Is your heating on yet?

There are many old-wives tales and traditions that people rely on about when to switch on their heating for the winter. The first of October is known as "central heating day", the day when most people switch on their heating for the winter. But some people wait till the clocks go back and the more hardy wait till the first frost! So when is best to switch your heating on in the winter?

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Burn boiler ... BURN!

Here at "How Green Am I?" we recommend simply switching on your heating when it is cold outside. After all, to be efficient you first must be effective! A general rule of thumb is to switch on the heating when it is colder than 16°C outside. The modern home with cookers, lighting, gadgets and of course warm bodies can raise the internal temperature by around 4°C. So at 16°C and above outside you can generally still be comfortable inside.

The idea that switching your heating on is all or nothing, is mistaken. When using a thermostat, the heating will only switch on when it is needed. In other words when the internal temperature drops below your threshold, say 20°C, so at the moment you won't even notice it being on. Here at HGAI mansions the heating was reactivated a few weeks ago during the cold spell. Over the last couple of weeks it has only switched on a few times, generally in the mornings after a cold night.

As heating systems that have been idle over the summer reluctantly come out of hibernation over the next few weeks, more often than not with a fault, your local heating engineer will be run of his/her feet. To be on the safe side, British Gas recommend switching your heating on during the summer for a few minutes, just to test it, so you can sort any problems before the really cold weather kicks in.

So now is a good time, whilst it is still warm, to check your boiler and bleed your radiators. Whilst you are at it, try out lowering the temperature on your thermostat by one degree, you could save around £65 a year. Oh and don't forget to check out our 8 energy saving tips that cost nothing.

Do you have a traditional time when you turn on your heating, are you waiting for the first frost? Let us know in the comments below!