UTAS Staying Warm in Winter at Home Guide


Strategies to help stay warm

Layering /adding clothes This is an obvious place to begin.


Tip shops and second-hand shops all over Tasmania have affordable hats, gloves, and scarves. Warm socks and footwear are also important. There are only so many layers of clothes you can wear and still be able to do things, but warm heads, necks, hands, and feet are key to feeling warm all over. Exercise While we recognise that some people have difficulty exercising due to mobility or other challenges, if you can get moving in some way, you will be repaid with better comfort levels. Exercise seems an obvious get warm tactic, but people often say they sacrifice it when they are busy with work. As little as five minutes of reasonably vigorous movement each hour makes a difference. You have three reasons to prioritise exercise daily: your physical health, your mental health, and to sustain your comfort levels. Thinking about how you arrange your furniture and use your rooms How you arrange furniture and how you organise your own position in a room can really affect your comfort. Heat flow and temperatures of surfaces are important to consider when setting yourself up for long periods in a room. Sitting in a draughty spot in a room limits the effect of heating—anyone who has sat in a high-ceilinged room with an opening into a draughty corridor might agree. You can also feel cooler in winter when sitting near a colder surface. Therefore, sitting near cold windows or near an external wall can reduce your comfort. Floors are often cold in Tasmanian homes because they are usually uninsulated. Warm shoes and slippers can help as can having a mat or a footstool under your feet. Positioning your couch or chair/s and your desk away from draughts and away from cold surfaces is useful. If you have a desk that is open underneath, you can also consider blocking the air flow (under the desk) by draping a blanket at the back of the desk or using the blanket as a lap rug when you sit.


The following suggestions on staying warm and managing comfort have been prepared to support you while you are working from home during winter. Staying warm in homes can be especially difficult if you have ineffective home heaters, live in a generally ‘cold’ dwelling and/or if you are balancing heating needs and energy costs. From years of research with Tasmanian households we understand that feeling cold can affect your state of mind, overall health, and productivity. However, there are a range of practical, low cost things that you can do can improve your comfort and to keep warm. The suggestions are made with various accommodation types in mind. Some of you will be in your own or a family home, and many will live in rental accommodation. (We hope you all have a home - if you are facing homelessness or are in insecure accommodation, please contact the University Crisis Line on 1300 511 709 or text +61 488 884 168 .)


Websites with tips to help stay warm and comfortable

The Australian Government provides advice on winter comfort and reducing energy bills .


Aurora Energy – one of our two Tasmanian electricity retailers provides energy advice for winter.


Origin Energy’s suggestions on smart ways to save in winter are also helpful.


Sustainable Living Tasmania have helpful energy related advice here .


Authors Dr Phillipa Watson and Professor Elaine Stratford School of Technology, Environments and Design

2 | University of Tasmania

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