To think that central heating is a thing of the past?

(174 Posts)
hiddenhome Mon 21-Oct-13 13:13:15

More and more people seem to be unable to afford to use their central heating sad

How long before we all go back to just having a fire in the lounge?

We no longer use our central heating and think of it as an unaffordable luxury. We've even had radiators removed as they were taking up room. We just have a multifuel stove that we use to heat the lounge and open the door if we want heat upstairs overnight.

Trills Mon 21-Oct-13 13:18:26

YABU - central heating is not a thing of the past.

How long before we all go back to just having a fire in the lounge?

This will not happen, most people do not have houses where you could have a fire in the lounge even if you wanted to, and a fire is not an efficient way to turn money into heat.

Nancy66 Mon 21-Oct-13 13:19:34

I think we're a long way from that. Most people still want central heating.

perhaps though if more and more people don't use it the greedy bastard utility companies will have to put the price down.

I do think people are more controlled over when they put it on and for how long.

ouryve Mon 21-Oct-13 13:21:26


Coal costs a bloody fortune, unless you're a retired miner and get it free.

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 13:21:29

I will never give up my central heating.

It's the third thing I budget for after shelter and food.

I've just moved out of a house with no central heating. We managed there perfectly ok for four years. I know, because there was a conversation about this on MN a bit ago, that quite a few people don't live in houses that ever had central heating.

I think it's really shit, and horrible, but I also think the priority isn't healthy adults, but elderly people and young children. If I'm going to get furious, I'll get furious about that - and plenty of elderly people have been unable to afford heating for a long while.

A bit of me feels angry that this only seems to have hit the news in a big way once it's not just affecting the elderly.

(Btw, I don't mean that as angry with you, OP, but with the fact it's taken so long for any fuss to be made in the media.)

Sparklymommy Mon 21-Oct-13 13:22:57

We don't have central heating. We have an electric fire in the lounge and 2 oil filled radiators for when it is EXTREMELY cold (think snow) to heat the bedrooms. The children have hot water bottles and an extra blanket if needs be.

Central heatig is unnecessary. My children (I have 4) are all healthy and don't suffer with many colds at all. Ok when they do get poorly they tend to be quite poorly, but the last time we had any illness in the house it was chicken pox three years ago!

Gee yeah of course I'd give up heating. Same way you would talk me out of my car.....

Duh course not.

sonlypuppyfat Mon 21-Oct-13 13:23:32

I'm with you OP we just have the fire on in the front room.I could never afford to have my central heating on. I was brought up in a house with no heating ice on the inside of the glass, my Dad used to say heating made you soft.

NotYoMomma Mon 21-Oct-13 13:23:37

we have ours on for 1.5 hours in a morning in winter and 1.5 hours in an evening.

we generally just use the fire (electric) at other times if needed as we are usually all in that room.

we also turn off radiators in certain rooms

NotYoMomma Mon 21-Oct-13 13:24:59

by 'winter' I mean the extremes lol, we do without most of the time

FreakinRexManningDay Mon 21-Oct-13 13:25:39

I have a back boiler so I don't get bills,I can see what I am able to put on the fire. If its just me in the house I stick on an extra jumper,in the evening with the kids in bed I let the fire burn down.

cuteboots Mon 21-Oct-13 13:25:50

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 13:27:33

I bet those of you without heating get 100 meals for 100 people out of 1 chicken as well.

MillyONaire Mon 21-Oct-13 13:28:20

I have not yet turned on my Ch this year - I will avoid doing so until I absolutely have to. We have two stoves going using turf (very reasonably priced) and logs (from our own trees). If I could I would have ten a couple more stoves dotted around the house and not be tied to ofch. So hiddenhome, I think YANBU


Yes, tee, of course.

No, actually, having no heating is bloody horrible. But it's not actually physically dangerous for me as a healthy adult. It is dangerous and often fatal for elderly people, and a lot of elderly people have been struggling with rising fuel prices for a long time before it blew up into such a media storm. That's all.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 21-Oct-13 13:28:59

We don't have central heating. We have a gas fire that throws out a lot of heat in the lounge. We then have oil filled electric heaters in the bedrooms for when it is very cold. We also have an electric heater in the kitchen for very cold winter mornings.
We have a lot of blankets and jumpers too.
We make sure the house is nice and warm at all times as cold really does make my pain a lot worse.

Others in the family who have central heating do seem to have stopped using it, and I have to say I find their houses to be quite cold.

FreakinRexManningDay Mon 21-Oct-13 13:29:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

grin @ TEE

I always wonder that. One chicken = one meal in my house. And no I don't boil the bloody carcass up for stock.

OP - I think you're being a bit OTT.

I have my heating on most of the day when it's cold. Life is too short to be sitting wearing all your clothes at once like Joey in Friends.

FreakinRexManningDay Mon 21-Oct-13 13:30:26


ArtexMonkey Mon 21-Oct-13 13:30:29

FreakinRex, I was just thinking that, sat here boggling.

