Posted: Wed 25th Oct 2023

Hotter than Ibiza: More than two million households set their thermostat above 23°c despite high energy bills

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 25th, 2023

More than two million households are setting their thermostats at or above 23°C — the same temperature as it is in Ibiza, reveals new research from Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service.

The average household switched on their heating around 12th October this year, compared to 10th October in 2022 — delaying the big switch-on by two days.

Thermostats are being set at 19°C on average this winter, down very slightly from 19.1°C last year.

The average temperature is in line with Energy Saving Trust guidelines, which recommends heating your home to between 18°C and 21°C during winter, although the World Health Organisation suggests 18°C for people in good health.

A fifth of households (20%) are planning to set their thermostats below the recommended levels to save money, with nearly one in ten (8%) planning to heat their home to 17°C, and 12% at 16°C or lower.

High energy prices mean many households are being cautious over their energy use. Two in five households (44%) will only turn the heating on if they are too cold, while three in ten (30%) will only heat some rooms in their home.

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that people can save 10% on their heating bills for every degree they turn down their thermostats, though it is recommended that people do not set them lower than 18°C.

With temperatures likely to drop soon, Uswitch.com advises households to check their boilers are working and serviced correctly before winter arrives.

Uswitch tips for getting boilers ready for winter

1. Check if your boiler is working. Many of us have had our heating switched off for six months or so, and you don’t want to wait for the first sudden drop in temperatures to discover your boiler isn’t working. Consider getting it serviced if you haven’t had one in the last 12 months. If you have an older boiler, you may want to consider boiler cover.

2. Change your thermostat and boiler settings. Check the temperature on your thermostat and adjust it if required. The World Health Organisation suggests most healthy people should heat their homes to 18°C. Reducing the flow rate on combination boilers to around 60°C can cut heating bills, and you won’t notice the difference.

3. Set a heating schedule if you can. Setting a schedule for your heating to go on and off at set times can help to ensure you are not wasting heat while you are not home. For example, you could choose to have your heating come on before you get up in the morning, and just before you come home from work in the evenings.

4. Change your radiator settings. Get ahead of the first cold spell by checking if your radiators are up to scratch. Bleeding your radiators will prevent cold spots, and you may want to consider turning radiator valves down – or off – in the rooms you use less often so you are not heating rooms unnecessarily. Keep your radiators free from obstructions, like furniture, for maximum heat.

Natalie Mathie, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Two million households say they will be cranking the thermostat to 23°C or above this winter – meaning their homes are currently hotter than Ibiza.

“Having the temperature set too high can have a huge impact on bills, as it is estimated that households may add 10% to their heating costs for every one degree they turn up the thermostat.

“At the other end of the scale, it is worrying that many households plan to turn their heating to low levels to save money – as it is recommended that people set their thermostats to between 18°C and 21°C.

“Households should change their energy habits in a safe way, as getting through winter in a cold home can be a health risk.

“Before temperatures drop, it is worthwhile checking your heating system is ready to go as soon as you need it.

“There’s nothing worse than having your boiler break down when it’s freezing outside, so it makes sense to check your boiler is serviced now.

“If you’ve got a boiler that’s more than five years old, it’s worth looking into boiler cover to protect yourself from any nasty shocks.

“If you can, it is recommended that you set a schedule for when your heating goes on and off so you only warm your home up when you need to, and turn down radiator valves in rooms you are not using so you are not heating them unnecessarily.”

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