Secret Heaters: Almost half of people secretly adjust their home temperature to avoid conflict over home heating
People often start to feel the winter blues around this time of year as they realise summer is over and the colder weather is upon us. Some people instinctively turn to the thermostat as soon as it gets cooler and our research shows that this can lead to conflict in the household. However, the start of winter needn’t cause conflict as there are many ways that people can better manage their heating needs to avoid disagreements.
- More than two thirds of Brits admit that turning the heating on causes conflict in their household
- Women are in charge when it comes to turning the home heating on with a third of women making the decision to switch on for the winter months, compared to only a fifth of men
- One in four people questioned don’t plan to have their boiler serviced ahead of the winter months, with cost of the servicing being the main reason
- E.ON’s Green Guru offers tips and advice on how to minimise heating related conflicts in the home this winter
- E.ON offers boiler upgrades with monthly payment options including interest free finance all year round1
As the weather starts to turn cooler and the nights draw in, new research2 by E.ON has revealed that around half (48%) of Brits secretly adjust the temperature of their heating. More than two thirds of people questioned admitted that turning the heating on causes conflict in their household (65%) which is the key driver for the stealthy thermostat behaviour.
Women are mainly the ones who decide when to turn the heating on, with a third (33%) of women owning up to being the ones in the household who decide when to switch on and two thirds of men (36%) saying it’s their wife or partner who makes the decision. That’s compared to only around a fifth of men (19%) making the decision to turn on the heating3.
Not being able to agree on when to switch the heating on is the main cause of the conflict, with over a third saying it being ‘too warm or not cold enough’ is the main reason (39%) and just over a tenth (12%) say the conflict is about what temperature to have the heating on in the first place.
When it comes to preparing for the winter months, almost a quarter (23%) of those questioned say they either haven’t or don’t plan to have their boiler serviced this year, with the cost of this being the main reason (39%) for choosing not to. Around a quarter (26%) say they’d rather ‘leave it and take the risk’ and - worryingly - almost a fifth (19%) say they didn’t realise their boiler needed an annual service.
Mike Feely, E.ON’s Green Guru, says: “People often start to feel the winter blues around this time of year as they realise summer is over and the colder weather is upon us. Some people instinctively turn to the thermostat as soon as it gets cooler and our research shows that this can lead to conflict in the household. People tend to disagree about when to turn the heating on and what temperature it’s set at – which in turn is making many people feel they have to adjust their thermostat in secret.
“But the start of winter needn’t cause conflict as there are many ways that people can better manage their heating needs to avoid disagreements. That’s why we’ve created some top tips and advice to help people get winter ready and ensure everyone in the household remains happy.”
E.ON’s Green Guru’s top winter tips to avoid heating conflicts this winter:
Be temperature aware: The average temperature of a house should be set at between 18-21OC so it’s a good idea to check what the temperature is set to on your thermostat. To save energy turn down the heat when you’re out and only heat the rooms you’re using when you’re at home. Lowering your thermostat by just 1oC can add up to savings of around £75 per year4 and it’s a common misconception that it’s cheaper to leave heating on all day instead of just putting it on when you need it.
Invest in a new boiler: The research revealed around a fifth of people (19%) questioned have a boiler eleven years or older, which means their boiler may not be working as efficiently as it could be. Boilers last on average between 10-15 years so if yours is older consider upgrading your boiler to a more modern energy efficient one and you could save up to £2005 off a typical annual energy bill. Look out for boiler offers, for example E.ON’s boilers come with monthly payment options, including interest free finance to help spread the cost and pay monthly over up to three years. E.ON Energy Installation Services Limited acts as the credit broker and not the lender6. To keep a boiler in tip top condition and working for longer it’s also a good idea to get your boiler serviced annually to ensure that everything is working as efficiently as it should be. Also remember, if your boiler is under guarantee it will require an annual service otherwise the guarantee may be invalid.
Consider investing in smart tech: Installing a smart thermostat, such as a tadoo from E.ON, can let you control your heating from wherever you are, making sure energy isn't wasted when you’re not at home and ensuring your home is cosy for when you return. Smart thermostats also adapt your heating to the local weather forecast, making sure that homes are always prepared for unexpected weather changes. Replacing radiator valves with smart radiator thermostats means you can control each room temperature on an individual basis with the smart thermostat, meaning you can minimise any conflicts about temperatures in each room of your house.
Get smart about your meter: Smart meters are a great way to keep track of your energy use and help you better understand where energy is being used and what savings can be made. You can also set budgets and alerts so you always know if you're spending more on energy that you've budgeted for so can be used to avoid conflicts over energy use and ensure everyone in the household can help track usage and spend. Contact your energy supplier for more information about smart meters and see if you're able to get one installed.
For further details about E.ON’s boiler offers visit eonenergy.com/replacement-boilers
For more information about E.ON’s other solutions visit eonenergy.com/tomorrow
Notes to editors
- E.ON Energy Installation Services Limited acts as the credit broker and not the lender.
- Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of E.ON, in August/September 2018 with 2,000 people aged 18 and over.
- Other answers are non gender specific answers, including ‘my children’, ‘my housemate’. ‘other family member’, ‘other person’ and ‘joint decision’.
- Source: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/thermostats-and-controls
- Figures are based on installing a new A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls (TRVs), in a gas-heated semi-detached home from a G-rated boiler with a programmer and room thermostat. Figures are based on fuel prices as of April 2018 and vary depending on how old and inefficient the existing boiler is and the fuel your boiler uses. Source: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/boiler-replacement
- Credit is subject to application and status and applicants must be a UK resident aged 18 or over to apply. Terms and conditions apply. E.ON Energy Installation Services Limited acts as the credit broker and not the lender. Barclays Partner Finance acts as the lender. Find out more about E.ON’s finance options at eonenergy.com/waystopay. E.ON Energy Installation Services Limited is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to its credit broking services under firm number 750410 on the financial services register. It acts as a credit broker and not a lender meaning it can introduce people to its chosen finance lender, Barclays Partner Finance who act as the lender. Barclays Partner Finance is a trading name of Clydesdale Financial Services Limited a wholly owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC. Clydesdale Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register number 311753). Registered in England. Registered number 2901725. Registered office: 1 Churchill Place, London. E14 5HP.
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