FreakinRexManningDay Mon 21-Oct-13 13:31:38

Life may be too short Bunny but my purse is too empty.

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 13:32:11

"Life is too short to be sitting wearing all your clothes at once like Joey in Friends."

I'm going to embroider that on a pillow. thlgrin

SandyDilbert Mon 21-Oct-13 13:32:50

some of us don't actually have any central heating.

Tee I would be ashamed if I could only get 100 meals from a chicken! It's 150 at least. grin

Seriously though, I didn't have central heating until I was 14. We survived. I feel bad that we can't afford heating now because of course these days most people have radiators, and DD is old enough to notice that we don't have ours on when everyone else does. But we have shelter and food.

I know Freakin.

A bit tactless of me. Sorry blush

Fakebook Mon 21-Oct-13 13:33:42

I've only had the heating on for a total of 6 hours over 4 days so far this autumn. It's very mild this year. (Not trying to jinx it or anything).

I have lived with only a gas fire to heat up the whole house, it doesn't!

I will never again get into a hot bath with half of my clothes on because its too cold to undress fully.
I will never again wake up with ice on the insides of my windows.
I will never again have washing taking a week to dry because I have to choose between keeping my daughter warm or getting the drying done.
I will never again go to bed dressed as though I am visiting the artic.

Central heating is here to stay, well in this house at least.

plum100 Mon 21-Oct-13 13:35:54

Hiddenhome - we are almost there. always prefer to use our fire in the lounge at night when we only need to heat one room - really don't stick the heating on if we can help it.

FreakinRexManningDay Mon 21-Oct-13 13:37:14

I wasn't having a go Bunny I was trying and failing to be kind of shruggy about it.

If I see someone throwing out wooden stuff in a skip I will ask for it for firewood. Ways and means grin

I've not had central heating for the past 14 years - we have a turf (peat) fire in the front room, which we rarely use, and a Calor gas fire in here (the office/computer room). The gas ran out this morning (and we have no money to get more until tomorrow) so we currently have no heating, but that's OK 'cos I'm having hot flushes, and am currently sitting here in a T-shirt and a light sheen of sweat smile

I'm just wondering how we'll afford CH when energy prices double as per the cosy agreement just done with EDF/China for a shiny new nuclear power station. angry

FreakinRexManningDay Mon 21-Oct-13 13:40:27

I'm in a council house and some years ago we were offered a free changeover to gas boilers. I declined as I was struggling enough and didn't want an extra bill so kept my back boiler.

I sometimes wonder if the council was in cahoots with the gas company.

cuteboots Mon 21-Oct-13 13:40:59

thanks for correcting the mis spelt word but it makes my blood boil when people slog their arses off working trying to make ends meet and then cant even afford to keep their houses warm. Its wrong and seriously will anything be done about it ? No it wont !!

hardboiledpossum Mon 21-Oct-13 13:40:59

I would hate to be without central heating. I get really cold and that would make me miserable. I would go without other things to be able to afford to heat my house. I have mine on for about 6 hours a day.

Erm, I don't think it was the spelling was bothering people, cute!

SnakeyMcBadass Mon 21-Oct-13 13:42:06

I'm looking in to solar panels to help with the energy bills. There is no way that I am going without heating. I have the thermostat set to 18C and it only comes on for an hour in the morning and a few hours in the evening. It's been so mild that it hasn't really kicked in yet, but when the sub zero shit starts up again affording the heating goes up in my priorities rather rapid <ties various dogs to cold bits>

we turn our CH off at the beginning of April and usually switch it back on at around the middle of October although we are trying to get to November this year without it if we can... Our house gets very cold in the winter but a few degrees higher outside makes a HUGE difference to how warm it is a jumper/blanket goes a long way!

We havent used our heating at all this year since March/April but i am already dreading how much the cost of gas will be this year! We have a card meter and last winter we were putting £20-30 per week in and only using the heating for a maximum of 4 hours a day and we would be in emergency by the end of the week!

KirjavaTheCorpse Mon 21-Oct-13 13:42:08

Unfortunately, yanbu. I don't think with the way energy prices are heading there will be much choice for a large percentage of families.

In the dead of winter we can afford the heating on for an hour a day, and that is a struggle. The house we're renting haemorrhages heat with no scope for improvement. It's jumpers to bed some nights, and we're by no means near the bread line. A consistently warm house, for us, is just unsustainable.

sebsmummy1 Mon 21-Oct-13 13:42:56

Oh yes, when I was in my rented cottage on economy seven I had no heat upstairs and didn't have enough hot water to heat the bath water sufficiently. It was fine but I could only cope with night times by using an electric blanket. Otherwise I would wake up at 2am shivering violently.

The house I'm now in is toasty warm as we have to have the heating on to make the water hot!! We are also running down the oil as we are moving out soon.

