When the clocks go forward, everyone is want to crack jokes about having to adjust the clocks on the microwave or in the car. You might even get the old “at least that’s the clock showing the right time again!”. And while it can be a nuisance trying to get all your clocks showing the right time again, there is one little box in the home that most people wouldn’t even dare thinking of touching any time of year: the central heating thermostat.
The humble thermostat will easily scare off any newcomers and cause those who don’t know how to control a three/four-button box to their knees. At this time of year, when you need to have the heating on less, it is important that you master your home heating. So what can someone do to ensure they’re less reliant on central heating? Here are some of my tips on helping your radiators, thermostat and home heating throughout summer.
Your boiler’s temperature
Every boiler has a magic number. You might not know what yours is (I will wait while you do a quick Google to see). Your reliance on your boiler should decrease significantly in the summertime, especially if you use oil in your heating system and have an electric shower. In fact, if you’re reading this and have oil, go outside and check what the thermometer is set to. 75-82°C is the sweet spot in the UK for the wintertime, but many people forget or don’t know that you should lower it to around the 60°C mark in the summer.
You’re not just lowering the boiler because you are less reliant on hot water, but any bacteria that could enter a domestic system accidentally typically can’t handle water above 60°C. Just don’t knock everything off even when your house stays warm naturally. Not letting water flow through and do its job is prime time for air to build up and cause all kinds of problems come autumn.
If you think that’s all a little too much, read this article on upgrading to a smart thermostat.
You need a “seasonal” radiator
Even the warmest of summer days can still leave you freezing in the house at night. And we all have a room or two at home, which always seems to have a chill in the air. Without having to turn off and adjust every single radiator for the sake of the entire heating system needing directed towards your living room or bedroom, get with the times, and think about getting an electric radiator. They are incredibly nifty pieces of kit that are completely independent (no plumbing!), look like any other radiator and don’t need any upkeep (bye-bye bleeding the radiator).
I recommend looking at electric radiators solutions like these ones from Trade Radiators here. You want to have an electric radiator that matches the room and other radiators. Don’t even think of getting those white plastic plug-in radiators that look out of place. Get yourself a solid and reliable electric radiator that can hang on the wall. The great thing about them is after summer is over, if you still use them, you can lower the usage coming from normal radiators, i.e. you’ll be buying less oil or gas in the middle of the winter.
Your radiator valve numbers
Speaking of lowering things on radiators, the world of the radiator valve can be a mystery in itself, although it doesn’t need to be as confusing as the dial inside your fridge (usually, the higher the dial number is, the colder the fridge gets). In the warmer months, get those valves turned right down to 1 or 2. Any higher, and you’re asking a room to think it is the middle of winter.
A thermostatic radiator sitting around 2 will be under the impression you want the room to be sitting around 15-17°C at night; much warmer than you think. Play around with your valves. You should easily see usage drop as you for less from the boiler (remembering what I said about boiler temperature).
Are you looking to avoid a hot summer?
I hope reading this article gives you some insight into dealing with adaptable heating solutions as the warmer months are upon us. If you are lucky enough to have AC at home, make sure you read this article featuring 5 Air Conditioning Tips For Summer so you can have the temperature just how you like (and need) it in the summer months.
Don’t forget, we also have an HVAC section full of helpful tips for heating and cooling around the home.