Brits struggle to stay warm amid -9 Arctic blast and sky-high energy prices - with some resorting to 'bubble glazing'

9 December 2022, 09:16 | Updated: 9 December 2022, 09:27

Brits have shared increasingly desperate measures to fight the cold
Brits have shared increasingly desperate measures to fight the cold. Picture: Social media

By Kit Heren

Many British people are struggling to heat their homes without breaking the bank, amid freezing temperatures and sky-high energy prices, and some are coming up increasingly desperate methods to stay warm for less.

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One man said he had to resort to using using bubble wrap to keep his home warm, another woman described how she was keeping her gas stove on to save money on heating and had rigged a makeshift drying rack above it, while others have shared pictures of how they are wrapped in blankets to stay warm while working from home, to avoid putting on the heating.

It comes after the Met Office declared a major incident declared with UK temperatures dropping to -9C in some places.

Andy Wheeden told friends on Facebook to stick bubble wrap to the windows using sellotape or velcro to trap cold coming from the glass.

He said he had bought an entire 50-metre roll of bubble wrap for less than £17 and it had kept his home 1C warmer.

The 'bubble glazing'
The 'bubble glazing'. Picture: Facebook

Mr Wheeden said: "Heat saving hack: I call it BUBBLE GLAZING! Buy a 500mm wide bubble wrap roll. I bought 50m roll from Amazon for £16.85. You will need sellotape or Velcro hook and loop to fix the bubble glazing in place over your double glazing.

"Try to ensure there is a space between the windows/door and the back of the bubble wrap to trap the cold radiating through the glass.

"Bubble side to the window, smooth side out. It made each of my rooms 1 degree c warmer! If you use hook and loop, you can take it down during the day.

The gas oven
The gas oven. Picture: Facebook

He later explained: "How it works is that it traps the cold which radiates through all glass. Bubble glazing plus heavy curtain even better result. And each room feels warmer. That chill a room gets from a tiny draught has gone".

Another woman said that she keeps her gas stove pilot light on, "which keeps the chill off the house" while hardly using any energy at all.

"With how things are going, the less electric needed to be used the better," Hannah Naden said.

Kirsty Blackman MP
Kirsty Blackman MP. Picture: Twitter

She added: "We always keep our gas stove on pilot light which uses hardly any energy at all but keeps the chill of the house and makes for a good place to pop washed and dried clothes on top, to either finish them off or flatten out the creases (saves ironing)."

And the cold weather is most extreme in Scotland, with snow hitting the Cairngorm mountains.

SNP MP Kirsty Blackman said: "Wrap up warm and stay safe, folks. I’m working from home today on the online safety bill.

Sharing a photo of herself wrapped up against the cold in a padded snood: "No requirement to be on screen so I’ll be wearing my blanket hoody constantly.

"Thank you to all who are venturing out in the snow to deliver the services we rely on".

The librarian in Scotland
The librarian in Scotland. Picture: Twitter

Libraries across the UK are open for people to come in for free and shelter from the freezing temperatures outside.

One librarian in Lanarkshire shared a photo of herself wrapped up indoors having just got in from the cold.

She said: "Heating is on full - come on in to the library and get toasty!"

It comes as people across the UK are struggling to heat their homes due to "impossibly high prices" and now face "dreadful consequences" according to a fuel poverty charity.

Man scrapes ice off his car as freezing conditions continue around UK

National Energy Action has urged the Government to provide more support for "those at greatest peril". People on the lowest incomes are set to receive £25 energy payments from the government.

Stories continue to emerge of people forced into desperate measures to keep warm, often in inadequate housing.

One man in Newcastle said he has to sleep on his friend's floor because of the "terrifying" black mould covering his home.

"Last winter, I had ice on my living room carpet, it was so cold," Michael Bennett, 56, told the Newcastle Chronicle. "The mould is on my clothes and in my bedding as well as on my windows."

The UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) has recommended that people keep the temperature in their homes at at least 18C for health reasons.

The temperatures are particularly cold in Scotland
The temperatures are particularly cold in Scotland. Picture: Getty

For those who are struggling with the cost of living crisis, people are being advised to heat living rooms during the day, and bedrooms before going to sleep to cut heating bills.

The UKHSA's guidance also tells people to eat hot food to keep warm.

A spokesperson said: "Wearing several layers of thinner clothing will keep you warmer than one thicker layer. Having plenty of hot food and drinks is also effective for keeping warm.

"Try to heat the rooms you use most, such as the living and bedroom, to at least 18°C if you can and keep your bedroom windows closed at night."

One solution to the high energy prices and cold weather could be air source heat pumps. Although they are expensive to install, they tend to be more efficient than gas boilers and are more sustainable.

Snow has fallen in the Cairngorms
Snow has fallen in the Cairngorms. Picture: Twitter

Sharing the performance of his heat pump, Jesse Bryce said on Twitter: "One of the coldest days this season, and I’m blown away by my solar performance today!

"More than enough to keep the house warm using my heat pump, so it’s adding back to my battery for use later."

Brits will have to endure the cold weather for some time to come, experts warned on Friday.

Read more: Killer and rapist would leave jail without signing sex offenders' register due to legal loophole

Read more: Schools close and thundersnow hits as four lives claimed in arctic blast sweeping UK

Jim Dale, a meteorologist at British Weather Services told LBC on Friday that the cold snap could last another ten days - nearly up to Christmas - and that temperatures would hit -9C overnight as far south as Oxfordshire.

Meanwhile snow also hit Dublin in Ireland, with people sharing videos of a heavy flurry in the Irish capital, causing local travel authorities to suspend train services on Friday morning.