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When should you switch your heating on?

Posted on 10/12/2020

Even with the crisp chill of autumn in the air, some of us still hesitate when it comes to turning on our heating. Saying good-bye to summer’s never easy… but eventually the time must come to hunker down and cosy up.

In this article we’ll look at three things: how to stay warm with the heating off, when to put your heating on and ways to heat your home efficiently.

Stay warm for longer

If you can stay warm without turning on the heating, you’ll lower your energy bills and take some pressure off the environment. Here’s how:

Bundle up!

Layers insulate you and make it easy to regulate your body temperature. And it’s easy to peel them off quickly as your home heats up. A pair of thick woolly socks goes a long way to warming the cockles too.

Leave the oven open

When you’ve finished cooking, leave the door open and let the warm air works its magic. But if you have children or pets, make sure they can’t reach inside the oven or touch the oven door.

Let your curtains do the work

During the day, open your curtains to let the sunlight in. When the sun goes down, pull them closed. This should keep the warmth in your rooms.

Cut out draughts

Using a draught excluder on the bottom of your doors is a simple, environmentally-friendly way of keeping out the cold. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes so it shouldn’t be too tricky to find one that suits your home.

Hug a human

You can’t beat good old body warmth. Find someone worth hugging and hold on tight.

Two steps to get set

Before you turn on the heating there are a couple of things you should do to make sure it’s good to go:

Bleed your radiators

This is to make sure there’s no trapped air stopping them from warming up. Bleeding your radiators is very satisfying and surprisingly simple. Find out how to bleed a radiator here.

Check your boiler’s working

If your boiler’s been taking some downtime for a few months, it’s worth checking it’ll be ready for when you need it. Take a look at our article on getting your boiler ready for winter to make sure it’s working properly.

It's always a good idea to make sure you have your boiler serviced once a year.

Time to turn it on

Every one of us is different, just as every home is different. But here are some general pointers about people’s heating habits.

How cold should it be before you turn the heating on?

Switching your heating on will depend on how well insulated your house is, how much you want to save on energy bills and quite simply, how much you feel the cold.

Turn your heating on when the temperature in your house drops below 18°C

When the temperature drops below 18°C that’s generally a good time to switch on the heating and we recommend keeping your thermostat set between 18°C and 21°C. (The average thermostat setting in the UK is 20.1°C.)

How long should you leave the heating on?

In the UK, average heating hours per day are about ten for homes with one heating period and seven for homes with two heating periods (in the morning and evening).

Heating season in the UK generally lasts between October and March or April. On average people keep their heating on for 5.6 months.

Heat your home better

To improve the efficiency of your central heating, a lot of the tips we listed above, like keeping out draughts and closing the curtains at the right time, will help. It’s also worth turning radiator valves down in rooms you don’t use.

One final thought. Have you come across smart thermostats? They make heating your home much more efficient in all sorts of ways.

The big thing with a smart thermostat, like those from our friends over at Hive, is that you can control your heating from your smartphone. So if no one’s home you can make sure the heating’s off.

You can set schedules so the heating goes on and off at the right times and you can even get notifications on your phone if you leave home with the heating on. Then you can just turn it off through the app.

Need help with your heating?

If you’re worried about your boiler not working or radiators not warming up, Local Heroes are here if you need us. We can connect you with a heating engineer in minutes.

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