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Heating During Winter

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Heating During Winter

The temperature has started dropping and small disagreements over the thermostat have already started rising we decided to put together this article to help you understand how to heat your home during the winter months.

Winter is nearly here and at the moment it feels like it has already arrived. Days are drawing in shorter, the temperature outside and inside can feel perishing compared with the temperature only two months ago and with that comes the small arguments over the heating being put on or left off. Times are really challenging for a whole range of people across the UK and unfortunately some households will simply not be able to afford to put the heating on all night. The team at Warma UK, being experts in heating and insulation, wanted to give you a helping hand on how to maximise the heating efficiency in your home. 

Countrywide the impact of our heating is gargantuan. In 2013, 85% of all household energy use in the UK went towards keeping our homes and water warm during the winter months, this is equivalent to burning 37 million tonnes of oil. Almost all of that heating is provided by burning natural gas which is why the government has made tackling the reduction in energy use its top priority and is a large part of the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon goals. 

Should I turn up the thermostat to heat the house quickly?

If you feel the chill during the winter nights it might be tempting to turn up your heating in the hope that the boiler works hard to get to a higher temperature and then to turn it back down once the boiler reaches the desired temperature. In most cases this doesn’t actually make your home heat up any faster. As an example if you have the thermostat set for 30c the boiler will still get to that temperature at exactly the same rate as if you had the thermostat set for 25c. The boiler continues to work at the same rate until your house has reached the temperature set by the thermostat and then it will turn off. 

There are a couple of ways to get more heat into your property more quickly. You can invest in bigger radiators which are better at heating up larger rooms or you could turn up the dials on your boiler as this increases the temperature of the water running through the radiators. It is noted that changing the boiler temperature isn’t recommended so it is advised to find a setting you like and then allow the thermostat to warm the house up to its desired temperature. 

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If I’m only in one room, is a space heater better than heating the whole house?

Space heaters generally use electricity to heat a very small section of the room. If you live in a large house and you are only using a small corner of it then you might end up using less energy overall if you are using an electric space heater. The downside of using a space heater is that electricity is much more expensive than gas, so you will end up having to use considerably less heat for it to work out cost effective to use the space heater rather than your central heating. If you need to heat more than one room then you are much better off using your central heating instead. Newer central heating system radiators come with isolator dials meaning you can decide to turn off individual radiators around the house.

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Should I shut doors to trap heat or let heat circulate the house?

Throughout a house the hot and cold spots will change depending on a wide range of factors. If for example you have not got insulation in your loft, the top of your house might be a lot colder than the bottom of your house. If you have a draughty front door or back door then it will be likely that the downstairs will be cooler. The aim is to try and keep the heat in spaces where it is being generated. Just be mindful that the room doesn’t become too stifling. Keeping the heat circulating in newly built houses is a lot easier than older houses thanks to a big leap in insulation of newer built properties. Having cavity wall insulation or roof & loft insulation is a great way to improve the heating circulating properties of your house

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What’s the easiest way to make my house warmer?

Changing the settings on your boiler will only take you so far in ensuring your house stays warmer throughout the winter. If you get a new boiler then your heating bill may reduce by around 10% but if you live in a draughty property and you decide to insulate it properly then you could reduce the heat loss from that building by 20% to 30%. This is why the UK government is currently offering replacement boiler grants for homeowners and to install insulation.

What temperature should I be setting my thermostat at?

In the UK most household thermostats are set to 20C over the winter with an average room temperature of 18C. Here at Warma UK we say that if you want to make your heating as energy efficient as possible then you want to think about what the average temperature of your house is throughout the entire day. This can be an effective way to make your property more energy efficient instead of whether you have spikes of heat during the day.

Michael Cornish