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19th Oct 2023

Energy expert settles debate of when we should put the heating back on

Steve Hopkins

You can stop fighting now

It is the time of the year that the annual debate divides households across Ireland – When is it time to switch the heating back on?

September was the warmest on record, and October also got away to a hot start with some high temperatures around 23 and 24 degrees, earlier this month.

But while that was just days ago, we’re now dealing with red, amber and yellow weather warnings, with a four-day stretch of downpours and strong winds on the way. And temperatures have dropped about 13C.

The cost of living crisis and soaring energy prices meant many in Ireland and the United Kingdom probably froze for at least part of last Winter. Over in the UK, last year, the first two weeks of December were the coldest start to meteorological winter since 2010, The Met Office reported. In Ireland, the average temperature drops from 10C to 7C in November, and down to 5C in December.

So, with all that in mind, when should people living in Ireland flick on the heating?

Andy Kerr, who works for BOXT – a leading boiler company – explained how waiting until the hour changes is probably the best strategy. Speaking with the Liverpool Echo, he said:

“While some might delay putting the heating on to save money, many are turning it on sooner rather than later to combat that chilly feeling.

“Experts recommend turning on your central heating on around the 29th of October, as this is when daylight saving time ends and temperatures begin to fall.”


Heating costs may be aided by November forecast in Ireland

Andy Kerr said his company “always advise” keeping thermostats at a minimum of 10 degrees “to protect your pipes from freezing”.

“Frozen pipes not only stop your heating from working properly, but can lead to costly complications, including burst pipes and plumber call-out fees, and it is ideal to ensure your heating system works reliably before the really cold weather arrives.”

And if you are struggling to keep the heating on, Andy also had some tips for keeping the house warmer this winter.

First, get your boiler serviced. Kerr says that could cut 10 per cent off your heating bill.

He also recommends keeping your radiators open and unblocked, and positioning furniture a bit away from them. Kerr also advises against drying clothes on the radiator – if that’s an option.

As for when to switch it on and off, Kerr suggests the morning and during the day while you’re at home – so programme it to come on before you wake up – then have it go off an hour after you go to sleep.

The positive for those of us fearing high costs and heating bills is that Met Eireann predict there will be higher temperatures than normal – albeit with more rain forecast – all the way up to mid November.

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