I think our new house might end up being bloody cold so I'm not looking forward to our first winter there. I don't feel the cold particularly though so I can cope with a cool house.

Trills Mon 21-Oct-13 13:43:29

Joey in Friends was wearing all of Chandler's clothes, not all of his own clothes.

sebsmummy1 Mon 21-Oct-13 13:44:03

Oh yes, when I was in my rented cottage on economy seven I had no heat upstairs and didn't have enough hot water to heat the bath water sufficiently. It was fine but I could only cope with night times by using an electric blanket. Otherwise I would wake up at 2am shivering violently.

The house I'm now in is toasty warm as we have to have the heating on to make the water hot!! We are also running down the oil as we are moving out soon.

I think our new house might end up being bloody cold so I'm not looking forward to our first winter there. I don't feel the cold particularly though so I can cope with a cool house.

NotYoMomma Mon 21-Oct-13 13:44:55

and I am with npower headdesk

I know that Trills just didn't think the clarification was necessary to make my point smile

Peetle Mon 21-Oct-13 13:46:06

With modern standards of insulation no one needs central heating. Trouble is, it's impractical or ludicrously expensive to bring all houses up to that standard.

My school had no central heating; we had thick ice on the windows (not just that pretty frosting) and got dressed in bed. No thanks.

Given the choice between lower bills and seeing my breath in my lounge I think I'll grit my teeth and pay them.

FreakinRexManningDay Mon 21-Oct-13 13:47:10

cute boots no one was objecting to your spelling as I corrected my spelling mistake. Its your use of thieving gipsies that is wrong.

cjel Mon 21-Oct-13 13:49:03

Isn't it just as dear to run an electric fire in one room as gas heating?

cantspel Mon 21-Oct-13 13:50:31

I am glad i froze my energy prices last year so at least this year i know roughly how much to budget for heating.

My last 2 winter bills for combined gas and electric came out at just under £800 per quarter. I have spent summer building up some credit to be used this winter but i know i will still have to find at least another £500 when the 2 winter quarter bills come in.

I need my ch and there is no way i could use less or turn it off.

JustGettingOnWithIt Mon 21-Oct-13 13:51:04

Try thieving Gaudja, at least you'll be factual if you insist on using racial insults.

exmrs Mon 21-Oct-13 13:51:16

on my Facebook newsfeed a British gas post appeared saying they are committed to making our houses warmer this winter and about 3000 comments asking if they are taking the piss , I had to laugh at one comment although it isn't funny that heating is so expensive that they wrote it would be cheaper for them to burn their house down than put the heating on but at least they'd be warm

solveproblem Mon 21-Oct-13 13:51:21

Central heating is not the issue, it is far more efficient to distribute heat than a fire.

Gas, on the other hand, should be a thing of the past! There are at better energy sources out there!

samu2 Mon 21-Oct-13 13:51:27

I grew up without CH and just an electric fire in two rooms.

It was miserable. I am cold blooded and hated the whole house not being warm. I would never not have ch for my children unless I had no other choice.

I still remember having to get in and out of the bath freezing my arse off, the trouble getting out of bed because I was so cold and dreaded coming down to a cold house.

As a teen we got some electric heaters in our rooms but the second the doors were open the room would lose all the heat.

My MIL has ch but only lights her fire. I used to dread going there in the winter. Being cold makes me feel ill.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Mon 21-Oct-13 13:55:18

This is an interesting question. I grew up without CH, and it was horrible. Unfortunately, given the expense of CH now, I think that the idea of heating the whole house is going to look increasingly anachronistic.

MrsAmaretto Mon 21-Oct-13 13:56:16

I've had my central heating on all year. Live in the northern isles, it's been a dreadful summer. The radiators come on at 18degrees, 17 in kids rooms. Currently inside warm as a gale blows outside!

My gripe is we have heating oil which is completely unregulated. It's gone up 20p per litre (from 40-60p) in the last 18months & we spend about £3-4k a year which, according to friends & neighbours is average, plus electricity

nurseneedshelp Mon 21-Oct-13 13:56:31

I'm with you on this one op.
I hate having the central heating on, my theory is "stick another jumper on"

We're all healthy, no colds etc because having the heating on is unhealthy, the germs multiply like crazy.

Can't stand the stuffiness of the central heating.

Methe Mon 21-Oct-13 13:56:59

It's all very well not having central heating if you've got a fireplace or room for a log burner/stove. We don't have either, or room to install them. There is not a cat in hells chace of me giving up my central heating. We don't have it on much as it is but knowing knowing how unbearable our our house was when our boiler broke down a couple of -10 midwinters ago there is zero chance of me willingly living like that all the time and nor would I expect anyone else to have to.

Normal houses are not designed to work without central heating now.

It's all very different if you can afford ground source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels on the roof. The majority of us don't live like that.

Central heating won't become a thing of the past, using it to heat a whole house at once will though. I know as a child my mum would stick the heating on and every radiator in the house would come on, I know she doesn't do that anymore and only turns on the one in the lounge and bedroom of her home now.

