The Australian Bureau of Meteorology have announced another La Niña year. But what is this strange weather pattern, and what does it mean for us in the UK?
La Niña is a global weather phenomenon, and one of the most impactful in the world. It occurs when fast winds push vast quantities of warm water west across the Pacific Ocean for between nine and twelve months of the year. This temperature shift affects countries around the Pacific the most, leading to rainy summers in Australia and Indonesia, and deep freezes across America.
But scientists think this weather pattern, although it takes place on the other side of the planet, affects us here in the UK too! Meteorologists from the Met Office suggest that La Niña affects weather patterns across Britain, leading to colder, rainier, and stormier winters…
As if British weather wasn’t bad enough! We can expect to be staying indoors through the Christmas period. But not to worry, we’ve got some top tips to keep you cosy through the coming chills.
When it’s cold, wet, and thundery out, you won’t want to get in Zeus’ way. Better to stay in, swaddled up in a thick woolly blanket. But blankets don’t just keep your toes toasty and your body heat close to your chest – they’re great for pets and children too! Often the thunder can make dogs and young ones anxious and stressed, but being wrapped up in a layer of warmth can give them a sense of security.
Dogs won’t want to actually be wrapped up – they like to keep their legs free – but another option for your four-legged friend is to tuck them in while they’re lying down. Alternatively, build a den or cushion-fort with blankets draped over the top. These comfy little corners can serve as a bunker, and help your hound feel safe.
Nothing’s warmer than a room full of the people you love most. It could be a cuddle on the couch with your spouse or partner, your toddler falling asleep on your lap, or a whole front room packed with grandparents, aunties, cousins and the rest of the gang. Whatever your family looks like, they’re the people that give us that tingle of warmth at the base of our stomachs, and help us to forget about the rain outside. And let’s not forget about the added body heat!
Our number one tip to keep you snug this winter is that you set yourself up by a stove or fireplace. If you already have one, you’ll know it’s the heart of any home. What’s better than wrapping up in a blanket? Wrapping up in a blanket in front of your media wall electric fire. What’s better than a room filled with family? The whole family sat, laughing and smiling, around a blazing log burner.
Don’t have a stove or fireplace? Perhaps this is the year you finally indulge. Have an older, lower efficiency burner? Let this be the year you upgrade! While we’re expecting a colder La Niña winter, there’s just no better time. Of course, the investment will also carry over to future family Christmases, and wintery nights in.
Yet another reason to make the investment now, is rising energy tariffs. High-efficiency stoves and fireplaces make great zonal heat sources, and can heat the room you’re in at a very economical rate.
When it comes to stoves and fireplaces, there are so many to choose from; if you don’t already have one, you need to find an appliance that fits well with your home. And with so many options, the decision isn’t easy! Here, I’ll briefly walk through some of the alternatives available, so you can have the homely winter you deserve.
Nothing says character like a wood burning stove. Whether you’re going for that more sleek, contemporary look with a Nordpeis ME Wood Burning Stove, or for a more traditional cottagecore design, a log burner can become the grounding centrepiece of your home.
But can I have a log burner in my property, I hear you ask? Well, there are a few things you will want to check before getting one installed. First of all, if your home doesn’t already have a flue or chimney, you’ll need one put in, but your friendly local retailer will be able to determine your home’s suitability after taking a site survey. From here, they can walk you through any installation requirements specific to your property.
But perhaps you value convenience, and don’t want to spend time lighting a fire each evening. Every second spent with our loved ones is precious after all! If this is you, you may want to explore the idea of a gas stove or fireplace. They bring all the charm and heat of a real fire at the touch of a button.
Additionally, while gas fires still need a flue system, many models in the Gazco range of gas stoves and fires – like the Vogue Midi Gas Stove – come with the option of a balanced flue kit. A balanced flue vents straight to an outside wall, so you won’t need a vertical chimney installed.
If you want convenience, look no further than an electric fire. These again come with all the simplicity of a remote control, and get everything they need to function from a standard wall socket. Not only will you not need a flue or chimney, but you can also fit an inset electric fire – like the Gazco eStudio 135R or the Avanti Electric Log Burner from Onyx – into a media feature wall. This new trend helps maximise a room’s capacity, while giving you everything you need for the perfect wintery night in in one stunning place. Thaw out your cold bones and put on some catch-up – it just makes sense!
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