It’s the age-old debate. When is it acceptable to put the heating on?
With summer nearly gone and the colder temperatures quickly approaching, it may be time to reach for the thermostat sooner than we think.
Whether you're currently piling on the layers trying to hold out until it is officially winter or you've already given in to enjoying a cosy boost of warmth from your radiators, deciding when to put on the central heating is the divider of people.
Throw in a cost of living crisis and the dent last year's energy bill crisis already made to our wallets and deciding the right moment to turn on the heating can be a significant decision.
Read more: Frugal mum shares savvy tips for slashing bills during cost of living crisis (Yahoo Life UK, 7-min read)
Thankfully, according to the experts, we've got a good few weeks before we need to crank up the cosy.
Turns out, Sunday 29 October is the date the bods-in-the-know suggest we switch the heating on.
"Autumn is fast approaching, and the weather is gradually turning cooler. With cold, rainy days filling our weeks, many Brits are turning their heating on despite it still being summer,' Andy Kerr, Founder at BOXT, says.
"With temperatures dropping and thunderstorms affecting parts of the UK, many Brits are starting to feel colder inside their homes. While some might delay putting the heating on to save money, many are turning it on sooner rather than later to combat that chilly feeling.
"Experts recommend turning on your central heating on around the 29th of October, as this is when daylight saving time ends and temperatures begin to fall."
Kerr adds that you should always keep your thermostat at a minimum of 10C to protect your pipes from freezing.
Read more: 30 ways to save cash: Brits battle cost of living crisis with these top hacks (Yahoo Life UK, 4-min read)
"Frozen pipes not only stop your heating from working properly, but can lead to costly complications, including burst pipes and plumber call-out fees, and it is ideal to ensure your heating system works reliably before the really cold weather arrives," he explains.
"We recommend only heating your home when you are home to avoid unnecessary expenses."
If you are looking to cut costs, there are plenty of clever heating hacks on can put into practice to help you save money this winter.
How to be energy efficient when the heating is on
With the ongoing energy crisis, it's never been more important to smart about your heating. Here are 10 expert-backed tips on how to be energy efficient when the heating is on.
Upgrade your thermostat
The thermostat controls your home’s temperature by communicating with your boiler. Thermostats, particularly in older homes with older heating systems, can degrade over time and such degradation can lead to delays in your boiler switching on, or your home being heated at much higher temperatures than required.
"Upgrading your thermostat could provide for greater accuracy in thermostat to boiler communication, preventing energy from being wasted, and saving you money," explains Jordan Chance, heating expert from PlumbNation.
Stop the draught
Stopping heat from escaping through unwanted gaps is one of the most effective ways to save energy and therefore money.
"To draught-proof your home, you need to primarily identify the 'problem areas' where draughts are causing issues, these could include doors, windows, chimneys and floorboards," explains Chance. "You can block unwanted gaps by using draught-proofing strips around your windows and doors, or flexible silicone-based filler to fill the gaps in your floorboards."
Put on another layer
Instead of heating your home to be warm enough to walk around in shorts and a t-shirt, try turning your thermostat down and add an extra jumper. "Adding clothing layers will insulate your body and make it easier to regulate your body’s temperature," Chance says. "The more layers you wear, the less the heating will need to be on."
Smart soft furnishings
Believe it or not soft furnishings, such as curtains and rugs, can actually help your home become more energy-efficient. "If you have a carpeted home then it will naturally help to boost insulation; however, if you have hard flooring investing in some good quality materials, such as a plush rug, will help to prevent heat from being lost," Chance adds.
Try the ‘step-down’ challenge
And turn down your thermostat by 1C. "By turning your heating down by just 1C, you can save up to 10% on your heating bill," explains Chance.
It is also important to avoid classic thermostat faux pas. "Contrary to popular belief, turning up your thermostat does not heat up your room quicker," he adds. "This method will only send your energy bills skyrocketing."
Read: Cost-conscious woman shares tips for saving £500 per month (Yahoo Life UK, 5-min read)
Clean your radiators
If your radiators aren't in your weekly cleaning routine, then it’s time to add them. "A buildup of dust can affect your health, allergies and your heating," explains chance. "Layers of dust in your radiator can prevent heat from escaping effectively, meaning your radiators will have to work harder to warm your room."
Don't try your washing on the radiator
According to Chance, the clothes that you place over the top of your radiators prevent the heat from escaping and heating your room, meaning that your boiler has to pick up the slack and work at a greater rate. "Similarly, the increase in the air's moisture can create condensation, leading to potential issues with mould and dampness," he adds.
Check radiator covers
If you have a radiator cover make sure to check that it is a good conductor of heat. "Radiator covers made from materials such as wood are poor conductors and can prevent heat from being dispersed effectively - wasting energy and money," Chance explains. "If your radiator cover has a solid top then you may be losing even more heat, as it will be absorbed by the top of the cover."
Bleed your radiators
Bleeding your radiator is essential in preventing the efficiency of your radiator from decreasing, as a result of air entering your heating system. "The quickest way to check if air has entered your heating system is to turn your central heating on and feel your radiator," Chance suggests. "If the radiator is warm at the bottom but cold at the top this is generally a sign that air is present."
Service your boiler
If your boiler is ageing and has seen better days, there’s a strong chance it won’t be working as efficiently as it once was. "Defective boilers can increase your heating bill massively as they will need to work significantly harder to bring your home up to the desired temperature," Chance explains. He recommends getting your boiler serviced every 12 months (preferably before the winter season), to ensure that your boiler is running efficiently and safely.