My house has three storage heaters, two in the lounger/diner and one in the hall, the bedrooms have pathetic warm air units that cost a bomb to run and are crap, so we don't use those at all and use oil filled radiators to warm up the bedrooms in winter for a while before we go to bed.

cantspel Mon 21-Oct-13 13:58:34

But not everyone can just stick another jumper on nor does it solve the problem of cold hands and faces.

cuteboots Mon 21-Oct-13 14:00:02

FreakinRexManningDay- really didnt mean it in an offensive way! Sorry if it upset you in anyway.


Central heating is not the issue, central heating is far more efficient for heating up a house than fires.

Fule prices are the issue, and I think what should happen in the future is houses being built to a much better insulation standard, with the ability to retain heat for longer and not loose it, and somehow even be able to generate heat or at least collect it when it is warm.

tiredoutgran Mon 21-Oct-13 14:09:31

We have recently moved into a house with the old fashioned storage heaters and economy 7, at the moment we have the lounge heater on low and the dining room which is a 4kw but is only on low for now. It is our intention to just have the big heater on full and all the doors open upstairs to allow the heat to travel up. I have worked out that it will prove much cheaper than complete central heating and after spending last winter in a very large and very badly converted barn with nothing but a woodburner figure it will be quite tropical in comparison.

Artandco Mon 21-Oct-13 14:13:58

We never had any central heating growing up ( in the 1990s!). Fire in lounge. Was so so horrid. I remember feeling so cold I couldn't breathe properly. The house was full of damp, baths miserable, used to visit my gran to do school work as was too cold to concentrate without shivering. There house is the same now and they wonder why we don't visit in winter.

I know people say just wrap up but that really doesn't work for me. Last night I had warm pjs, dressing gown, slippers, and socks on and was still cold under the sheepskin blanket on the sofa. And that was with heating on.

I don't think many people will give it up. Priority over bills may change though. For us it's accomadation, then heating then food then everything else

FreakinRexManningDay Mon 21-Oct-13 14:21:58

I gather you didn't mean it to be offensive cute boots but just to make you aware that it is racist. I'm not personally offended although racist remarks are not something I condone.

sebsmummy1 Mon 21-Oct-13 14:22:17

Thing is with storage heaters is they give you the heat at the wrong time if the day IME. They whack it out in the morn and have nothing left for the evening when you actually want to heat. I just used to end up going to bed early most nights as it was cheaper.

cjel Mon 21-Oct-13 14:23:28

shouldn't burn treated wood. It gives off toxic fumes.

Sebsmummy that is my exact issue with storage heaters, by the time evening rolls round and the temperature drops considerably, the heaters are lukewarm which is useless, but in the orning I am roasting hot as they are on full whack, they do not distribute heat as needed.

tiredoutgran Mon 21-Oct-13 14:28:29

sebsmummy1 - funnily enough they are still hot in the evening but I guess it isn't that cold at the moment, I must admit I haven't had much experience with them and was surprised at how well they seem to work. We do have the boost turned off though so maybe that makes it last better. If they don't work I can see us all cooped up in the dining room around the only (tiny) gas fire in the house sad

NotYoMomma Mon 21-Oct-13 14:30:27

I love that people are like 'this dorsnt really happen'

'life is too short to be wearing extra clothes' etc and laughing about Joey from friends

it IS a reality for a lot of people and getting worse and those who can afford to heat year round or whenever they feel the chill, good for you but don'tbe so flippant and dismissive of the issue

DukeSilver Mon 21-Oct-13 14:30:52

I thought this thread was going to be about a new kind of heating grin I was getting worried because I don't even have central heating yet!

addenuf Mon 21-Oct-13 14:39:37

Certainly not a thing of the near future in this home. Not that I can't afford it, just that I intend to pass as little of my wonga to the utility companies as I can wangle. That people actually cannot afford to keep warm in this country is shocking. In my view it is the product of past political blinkered zealotry and ever present political short-termism. None of the people involved in either ever had to resort to the measures mentioned in this thread, but they have produced enough hot air to put EDF out of business this winter.angry

FreakinRexManningDay Mon 21-Oct-13 14:40:42

Does it cjel? I never knew that. Kept us warm on many a cold day though.

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 14:54:35

I'm sorry if I seemed flippant and/or dismissive. I'm actually just more bewildered that people can't arrange their budgets to afford to heat their homes.

I am broker than a broke thing most of the time but I will not sacrifice my comfort. So I sacrifice something else, such as holidays, a car etc.

TEErickOrTEEreat - I'm sure you really don't have much cash, but some people have so little they can't even afford food (have you seen in the news how busy the food banks are?), let alone heating as well, and cars and holidays are just a distant dream.

This fuel price hike at this time of year is absolutely immoral. People will die because of it.

