This is the date you should put the heating on – according to the experts

It’s the age-old debate. When is the best exact date to put the heating on?

Now that it’s decidedly autumn, it feels like it might be nearly time to give your home a little boost of warmth, but with the ongoing energy crisis it has never been more important to be smart about your utilities bills.

So, is it best to layer up and try to make it to October?

Or is there a perfect day in September when you should reach for that thermostat? We asked the experts.

Jordan Chance, heating expert from PlumbNation says: ‘Turning on your central heating is notably one of the sure signs that winter has arrived. Although there is no single temperature at which you should turn your heating on, many aim for the time when clocks go back, falling this year on October 31.’ 

If you don’t think you can last that long, don’t worry. Jordan says there are plenty of clever hacks you can employ to delay putting the heating on that won’t leave you and family freezing all season.

‘Using a draught excluder is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to keep your home warm, preventing cold air from entering and warm air from leaving under your doors,’ says Jordan.

‘Keeping your curtains closed, or investing in a thermal curtain lining can likewise help to prevent warm air from escaping – this trick alone can reduce heat loss by up to 25%. ‘

Jordan even advises actually listening to that classic piece of parental advice – put a jumper on.

‘This old argument can certainly keep you warmer for longer, and save the big switch on for a later date,’ he adds.

‘It is also important to note that leaving your heating on low all day does not reduce your heating bills.

‘Having the heating on only as and when you need it, is the best way to save energy. Using a thermostat with a timer offers a simple and speedy solution to controlling your heating effectively.’

How to save money on your heating bill

Jordan has also put together his top 10 tips to help you save money on your heating:

Upgrade your thermostat

Your thermostat controls your home’s temperature by communicating with your boiler. Thermostats, particularly in older homes with older heating systems, can degrade over time.

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.

Stop draughts

Stopping heat from escaping through unwanted gaps is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and 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.

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. 

Introduce soft furnishings 

Soft furnishings, such as curtains and rugs, can make all the difference in saving money on your heating.

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. 

Turn your thermostat down by 1°C 

An excessive heating bill can be easily rectified with the ‘step-down’ challenge. By turning your heating down by just 1°C, you can save up to 10% on your heating bill. The typical heating range is between 18- 21°C, so why don’t you see how low you can go?

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. This method will only send your energy bills skyrocketing.

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 bill. 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 dry clothes on your radiator 

We would recommend that you stop using your radiators to dry your clothes.

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 – increasing costs.

Similarly, the increase in the air’s moisture can create condensation, leading to potential issues with mould and dampness. 

Check your radiator cover 

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.

Also, 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. If the radiator is warm at the bottom but cold at the top this is generally a sign that air is present.

You can find a step-by-step guide on how to bleed your radiators online.

Get your boiler serviced 

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.

We recommend that you get your boiler serviced every 12 months (preferably before the winter season), to ensure that your boiler is running efficiently and safely. 

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