When the summer ends and the temperature drops, the inevitable question is asked in most households: “When should we switch on the heating?”.
Perhaps your family members aren’t feeling the cold, while you’re starting to shiver? Perhaps you’re trying to remember the last time you had a boiler service?
Turning on the heating costs money. According to the moneysavingexpert.com, the average household uses twice as much gas during the winter as it does during the summer.
And if you haven’t had a boiler service recently, that’s another expense to consider – and potentially a boiler repair or boiler replacement.
These days, people consider the environment more and more when decided when it’s time to switch on the heating. Unlike electricity, gas doesn’t tend to be quite so environmentally friendly because it’s not renewable.
So, when should you switch on your heating?
There’s no rule that says that you must switch on the heating on a specific date.
Most people tend to switch on the heating towards the end of October. Some refuse to switch on the heating until the clocks change.
If the weather stays warm, you can leave the heating off until you feel that you need to use it. However, if the summer ends early, it’s perfectly fine to switch the heating on.
Some people switch on their heating as soon as the temperature drops. Others prefer to wear extra clothing and only using the heating when they absolutely need to. The important thing is to be prepared.
Getting ready to switch on your heating
If you haven’t had a boiler service for a while, it’s worth having a boiler service while it’s still warm enough to manage without your boiler for a few days. Making sure your boiler is operating efficiently will also help to minimise your energy bills.
If your boiler service identifies major issues, the advance warning will be worth its weight in gold. A boiler repair or boiler replacement is never fun, but it’s less painful if you’re not relying on your heating to keep your family warm.
It’s also worth spending time bleeding your radiators to make sure they’re working efficiently. This is a simple task that you can do yourself with a cheap tool that’s readily available on the High Street.
Preventing burst pipes
In the winter months, don’t avoid switching on your heating any longer than you have to. You should continue to heat your home – even if only on minimum heat. It’s important not to let the temperature drop to below freezing.
Leaving your heating turned off can lead to burst pipes because the water in the pipes expands when it freezes, creating leaks. Once that water thaws again it flows from those leaks causing damage.
Most thermostats will keep your home heated to around five degrees to prevent this from happening.
Setting up a smart home
Thankfully, new technology allows you to keep your home heated when you want it heated. It also allows you to avoid wasting energy when your home doesn’t need to be quite so warm.
A smart thermostat will require some upfront investment, but over time that investment can save you money and pay for itself. A variety of options are available including Hive, NEST and Honeywell smart thermostats.
The basic options will let you switch on your heating manually via a phone app when you’re getting close to home. This gives your home a chance to warm up as if you’d turned the heating on yourself.
More sophisticated options use something called geofencing. This uses the location data in your phone to work out when you’re getting close to home. It will then turn your heating on for you automatically when you’re getting close.
Setting your home up with smart technology, before you switch on the heating, could be a smart move.
Other considerations before you switch on the heating
Even if your boiler service gives your boiler a clean bill of health, there are other things that you can do to minimise your winter fuel bill.
Rather than walking around your home in summer clothing, you can save money by wearing warmer clothing to postpone the point where you have to start using your heating.
It’s also worth considering insulation. Simple tricks such as draught excluders cost very little and are easy to fit. They stop your heat escaping and keep your home warm. Drawing the curtains can have a similar effect.
In conclusion, there’s no recommended temperature or date on which you should switch on yourheating.
It very much depends on how much you feel the cold, how well insulated your home is and how much you’re determined to save money…and the planet.
If you’d like a boiler service, boiler installation, boiler repair or smart thermostat installation, we can help. Our Gas Safe engineers are skilled at replacing and repairing boilers. Call Great British Heating on 0800 131 0275. We’re open 24/7!