Not in my home. I grew up in a house that didn't have heating upstairs, when my mum and dad got an electric oil heater for the upstairs room, you only got heat from it if you were sat practically on it. The flat I'm in now is also old and leaks heat, but we can't afford to run the heating. It's actually warmer for me to put DS in his coat and pram and go out for a walk than to sit in the flat when it's cold.

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 15:01:12

People have been dying from it from it for centuries.

LRD is right that it's only now when it's affecting others besides the old that people care.

And I have used food banks.

Don't pretend to know anything about my life or my finances. I don't put everything on the internet.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Mon 21-Oct-13 15:04:23

TEErickOrTEEreat the thing is, there are those of us that already sacrifice holidays, car and enough food as we have to heat our houses because of having family members in ill health. Despite all the sacrifices, the heating is a luxury that we cannot afford.
In order to make ends meet, I have cut what I eat down to the bare minimum, have minimal clothes; I have one work outfit which I wash daily and iron dry. We have no holidays and only have a car because we have been able to borrow one from a relative. Heating is another luxury, however I have to be able to afford it as one of my family members has an illness which means that they need to keep warm. We don't heat the house above 18 but we need to do that but struggle with the bills as it is, I am dreading having to turn the heating on again. So far we haven't need it since last winter.

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 15:09:49

There's always someone worse off than you. And there are people worse off from than me.

What I am mostly objecting too, actually, is the apparent competition on this thread about who is suffering the most.

The world sucks. Our government doesn't give two shits about you or me because we have less than millions and really don't give two shits that you can't afford heat or food or new clothes.

I personally am hated violently by the government because I'm an immigrant, disabled and don't work at least 16 hours a week.

So do something about it. I do what I can but I have no right of franchise as I'm not a citizen. If you are? Write your MP. Call them. Start a FB page. Do something other than 'brag' about how fucking cold and broke you are.

youretoastmildred Mon 21-Oct-13 15:12:02

It isn't that nobody cares about the old being cold (they do get a fuel allowance after all which no one else on a low income gets). It is just that more people on low incomes can't afford heat because fuel prices are shocking relative to more and more incomes.

BeCool Mon 21-Oct-13 15:13:37

Firewood and coal are pretty expensive though.

I grew up without CH & I love it. One of the benefits of living in a tiny flat, is though we are overcrowded we are warm - it heats up really quickly and I'm thankful I have the heating on without concern.

I've also just switched energy supplier to a fixed rate over winter so it shouldn't be any more expensive.

DidoTheDodo Mon 21-Oct-13 15:14:09

I don't use my central heating. I do have a fire in my sitting room.
I am already back in the Dark Ages.

NotYoMomma Mon 21-Oct-13 15:23:50

my rich parents get the winter fuel allowance.

I am at a loss as to why

DidoTheDodo Mon 21-Oct-13 15:30:30

I fuel my fire by collecting logs from the nearby woods. Many people have laughed at me for this: you know what? I don't care. Logs keep me warm and they are free.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 21-Oct-13 15:42:04

Log fires are inefficient, all the heat goes up the chimney.

My parents recently had theirs removed and got a wood stove. Now that is warm! Rest of the house is bloody freezing, mind....

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 21-Oct-13 15:43:11

DidotheDodo, that's how my parents fuel their fire too. They collect wood rather than pay for it. What's wrong with that? I don't get it!

DidoTheDodo Mon 21-Oct-13 15:44:48

pobble nothing wrong with it at all, but walking through the village with arm loads of logs causes comment (probably from people who can afford their central heating). There is the added benefit of getting really warm while sawing it up too.

trish5000 Mon 21-Oct-13 15:51:13

Like some others , I would prioritise some heat over some food if I had too. I cant operate or think if I am not warm enough. And cant sleep properly either. Electric blankets are cheap to run and keep people warm at night.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 21-Oct-13 15:52:57

Are you secretly my parents? [Grin]

They live in a village too and are always looking for bits of wood for the fire, they've got a massive pile of it outside their house.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 21-Oct-13 15:53:31

Well that didn't work. Have another one grin

YAB a bit U. I live in a new build house, we have a house full of radiators and no fire in the living room) or any other room either. We don't even have a chimney breast so there's actually nowhere to put a fire in any of the rooms in our house.

Bunbaker Mon 21-Oct-13 15:58:43

Threads like these always turn into a who can live in the coldest house competition.

I have lived in a house without central heating, through the coldest winter in decades. I remember the misery of shivering in a house with ice all the way up the insides of the windows. I am simply not prepared to live like that again. I will do without other things in life rather than freeze.

We are fortunate that we had solar panels installed 18 months ago, and the feed in tariff goes a long way to subsidise our utility bills (all of our utilities, except water are with one supplier, so all of our bills get the rebate).

Our heating goes on when it is cold and off when it is warm.

StarfishTrooper Mon 21-Oct-13 16:10:42

We rarely use our central heating but it is easy for us not to, since it hardly ever gets below 10 degrees where we live, even at night, and we live in a stone cottage with walls two feet thick. We only put it on on the coldest mornings and evenings for an hour. It's oil fired central heating so it's expensive.

