As the nights draw in and the days become colder, we all are confronted with the same question; “should I turn the heating on?” Few among us easily accept the impending winter by choosing to flick the switch, if only just to “take the edge off…”. So why do we play a game of chicken with the seasons, awaiting near freezing conditions and mild hypothermia, before we allow ourselves the simple comfort of a warm home?
Environmental concerns have grown in importance and certainly impact on our decision making. Alternatively we might have acquired a habit from childhood, which has indelibly printed the recurring request, shouted by parent’s everywhere, of “turn the heating down!”. anyone who touched the thermostat in our home! However, the most common reason is financial. Since the crash of 08, we’ve been squeezed by rising fuel costs and the cost of living. The impact on our disposable income has caused homeowners to be more attentive of how wasteful we might be of our heating. Many urban myths and mistruths also pervade our thinking, i.e. leaving your heating on low all day is better than only turning it on when we need to. I can see the logic, but the reality is that most homes are inefficient at retaining heat, so you’ll likely waste more fuel. So, three reasons which can influence your decision to not turn the heating on, when all you want to do is turn the heating on! And one urban myth which suggests, never turning it off is sensible!
So what should we do? It’s going to be hard to persuade the energy companies to dramatically reduce their fuel prices in the long term. Yes, some fuel prices have reduced this year, but it is inevitable that fossil fuel prices will again rise. So logically, all you can do is influence our own habits. In other words, you should concentrate on being more efficient in your use of fuel, so there’s more money in your wallet and you’re also not wasting the earth’s resources.
Energy efficient boilers go a long way to satisfying any guilt associated with being cavalier with the heating controls. You don’t need Sherlock Holmes to unravel the mystery – the clue is in the title! And they are becoming even more efficient, with companies like Worcester Bosch setting high standards. They work quickly, quietly and cheaply.
Smart heating controls have received much positive press, which has focused on the convenience of being able to control your heating from your phone. The real benefit is to be found in how it can make your heating run more efficiently and save you money.
A gas fire may not be as efficient as a radiator, but on a cold winters day, you can’t deny the restorative effect of being able to warm yourself by a fire. Thankfully advances have been made in fires too, with 80% efficient gas fires being standard, when they were once as low as 20% efficient, which meant the majority of the heat you produce (and pay for) goes up the chimney!
There are other ways to reduce fuel bills, conserve the heat in your home and leave more money in your pocket, which we will cover in the coming months. In the meantime, consider how you can be more efficient in your home, whilst keeping the family warm (and happy), and perhaps you’ll be better off too.