Australian families are bracing for winter as a looming increase in power bills has people searching for cheap alternatives for heating.
On social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok, Aussies on a budget are sharing their unconventional tips for staying warm and keeping costs low as the cooler temperatures set in.
It's an important problem, as Australia has a greater rate of cold temperature-related deaths than Sweden.
Bubble wrap as DIY insulation
One of the most common tips shared in popular money-saving Facebook group Mums on a Budget is using bubble wrap to insulate your house.
One post even claims the DIY insulation trick could halve your winter power bills.
It's a hack endorsed by money coach and author of The Joyful Frugalista Serina Bird.
"Bubble wrap is fabulous for both insulation and sound reduction," she said.
"You attach it with water, I often use Windex as it's already in a bottle and just stick it on. It is easy to peel it off when not in use, thus perfect for renters."
According to the World Heath Organisation, 18 degrees celsius is the minimum recommended temperature for heating homes. Below that contributes to poor respiratory and cardiovascular outcomes.
A roll of bubble wrap comes in at about $20. Draught strips start at around $3.
Other tips include closing your curtains or blinds when the sun goes down so heat is not lost through windows.
According to CHOICE consumer advocates, identifying draughts in your home and sealing them up was an effective way to keep the chill at bay.
"A great way to seal up draughts is by using weather seal tape or draught strips, which you can buy from your local hardware store. All you have to do is stick the adhesive side to a window frame or door jamb," said heating expert Chris Barnes.
"Door snakes are another option when it comes to sealing draughts - you can even make your own if you're the crafty type."
Power bills set to worsen the crunch
To make matters worse for struggling families, default electricity prices are set to rise by 20 to 25 per cent from July 1 across South Australia, NSW, Victoria and southern Queensland following a decision by the Australian Energy Regulator and Victoria's Essential Services Commission.
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"The increasing cost of gas is making ducted gas heating more expensive. Small oil heaters can be effective for heating, but note the heat won't dissipate as much as there is no fan" Ms Bird advised.
"What we use is a reverse cycle AC, which we have found is one of the most energy effective ways to heat the home."
She also recommends energy efficient electric rugs and wheat bags and hot water bottles.