We have a woodburner to keep cosy around on chilly winter evenings, we used it maybe 20 times last winter.

My mum's cottages have no central heating. Woodburner in every living room and Rayburns in kitchen. Heated towel rail in bathroom and single storage heater in bedroom for the coldest nights. It's pretty cheap and efficient and she wouldn't benefit from central heating.

In our old house - a single skinned Victorian terrace in the south east of England (where it regularly was in single figures at night and often below zero in deepest winter) we would have been very uncomfortable indeed without central heating.

It really depends on your type of house and location. A few years ago I couldn't have imagined living without central heating. It would have been like living without shoes. Now I can totally imagine it and in fact am quite keen to get rid of all our useless radiators and expensive oil fired system.

AuntyEntropy Mon 21-Oct-13 16:18:06

I think there's a huge divide between people living in double glazed terraces and flats in the south (especially London), for whom central heating is simple and cheap (more expensive than it used to be, but still very efficient), and people living in detached houses in the rural north. I remember DH's Welsh flat where we used to go to the cinema every Sunday just to be in the warm, and my Midlands corner bedsit with huge sash windows where I would sprint in, turn the gas fire on, and run back out to the bathroom to wait until the room was warm enough to enter.

You will take my cozy little London terrace from my (warm) dead hands.

DidoTheDodo Mon 21-Oct-13 16:19:52

pobble I can't possibly be BOTH your parents!!

DidoTheDodo Mon 21-Oct-13 16:24:06

I live in a Victorian terrace in the rural South East and when that Siberian wind blows in from the Steppes it is as cold here as the frozen north (where I used to live!)

We have ice on the inside of our windows almost every morning in the winter, but thick curtains stop it affecting the room too much. Couple of duvets on the bed and I'm fine. I was brought up like it, and actually find most people's houses stiflingly hot and stuffy.

(Tough old gimmer)

Aunty I live in a double glazed flat in a London suburb, but only with economy 7 storage heaters, I can tell you that during the real coldest snaps this winter it was absolutely frigid at night in our home, thats why we got an oil radiator for the bedrooms, if I could feel that cold in the South in a supposedly well insulated home, I dread to think how utterly arctic it most feel further North in even worse conditions.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 21-Oct-13 16:29:26

I live in a terraced and we recently had double glazing fitted. Our living room is rarely below 21 degrees now.

Dido I'm not sure I believe you. I think you're secretly my mum. Get off mn!

Ho ho...

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 21-Oct-13 16:37:30

YABU. Not in my house. I cannot bear being cold.

When I lived by myself in a little terrace, I would have the heating on as much as possible and me and the cats would sit there, eyes bulging with the heat, it was marvellous.

I would give up so many things before I gave up central heating.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 21-Oct-13 17:05:20

After a mega bill last year due to my cavalier usage of central heating I am being really controlled this year. So far so good, I've had it on for an hour at lunchtime today and the house is still at about 18 degrees. Probably won't put it on now till tomorrow.

chrome100 Mon 21-Oct-13 17:09:41

I do without other things in my life so that I can afford to put my heating on. Being warm is very important to me as I have circulatory problems. Incidentally, those of you with very cold houses, how do you dry your washing? If I don't bung mine on the radiators it stays wet for days and then smells. My house is quite damp though which doesn't help/

LimitedEditionLady Mon 21-Oct-13 17:11:30

I lived for twelve months with no boiler so no heating and no hot water.It was very cold and annoying boiling the kettle but we did it.We literally had no heatibg not even a plug in i tend to put the heating on for an hour in the morning but only recently has it been cold.Heating is very expensive so i will limit it ( plus when im cold i get the ironing out and steam iron my clothes....toasty!)

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 21-Oct-13 17:12:20

One other thing- being open plan for family room and kitchen diner as worked out really well. All the heat rom cooking really helps to keep the family room toasty. Cooking using the oven and hob tonight will warm us up another degree or two.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 21-Oct-13 17:16:15

Ha does anyone else refuse to even switch the heating on until all the radiators have washing on?wasting heat!

BeCool Mon 21-Oct-13 17:19:13

Those silver things you put down the back of the rads - they make a big difference. Deflects heat that would be going into the wall back in the rad and room.

I put them in last January and notice the place heats up much more quickly now - £12 well spent.

3asAbird Mon 21-Oct-13 17:19:30

I remember my nans house had no central heating 3 story end terrace,

she had 2living rooms with gas fires.

in winter we would washing with washing up bowl in front of fire.

hot water bottles and electric blankets.

I also remember house we moved into had gas fire and downstairs bathroom was freezing so we had one of those huge calor gas ugly looking fires not sure if calor gas be cheaper than british gas bill.

As as adult lived in flat with night storage heaters on meter get obsessive over using anything when can see in dwindling daily.

