of them:

  • Get some good funky layers of warm clothes! It’s a pioneering trick that has its roots in dagginess but need not be all puff’n’bulk.
  • Open curtains and let the sun shine in during the day.  The heat of that star shining directly on a window always amazes me. Every square metre of glass with sun hitting it is like having a one-bar radiator on in the room.
  • Draught-proof your home so it’s like a zip-lock bag of air-tightness. You need to be in control of what air comes in and out.  I’ve done heaps of videos on Green It Yourself on how to draught-proof. It is a great DIY job to start on – really satisfying and will help you feel warmer as well as keep all the warm air in and cold air out.

Here’s a good place to start – seal all around your skirting boards, architraves, windows, heating vents … caulk the caulk.

If you liked that video, subscribe to www.greenityourself.com.au for monthly tips and tricks, videos and more.

Have some fun and give some of these things a go… and I’m starting with getting myself a heated throw blanket. It’s not quite a snuggy and it’s not a hair shirt. It’s somewhere in between and I’m going to plug it in proudly, turn off the heater and glow with the knowledge of watt I’m saving.

I’d love to hear your home heating tips and tricks that keep you warm and save you money.

Lish demonstrating draught proofing at the 1 Million Women SAVE Summit

Look out for more from Lish this month, coming soon is part 2 of this post with more GIY jobs, other motivational bits and information on how much POWER heaters really use. 

About the Author: Lish is Australia’s Queen of Green. Science communicator, presenter and energy efficiency aficionado, she is best known as co-presenter of ABC TV’s Carbon Cops. Lish has had an interest in energy efficiency ever since she realised it actually worked and is the creator of website Green It Yourself, which gives simple, step-by-step instruction to make green DIY is easy. She wants to make a green handy-person out of everyone – especially women as we are the ones who notice what needs doing and fixing around the house.

Join the movement at www.1millionwomen.com.au

2 responses to “Electric Dreams: How a heated throw rug had me heating my words…by Lish Fejer

  1. I once lived in an old house with v-joint timber linings in Tasmania. The difference in the heat retention after I had gone over every joint with a gap filler was remarkable. It went from a cold and draughty house to a snug and warm one. Same for the timber floor; I pulled up the carpet, puttied each joint then had the floors sanded and sealed. People think timber floors are cold, but they’re not if they’re prepared well.

  2. Hey There 1Millionwomen,
    Interesting Thoughts, I am eighteen and I am most likely going to be living at residence for a couple of much more years, right up until I get my enterprise working and begin creating very good money. Relocating out, or at a university is out of the concern. Essentially, my grandparents gave my mother and father a residence for no cost when my dad and mom ended up about 20 since they had so lots of kids. My mothers and fathers in no way took any duty toward cleaning and repairing things all-around the property and after a handful of yrs, the house entirely fell apart and I experience like I am the only 1 who truly cares and does nearly anything about it.

    We have two pet dogs and two cats. I really like all of the animals, but I am the only just one who requires care of all of them. The property is just not insulated, so we consistently blast the heat/AC and it will not even make a difference, and my parents waste so a great deal cash on the electric powered. The cupboard doors in the kitchen fell off of the hinges, the residing room demands linoleum flooring. The complete inside of of the household wants to be repainted due to the fact the previous paint is peeling, there are holes in the partitions, and so on. My sisters share a bed room and it is an absolute Disaster. Piles and piles of soiled outfits, fallen down ceiling tiles, damaged dressers, etc. My brother sleeps in the dwelling area on the couch due to the fact my mother and father you should not want to put any work into cleaning out a room for him (we certainly have the room for it nevertheless) and my brother has stuff Everywhere. He has rocks, broken toys, papers, all about and it is really having out of handle and my mom will save everything. She isn’t going to want to throw nearly anything away and she never tells my siblings to cleanse. My mom spends hundreds (if not a handful of grand) just about every year on regardless of what strange, crafty, pipe desire project she is intrigued in at the time. Yet, she would not ever place funds in the direction of fixing points all over the house. It is seriously disheartening simply because I was under no circumstances permitted to have anybody about, in no way permitted to have birthday get-togethers throughout my childhood, mainly because our property was such a mess and I will not want to see my siblings have to mature up the similar way.

    Can any person supply me any advice?
    Cheers

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