The exact date you should turn your heating off according to Met Office data
This is the date to turn your heating off… And it’s later than usual
With spring on the horizon and the clocks set to go forwards at the end of the month, warm weather is well within sight, and experts have revealed the exact date you should switch the heating off.
Using Met Office data, we analysed average temperatures over the past five years to reveal the date when Brits can look forward to hotter weather and lower bills.
The switch off date
Average temperatures generally rise above 10° Celsius (C) from March 7th but with the Arctic blast this year, cold weather has plagued the nation for longer, which means the date we can expect to turn our heating off has been delayed.
With typical temperatures consistently exceeding 14°C by March 22nd, this should be the date we can expect to turn our heating off, but that is not the case this year.
Due to the cold spell that hit the nation in early to mid March, the date that is predicted to be warm enough to no longer need heating will be 10 days later than usually predicted, on April 1st.
By this date, temperatures over the past five years have reached as high as 17°C (2021), and the weather is expected to be back to normal for the time of year.
Do the clocks count?
There is a common misconception that when the clocks go forwards is the time when heating is used less. But that is not the case in Britain where warmer temperatures occur very gradually.
There isn’t a specific temperature that heating should be turned off. But once the outside temperature reaches more than 14°C it is generally warm enough to do so.
Research shows that this usually happens at the beginning of spring. However, due to the Arctic blast setting us back this year we can expect to have our heating turned up from the start of April, when the weather turns warm enough.
Heating and health
With the current financial pressures on people across the nation it is tempting to turn heating off as early as possible. But be careful of the 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 properties temperature before making a decision.
To help Brits get their heating working better and save money on bills, we have provided our three top tips to get the most out of radiators and a boiler:
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. Not only will this lower energy bills, it also has health benefits for those who suffer with allergies
Update your thermostat
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.
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.
Service the boiler
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.
This should be serviced regularly to ensure it is working safely, especially those with an older one.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Leaving the heating off can be a contributory factor to minor health issues such as common colds, particularly in the colder winter months of the year. What’s more, the likelihood of mould increases when hot water radiators and central heating are left switched off, which can enhance the prospects of respiratory infections.
To learn more, browse our dedicated blog, The dangers of NOT using your heating.
Mould can form in households where the heating is consistently left off, as it results from water failing to dry out properly, typically in spaces that are poorly ventilated or underheated. The process of leaving hot water radiators and central heating systems switched off increases the likelihood of these conditions occurring.
Damp areas fail to dry out as well in colder houses, so the best practice to avoid mould is to use heating systems to ensure the space is comfortably warm and properly ventilated.
To find out more, browse our blog, The dangers of NOT using your heating.
It is commonplace for a combi boiler to fire up now and again even when the central heating is switched off. The boiler can tend to do this even when heat or hot water is not being demanded by or distributed to your home radiators or alternate heating devices.
This method of pre-heating enables your boiler to guarantee hot water is available as soon as it is turned back on. Otherwise, you might need to run your taps for a while until the hot water supply returns, which could cause your energy use and bills to spiral in turn.
To find out more, visit our related blog, Why are my radiators getting hot when the heating is off?
Most commonly, issues with valves lead to radiators working as usual despite the heating being switched off. Especially in warm summer climes and with a massive emphasis placed on keeping energy bills as low as possible, the prospect of home radiators turning on whilst the central heating is switched off is unappealing.
The problem will typically stem from troubles with diverter valves or check valves, with the latter often associated with older boiler or central heating system models. For a more detailed insight on why radiators seem to switch on by themselves, and how to combat the problem, take a look at our dedicated blog; Why are my radiators getting hot when the heating is off?
Jess has a passion for interior design and wants to inspire people to look at radiators as home decor. She enjoys keeping on top of the latest design and heating trends to ensure the Advice Centre has all the information and inspiration homeowners need to make the best choice for them.