Now we have central heating times but try not to use it if we can.

Only thing thats gas is central heating have small electric shit heater in lounge and patio doors curtains move when wind blows.

Unfortunatly as a renter its harder to make things more economical if we owned would love a wood burning stove.

Im worried about energy we with scottish power and not sure if to change as know 2 already announced rises.

HarrietSchulenberg Mon 21-Oct-13 17:21:31

YANBU - I have central heating but only use it when it's teeth-chatteringly cold. I am saving up for a woodburner as that would heat everywhere that we need.

I cannot bear going to houses that are fuggy with heat. I have some acquaintances (parents of one of my dses friends) heat their entire house to an unbearable, headache-inducing temperature, even the unused spare bedroom, the downstairs toilet and the "games room" (ex-garage), even though all of them are sitting in the one living room, wearing little more than t-shirts.

Interestingly enough they are the first people to grumble when the cost of fuel goes up. They appear to believe that cheap gas is some kind of human right, and that it's obligatory to heat an entire 5 bed house to somewhere near passing out point. I want to scream at them, "Turn the f*cking heating down and wear a jumper". I don't stay long, just pick up ds (who's invariably red and sweaty) and get going.

BeCool Mon 21-Oct-13 17:22:03

Mosey Saving Expert has a great website that will tell you if it is worth changing: Cheap Energy Club

BeCool Mon 21-Oct-13 17:23:33

Harriet my exIL's are like that. It's the tropics year round at thiers. I use to go to visit and just want to lie down and sleep. madness!

C0ffeeN0biscuit Mon 21-Oct-13 17:26:28

Just had a lovely new boiler put in.

Its more efficient than ever. Can control hot water and heat separately. Can lower the thermostat. Can put it on and it will go off it it reaches 21 degrees. Automatically. They guy said i can expect a good reduction in bills so that sounds like the future to me!! Warm and cosy.

Apileofballyhoo Mon 21-Oct-13 17:32:02

We haven't used the heating yet this year but we have been lighting a fire. The house is a new build and pretty well insulated so the fire keeps it bearable for now. A bit nippy in the mornings downstairs though. Hoping to manage on 500l of fuel this winter. Haven't used the heating since early April (despite the cold spring this year).

moogy1a Mon 21-Oct-13 17:34:39

There is a solution to the drying clothes dilemma.
Dry them in a dribuddy in your living room. Dry clothes and it heats the room at the same time.
We all gravitate towards it like it's a modern day fire (Am currently to mean to start putting coal or any of our wood supply on the multistove!)

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Mon 21-Oct-13 17:37:19

We have the heating on for 1 hour a day at the most, bathroom, our bedroom, hall and DDs room only. We have a wood burner in the sitting room and beg/borrow as much wood as we can manage, it's very efficient and keeps the ground floor warm overnight. Otherwise it's an extra jumper, PJs, warm slippers and dressing gowns all the way. We are all quite hot little mortals as well which helps.

I really resent spending money on the heating, I'd rather put on another pair of socks. Fortunately DH feels similarly and DD is always so hot that she'd run round naked in the snow.

bluebirdwsm Mon 21-Oct-13 17:37:21

I moved just over 2 years ago and made the decision not to put in central heating. But I have put in a woodburner in the kitchen/diner which kicks out the heat and with the doors open keeps the chill off the rest of the rooms [3 bed bungalow].
Otherwise if I want to use the lounge it can be heated quickly with a good oil-free radiator, and is warm within 20 minutes if I've been out. The room is cosy and comfortable with the door shut.
Oil-free radiators in all other rooms are used at a low setting if it's really cold.
And I never have heating in the bedroom, don't like it.
Heating bills not too bad either, wood and electricity last winter [a bad one] came to about £400. [And no gas bill].

whatever5 Mon 21-Oct-13 17:44:10

I would hate to live in a cold house and I don't think I would give up central heating unless I couldn't afford to eat. I work at home a lot of the time so having a reasonably warm house is a priority for me.

I think we have had it on for a couple of weeks now although the thermostat is set fairly low (19 degrees).

wasabipeanut Mon 21-Oct-13 17:44:45

I think YABU because as we have seen people will sacrifice a lot before the heating goes off. However I agree with your general sentiment. We hold out a lot longer these days before it goes on but we live in a Victorian detached house that haemorrhages heat.

I hang out in the kitchen near the oven a lot and wear jumpers. I like a blanket over my knees in the evenings if I'm not keeping warm by bloody ironing.....

Lazysuzanne Mon 21-Oct-13 17:49:15

I like heating but never in the bedroom, I like a cool bedroom although I will have a hot water bottle if it's very cold.

Mind you since reaching 'the age of shifting hormones' I just dont feel the cold like I used togrin

I was brought up in Scotland in houses with no central heating.
It was fucking terrible and no amount of extra jumpers would have improved the chilblains, ice on the inside of the windows, damp or constant chest infections we got.

expatinscotland Mon 21-Oct-13 18:00:32

What a sad thread.

