The ideal way to set your heating in spring
Daffodils, lambs and sunny days –that’s what springtime is all about. But we can’t trust the Great British weather to be on our side all the time. In April, we can expect to see 2.3 days of snow and temperatures to sit at an average of 7.7°C. It’s hardly balmy. Having said that, spring often surprises us with glorious hot days and temperatures reaching the low 20s. Last year, for example, was one of the sunniest Aprils on record with 224.5hours of sunshine.
With such unpredictable weather, how do you set your heating for spring? Lots of us want to dial the heating down a notch to save some money when the warmer days come around. At the same time, it’s important to keep your home warm and dry to prevent damp and condensation – which can be a problem when April showers hit.
Here are a few tricks to help you strike the temperature balance in spring, whether you use a thermostat or prefer a timer.
Set your rooms at different temperatures
With a thermostat, you can set your rooms at the same temperature all year round. Ideally, this should be higher than 18°C if you want to stay comfortable and healthy when you’re wearing warm clothing. But you might find that you use less heating oil by setting the temperature differently from room to room.
For example, your living room could be a touch higher, say nearer 21°C, because you’ll likely be sitting down and wanting to feel cosier in the evenings. You may also want your bathroom warmer to prevent you from getting a chill when you step out of the shower or bath.
Your kitchen, however, could be colder as your oven will heat the room near mealtimes and keep it nice and warm. And your bedroom temperature can go down to 16°C because your duvet should keep you warm while you sleep.
Try radiator valves
If you use a timer, rather than a thermostat, you could use heating valves to achieve the same effect. Keep them high in the lounge and bathroom and lower in the kitchen and the hallways. But it’s worthwhile turning them up in bedrooms. You’ll likely have the heating off when you sleep, but you’ll still want a quick burst of heat on chilly spring mornings.
Keep a note of when you’re warm and cold
Lots of us already time the heating to come on when we’re at home and to stay off or low when we’re out. But this year, it might be a little more difficult to judge. We’re spending much more time at home (especially those working from home) and we’re socialising outside, meaning we need warming up when we get in.
It helps to keep a note of your day-to-day schedule and when you’re feeling chilly. You might notice that you’re often out and about over your lunch break, or that the sun comes through the window in the afternoon warming up your desk. Or you may find that you need a cuppa to warm up mid-morning, or that you’re getting complaints from family members that they’re feeling chilly. Once you know the cold points in your day, you can time your heating around you.
Check the forecast
Even with your heating set to come on when you need it, spring weather can always make your plans go wayward. That’s why our final tip is to check the forecast. You shouldn’t need to change your heating for days that are only a few degrees warmer, but if there’s a heatwave (where temperatures edge towards 20°C), you shouldn’t need the afternoon bursts. The warmest times of the day are typically between 3pm and 6pm, so you may still want your mid-morning and evening warm-ups when you’re more likely to feel the chill.
With spring already proving to be up and down with its temperatures, it’s worth topping up your heating oil to make sure you have enough supplies for those crisp spring days.