From smearing POTATO on your car windscreen to gorging on ginger, keep the cold at bay with these genius hacks

IT’S been a balmy start to 2022 — but winter has returned.

The Met Office’s Andy Page said: “A cold northerly flow will bring a drop in temperature to most of the UK for the next few days.”

So snuggle down and prepare for the chill with our cheap, handy winter hacks.

Cook up some heat

Once you’ve finished cooking, turn the oven off and leave the door ajar so the heat fills the kitchen.

You’ve already paid for it, you might as well make use of it.

Hand gel comes in handy

We’re all used to carrying anti-bacterial hand gel around with us now, and it comes in useful for frozen locks, particularly on your car or a garden shed padlock.

Simply apply gel on to the key, insert into the lock and it will unfreeze it.

Potatoes for windscreens

If the temperature is set to fall below zero, chop a potato in half and smear the flesh over your car windscreen.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the sugar in potato prevents ice forming, then you can use windscreen washers to rinse it off in the morning.

The correct mix of screen wash should stop it freezing.

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Get spicy

Eating food containing grated raw ginger creates heat by stimulating the production of adrenalinCredit: Getty

Dr Deborah Lee, from Dr Fox Pharmacy, recommends eating food containing grated raw ginger, as it creates heat by stimulating the production of adrenalin.

You can also try ginger capsules if you don’t like the taste.

Sock it to ’em

Cover your car windscreen wipers with socks to avoid them sticking overnight.

Take the socks off in the ­morning and the ice or snow will fall away.

Don’t ditch the coffee

If you’ve made a “proper” pot, don’t throw out the grounds.

You can scatter them over your frosty path as a de-icer.

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Hot drinks also help to warm you up.

Block draught

Don’t have one of those sausage dog draught excluders? Not a problem.

Simply roll up a towel and lay it in front of internal doors to stop heat escaping and chilly draughts coming in.

Layer up

It goes without saying that wearing more layers will keep you warmer.

It might also be an idea to invest in thermal vests and long johns, particularly if you are sitting at a desk in a cold house all day.

Steer clear of booze

According to the British Heart Foundation, you should not booze before going out in the cold, or when outside.

It makes you feel warm because blood vessels in the skin expand, but this draws heat away from your vital organs.

Switch radiator use

If rising energy prices have put you off heating the whole house, heat only the rooms you are using, for example the kitchen and living room during the daytime and the bedrooms in the evening.

Put your feet up

The coldest place in a room is the floor (unless you have underfloor heating), so use a footrest while working and pop them up on the sofa at night.

Drink more water

Central heating and breathing out moist air in the cold means we’re more likely to become dehydrated in winter.

Dr Deborah Lee of Dr Fox Pharmacy says: “Your body’s response to cold is to dampen the thirst reflex, so you may also not feel thirsty, but dehydration can sap your energy.

"Aim to drink at least 500ml of fluids every three to four hours during the day.”

Go back to basic

Electric blankets will keep you snug, but you can stay warm for a fraction of the price by using a hot water bottle. Lay one on your knees for home working.

No hot water bottle? Fill a pillowcase with dry rice, tie the ends and put on a radiator to heat it up, then place under your duvet.

Move more

It might not seem appealing in the dark winter months, but getting up and moving will increase blood circulation and warm you up.

If you are more adventurous, why not get under the covers and have sex?

Invest in tech

Rechargeable handwarmers are useful for when you are out and about.

You can also buy adhesive toe warmers that stick to your feet and keep your toes toasty for five hours

Do your home checks

Frozen pipes can burst because of the water expanding as it freezes.

British Gas recommends getting your boiler serviced every year and making sure that your pipes are insulated.

Having your heating on low — even when out and about — will help to prevent the problem.

Foil the cold

Place a layer of tin foil between radiators and walls.

It helps to reflect the heat back into the room, increasing the radiator’s output while also preventing warmth from seeping into the masonry.

Don’t get stuck

According to tyre maker Goodyear, if you get stuck in snow or mud you shouldn’t give your vehicle lots of gas as your wheels will spin.

Instead, put your vehicle in a higher gear and pull away slowly, which will afford more grip.

Protect your skin

Amish Patel, Skincare Expert at Intrigue Cosmetic Clinic, advises washing your scarf regularly to banish dirt and germs that cause blemish outbreaks.

He adds: “It’s tempting to hug a radiator or sit in front of an open fire, but these temperature extremities can lead to chapped and cracked skin conditions.”

Rearrange your furniture

Furniture that covers or blocks a radiator also blocks the flow of warm air, according to radiator supplier Best Heating.

This in turn makes your boiler work harder and costs you more money.

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