Anna Leach presents a run down of four quick and easy ways to insulate your home
1 Catering-size cling film
Sticking cling film over your windows may not be pretty but it’s a cheap and easy substitute for double glazing. At the Hotel Supplies Market you can get catering-sized rolls (158RMB/45cm x 6m). Stretch the cling film across the window frame to leave an air pocket between the plastic and the glass, using a hair dryer to fix it to the frame.
2 Snake draft excluder
Snake draft excluders are not only effective, they’re fun to make. Fill one leg of a pair of tights with rice and sew the open end together. Slip the tight leg inside a rectangle of colourful material, something you’ve bought, an old pillowcase or clothes you don’t mind recycling, and stitch together. To turn your creation into a snake, add buttons for eyes and a ribbon for a forked tongue.
Though they’re more expensive than the other ideas on this list, a good pair of thick, long, lined curtains does a great job keeping cold air out. Shanghai Meijia Lebuyi on Wulumuqi Lu will run you up a pair of curtains for 60-148RMB/metre depending on the fabric (options include velvet and 100 per cent cotton). At B&Q you can also buy good quality curtains from 99RMB.
4 Foam tape
At B&Q you can get rolls of thick foam tape (3.80RMB) that you can apply inside window jambs to close gaps. You can find the tape on aisle 52, right inside the entrance. B&Q is also a good source of rugs, which insulate the floor – small ones are 99RMB, big ones go up to 799RMB and a small sheepskin is 158RMB, perfect for warming your toes.