Autumn is here and whilst I love the season for those cool, crisp, clear Autumn days, it also means it is time to dig out the warmer clothing and wrap up warm. At what point do you put your heating back on? One of our friends will target a date (e.g. 1st October) and stoically won’t budge until then. On the opposite side of the scale, some family members don’t really turn off their heating at all although they will have their thermostat set to about 22°C.
I think we are somewhere in the middle although I must admit that we have a habit of keeping the house a touch warmer since our babies came along than we used to as a couple. Now that they are older, we have tried to drop our thermostat one degree at a time whenever we feel like we can. Our heating came on last week and it’s been set to 18°C. According to various websites, dropping the thermostat by one degree can save you £35-65 a year and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 260-325kg!
When we try reducing the thermostat and find it too cold, we dig out one of our portable heaters (we have two fan heaters and one oil filled radiator) and heat up the room that needs it. To me, it doesn’t make sense to heat up the whole house when we don’t need it, or if we know we’re going to be going out or going to bed soon. Some time ago, I sat down and worked it out that these portable heaters aren’t actually as expensive to run as I imagined. Assuming the heater requires 2kW of power, and the electricity rate is 15 pence per kWh (ignoring the standing charge), to run it for an hour a day is only 30 pence.
For us, when we do use them, we don’t run it for long. The kids sometimes uses the fan heater when they get out the shower and we’ll have the oil filled radiator in the conservatory or in my husband’s office. Fan heaters are great for a quick hit of heat and are the most portable, while the oil filled radiators are great for sustained heat, quiet and are usually cheaper to run.