High energy prices hit everyone hard. Especially the army of people who are currently working from home and have to turn the heat on all day to keep from shivering at their laptops as winter arrives.
Working from home full-time can add about 75% to your gas bill, according to comparison site Uswitch.
But are there gadgets that can come to the rescue? There are gadgets ranging from microwave-safe slippers to heated desks that promise to keep telecommuters warm enough that they don’t need heating. Of course, the initial cost of the product should be considered when calculating possible savings.
I spent the day working from home without heating and tested a few. Here’s my verdict – 5 out of 5 stars – for how effective they have been.
I’m worried that my desk surface will get too hot and cause problems for my laptop.Thankfully the heat is directed towards the lower body
heat under the table
I start my day by switching on my £349 self-heating desk. Thanks to the built-in radiator, your feet will feel warm in less than five minutes.
I’m worried that my desk surface will get too hot and cause problems for my laptop. Thankfully it doesn’t. The heat will be directed to your lower body and you will actually start feeling very warm.
Dorset-based Okoform (okoform.com)’s Miniöko desk runs at 260 watts, about one-tenth the power of a fan heater, so it only costs 70p for a nine-hour shift. No wonder Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud chose this as one of his “green heroes.”
When the unheated flat starts to feel a little sick, put on the Rrtizan heated vest.
Any padded gilet will keep you warm, but this £52.99 garment offers another level of comfort with two heated panels powered by a rechargeable power bank in your pocket.
Any padded gilet will keep you warm, but this £52.99 garment brings comfort to another level. The two heated panels are operated by a rechargeable power bank in your pocket (not included but costs around £15). When you press the button, warmth spreads from your buttocks at once. In fact, I start to feel overheating quickly and have to defrost it to cool down, so it’s too efficient.
A gilet on Amazon (tinyurl.com/heatedgilet) costs less than a penny to charge, so energy savings cannot be argued.
cushion the blow
For extra comfort, we’ve plugged in a John Lewis velvety Dreamland Heated Multi-Pad heated seat pad.
To make yourself even more comfortable, slip in the heated seat pad, which is John Lewis’ velvety Dreamland Heated Multi Pad (tinyurl.com/heatedmultipad) and perch on it. . Once the seat warms up enough, he puts a 39.99-pound pad on his knees while typing.
It feels like an updated hot water bottle, but with much cheaper running costs. Boiling water in a kettle costs about 5.7 pence, while Heat his pad he turns on for 3 hours costs about 1 pence. A bargain!
warm the sole
The moment I put them on, my toes and the soles of my feet felt luxuriously warm, and I felt like I was soaking in a bathtub.
I was so excited to try out these £19.99 Warmies from Amazon (tinyurl.com/heatedslippers) that I zapped the fluffy slippers in the microwave for the recommended 90 seconds at full power (800W).
When I put them on, my toes and the soles of my feet felt luxuriously warm, and I felt like I was in a bathtub. But the tiny heat-providing beads made the slippers awkward. They also lost heat quickly.
Popping them in the microwave takes 0.6pa, and reheating them every 2 hours gives a total of 3p, 5 times in one working day.
not a game of mugs
I can’t imagine getting through a working day without endless tea and coffee. But without heating, it’s hard to keep those cups warm.Enter his £29.99 Garmee mug warmer from Amazon (tinyurl.com/mugheater). This is a mini hotplate that plugs into mains and costs only 0.68 pence per hour. Even if you wear it all day, it’s less than 5 pence. But if it’s a thermos, it’s free…
Even if you wear it all day, it’s less than 5 pence than leaving the kettle on.
We all know that heat is lost through the head, so a knitted hat is a must. is hidden, so you can stay even warmer.
And this 2 in 1 combo can stay toasty with just 10 watts. It costs 0.3 pence for 9 hours. Since the muffler was already wrapped, it was also useful as a warmer.
This £18.99 beanie hat and neck warmer from Amazon (tinyurl.com/heatedhat) has electric heating panels hidden in the wool for extra warmth.
I was pleasantly surprised by the pretty pink and gray tweed in this £25 USB powered scarf from Boots (tinyurl.com/heatedneckscarf).
Once connected to my laptop, I wrapped it around my neck and turned it on. Within minutes, I was in danger of swell. But I will definitely wear this again for long walks in winter.It can be plugged into a pocket power block and costs about 0.2 pence per hour.
keep food real
Amazon’s £26.99 ErayLife Lunch Box (tinyurl.com/heated box) promises to keep ready-to-eat meals warm all day and heats up straight out of the fridge in just 30 minutes. I plugged it into the mains and spooned the rest of the tortellini into the stainless steel compartment (with a splash of water) and it warmed up and was ready to eat in half an hour or so.
It runs at 40 watts and costs 0.7 pence to run for 30 minutes. Almost like reheating leftovers in seconds in the microwave.