Heated Clothing Update

I’ve been a long‑time advocate of heated clothing – for me it is the best way to keep warm inside your home over winter.  However, through my own personal testing, and feedback from others, I’ve found that a heated garment may not work too well if it is worn incorrectly.

In particular, if a heated garment is worn as the outer layer over thick jumpers etc it will very likely add no perceptible warmth for the user.  The heat is unlikely to penetrate through the other clothes to reach the person’s body and much of the heat energy will simply be lost to the atmosphere.

My rules for wearing heated clothing are: i) wear the heated garment as close as possible to your skin but not in direct contact (eg put on over thermal underwear); ii) get a garment of the right size – it needs to fit nice and snugly so that effective heat conduction can take place; and iii) place one or two layers over the heated garment (eg jumper, dressing gown) so that its heat is trapped in the clothing.

Over the past two winters I’ve been wearing a heated vest which very nicely meets my criteria: i) it has a clever method for size adjustment and so it can be made to fit close to the body; and ii) it is very supple and thin so it doesn’t inhibit the wearing of other layers of clothing.

My Adjustable Size Heated Vest

Working on our indirect carbon footprint – bidets

As I’ve indicated earlier, this year I’m trying to reduce both our direct and indirect carbon footprints. One of my first projects for 2020 has been to reduce our indirect carbon footprint through reducing our family use of toilet paper. While the initial inspiration has been the somewhat puzzling hoarding of toilet paper throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I see this as a simple but worthwhile small project. Globally the use of toilet paper is a major environmental problem that can be simply addressed by replacing ‘wiping’ with ‘washing’.

I plan on publishing more detailed reports in due course, but after trialing different types of bidets we have ended up with a simple, but highly effective, bidet on both of the toilets in our house.

The bidet has simply replaced our original toilet seat. Very unobtrusive.
The simple operating lever.

It is too early at this stage to quantify our carbon gains but I am confident our gains will not be insignificant. Putting aside our carbon footprint, and without going into details, I can say that using a bidet is a delight – you feel so much cleaner.