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Winter Warmth: A Guide to Efficient Heating and Cost-Saving Tips


As the temperature drops, and winter blankets become a necessity, the question of when to turn on your heating and how to keep your home warm becomes crucial. Here's your comprehensive guide to navigating the winter chill with practical tips and expert advice.

When to Turn on Your Heating:

The debate on the best time to switch on your heating in the UK is ongoing. However, most experts suggest turning it on when the temperature consistently drops, especially as the nights grow longer and the clocks change. This typically occurs around the end of October.

Heating Habits: To Leave On or Off?

The Energy Saving Trust advises against leaving your boiler on all day, emphasising that extended usage will result in higher costs. Instead, set timers to activate the heating before you wake up and turn it off after bedtime. If no one is home during the day, schedule it to switch off before leaving and back on just before returning.

Optimal Boiler Temperature:

Maintain a thermostat setting between 18°C and 21°C, adjusting to 23°C if vulnerable individuals are present. Bedrooms can be slightly cooler, with the NHS recommending 16°C to 20°C for baby bedrooms. Different from room temperature, boiler temperature (water inside pipes) should not fall below 65°C for regular boilers or 60°C for combi boilers to prevent bacteria growth.

Efficiency of Radiator Controls:

Most radiators come with adjustable controls, known as thermostatic radiator valves. The Energy Saving Trust recommends setting them between three and four initially, adjusting as needed for room comfort. Proper use of these controls can contribute to energy savings.

Bleeding Radiators:

Regularly bleed your radiators to remove air bubbles, ensuring efficient heating. Aim to bleed them annually as the cold weather sets in. Use a screwdriver or radiator key to release air, closing the valve once the hissing stops.

Selective Room Heating:

To save on heating costs, focus on warming the rooms you use most frequently. Utilise radiator controls and remember to close doors to unheated rooms. Draught excludes can further enhance warmth.

Staying Warm Without Raising the Heat:

Combat the chill by wearing warm clothing and using cosy bedding. Open curtains during sunny spells to harness natural warmth, but be sure to close them as the sun sets to retain heat.

Government Assistance:

Explore available government assistance for heating costs, especially if you are a pensioner or receive certain benefits. You can check if you are entitled to upgraded insulation or new efficient heating systems here.


Master the art of efficient heating and cost-saving measures this winter with these practical tips. From optimal thermostat settings to bleeding radiators, these simple strategies can make a significant difference in keeping your home warm while being mindful of your energy consumption and expenses. Stay warm and cosy throughout the winter months!


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