Exact date you should turn your heating off and it’s earlier than usual

Is it time to switch off the central heating? (Getty Images)
Is it time to switch the central heating off? (Getty Images)

Experts have revealed the recommended date to switch the heating off and this year it is ten days earlier than usual.

Whether you're tucked up under blankets having already turned the thermostat down, or you're enjoying a toasty boost of warmth from your radiators with no plans to knock off the heat any time soon, deciding when to turn the central heating on and off is dividing the nation.

Throw in an ongoing cost of living crisis and the decision about when to switch off the heating is set to be even more significant this year.

While some households might also be in the grips of a battle of the sexes when it comes to having control of the thermostat, experts have waded in to reveal the date we should be pulling the plug on the cosiness.

Online heating specialists, BestHeating, have used Met Office data to analyse the average temperatures over the past five years, to reveal the correct date Brits can look forward to hotter weather and lower bills.

Average temperatures generally creep above 10°C from March 7th, but with the mercury rising and the odd fluke day of hot weather, spring feels like it's coming around a lot faster than the previous years.

That means the date we can expect to turn our heating off is earlier than expected.

With typical temperatures consistently exceeding 14°C by March 22nd, this should be the date we can expect to turn our heating off, 10 days earlier than last year due to this year's warmer temps.

"There is a common misconception that when the clocks go forwards that is the time when heating is used less, but that is not the case in Britain where warmer temperatures occur very gradually," explains Jess Steele, heating technology expert at BestHeating.

While there isn’t a specific temperature that heating should be turned off, once the outside temperature reaches more than 14°C Steele says it is generally warm enough to do so.

"Research shows that this usually happens at the beginning of spring and with the rise in warmer temperatures this year, we can expect to have our heating turned off earlier than usual."

With Brits looking to make savings where possible it can be tempting to turn the heating off early, but Steele has a word of warning about the potential health impacts this can have.

"The chance of increased blood pressure or cardiovascular disease rises significantly for a home that is below 13°C, when the body is also more susceptible to respiratory diseases, therefore it’s vital to check your property's temperature before making a decision."

Experts have revealed when we should be switching off our heating. (Getty Images)
Experts have revealed when we should be switching off our heating. (Getty Images)

To help us get the most out of our heating, while it's still on, and save money on bills the heating experts have provided their top tips to get the most out of our radiators and boiler.

Expert tips for getting the most out of your heating

1. 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, which can lead to delays in your boiler switching on, or your home being heated at much higher temperatures than you need.

"Your thermostat works by monitoring the average temperature of your home and sending a signal to the boiler to ensure it’s never too hot or too cold compared to what it has been set at," explains Steele.

"Older thermostats are less accurate and less efficient than new or SMART ones, so consider upgrading it to prevent wasted energy."

Similarly, if the thermostat is positioned somewhere that the temperature is constantly changing, it won’t be economical.

"It is best to keep it on an interior wall that is in a frequently used room located in the centre of a home,” Steele adds.

2. 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," explains Jordan Chance, heating expert from PlumbNation.

"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."

3. Add an Extra Layer (or two!)

Other half always telling you to put on another layer? They may have a point. Instead of heating your home to be warm enough to walk around in shorts and a T-shirt, why not turn your thermostat down and put on a jumper?

"Adding clothing layers will insulate your body and make it easier to regulate your body’s temperature," Chance explains. "The more layers you wear, the less the heating will need to be on, reducing your heating bills."

Here's how to make the most of your heating. (Getty Images)
Here's how to make the most of your heating. (Getty Images)

4. Switch up your home furnishings

Believe it or not, 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," Chance adds.

5. 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," Chance explains.

The typical heating range is between 18- 21°C, but reducing your own level of cosy by just 1°C can make all the difference.

"It is also important to avoid classic thermostat ‘faux pas’," Chance adds. "Contrary to popular belief, turning up your thermostat does NOT heat up your room quicker. This method will only send your energy bills skyrocketing."

6. Clean your radiators

Hands up whose radiators are always left out of their weekly cleaning routine? Well, now's the time to add them in.

"Dust and dirt build up in radiators and this can cause less heat to escape, so make sure radiators are part of your regular cleaning routine, and that they are thoroughly done at least once a year," Steele advises.

"Not only will this lower energy bills, it also has health benefits for those who suffer with allergies."

7. Don’t use your radiators as a clothes dryer

Turns out the clothes that you place over the top of your radiators prevent the heat from escaping and heating your room. This means 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," Chance adds.

8. Check your radiator cover

If you have a radiator cover it's worth checking 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," explains Chance.

"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."

March 22nd is the expert-backed date to switch off your heating. (Getty Images)
March 22nd is the expert-backed date to switch off your heating. (Getty Images)

9. Bleed your radiators

It may be the most searched DIY task, but according to Chance, bleeding your radiator is essential in preventing the efficiency of your radiator from decreasing due to 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," he explains. "If the radiator is warm at the bottom but cold at the top this is generally a sign that air is present."

10. 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.

"If radiators aren’t working efficiently or your bills seem higher than they should be, there is a good chance the boiler is the trigger," Steele explains. "This should be serviced regularly to ensure it is working safely, especially those with an older one."

Steele says the majority of manufacturers also require this to be done yearly for the warranty to be valid.

"There is no better time to service a boiler than when the heating is used less," she continues. "An engineer can do this in as little as 20 minutes and any small issues will be spotted before they become more dangerous and costly."

Heating: Read more

Watch: Jeremy Hunt promises 'permanent cuts in taxation' ahead of pre-election budget