FyreFly Mon 21-Oct-13 18:02:21

I think YAB a bit U.

Nothing wrong with a fire - I've never had a house without a functional fireplace and chimney and if I had to move I would never choose a house that didn't have one. I have a fire going now and it's lovely. They're cheaper than having the central heating on (which is on for one hour each morning and evening unless it gets uber freezing), greener (we use local lumber) and, if there's a power cut, you will still have at least one heated room. Honestly, I wouldn't be without one - it baffles me why so many houses are built without them nowadays.

The utility prices are getting ridiculously high I agree, but after British Gas announced their rises the other day I switched to EDF who are offering a price freeze til 2017 - take advantage of that now before the prices go up again! I won't save much in the immediate term but in the long term, if these price rises continue at the same rate I'm looking at a £500-£1000 saving.

Fluffy40 Mon 21-Oct-13 18:14:23

I was brought up with no central heating. Just a coal fire in the main room.

It was awful, and the smoke made me sneeze.

We now live in a rented vicarage which has good insulation and central heating. It's lovely, and we are lucky to live here.

Lazysuzanne Mon 21-Oct-13 18:14:23

fires are lovely if you have access to free wood but if lots of people had fires I dont think there'd be enough free wood to go round!

Plus there are air pollution issues (?)

Imagine what would happen if we all started to burn wood as a main source of heating.

FyreFly Mon 21-Oct-13 18:20:31

Not much, Katie

It would just be a move from burning huge amounts of fuel to generate electricity to power our central heating to individuals burning fuel to heat their homes.

trish5000 Mon 21-Oct-13 18:24:32

Was curious as to what this was. Am now even curiouser!

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Mon 21-Oct-13 18:25:14

* I'm actually just more bewildered that people can't arrange their budgets to afford to heat their homes*

We can afford to. We chose not to.

Lazysuzanne Mon 21-Oct-13 18:25:53

suspect coal burning power stations are more efficient than individual fireplaces?

Long term I predict vastly improved photo voltaic cell technology such that many surfaces are covered with solar cells and energy is free and unlimmited

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Mon 21-Oct-13 18:27:45

choose, even

thegreylady Mon 21-Oct-13 18:28:50

Our central heating has been on for a while now.It is on from 7 till 10 in the morning and 5 till 11 pm.When it gets really cold it will be on 7am till 11pm.We don't need to be cold and I'll cut back on food bills before heating.

FyreFly Mon 21-Oct-13 18:29:41

I really don't know Lazy , my point was just that fuel is fuel is fuel - if you're not burning it to generate electricity then you're burning it to generate heat.

I'm also hoping that they start making improvements to solar cell technology. We looked into getting them for our house, but we were told we couldn't because they were "too disruptive" for the conservation are we apparently live in hmm (this was news to me). If you could get nice small ones I'd cover my roof in them.

Lazysuzanne Mon 21-Oct-13 18:36:23

FyreFly, wrt solar cells I'm thinking something way more advanced than we have now, something very thin and flexible using 'space age' materials (ie man made with amazing new properties like graphene) so that it could be incorporated into all sort of things like clothes, buildings...any surfaces that can collect sunlight

cjel Mon 21-Oct-13 18:41:04

FREAKINREX. Have no actual proof but its what my landscaper told me when I had my old decking taken out?!
TRISH I had never heard of one of those either - How have I ever managed without one?!

3asAbird Mon 21-Oct-13 18:41:29

all very well for dave say switch.

In past we switched to n power month later they went up.

also those fixing are just agreeing to fix at todays extortionate prices.

Those who dont fix get ripped off further.

Oaps should be bit protected as they hae winter fuel allowance would much rather see that means tested than wealthy people who dont need the additional funds.

moogy1a Mon 21-Oct-13 18:44:23

Imagine a small rotary drier. You put your clothes on coat hangers on the arms of it then zip up the outer plastic thingy. It then blows warm air to dry the clothes. It uses about one sixth the leccy of a tumble drier and makes the room really warm as well. And you don't then need to iron the clothes. And I got mine free off Freecycle. One of my finest moments!
Oh, and it collapses down pretty small so we can store it behind the laundry baskets .

Opalite Wed 23-Oct-13 03:14:52

Tee, people aren't 'bragging' about how cold they are/have been.... this IS reality for many people. If it was as easy to change as you say then everybody would have already changed their situation. I personally can't sacrifice cars/holidays for heating because those things don't exist for me in the first place. So many people are in this situation and have been for years!

I disagree that people have only started to care now that it affects people other than the elderly, when I started hearing about the 'heat or eat' dilemma which was affecting elderly people I actually thought the opposite of that. I thought this has been going on for years for families, single people, children......

Opalite Wed 23-Oct-13 03:24:19

My house is heated by a fire which heats radiators throughout the house and also gives hot water. I have tried to collect wood throughout the year so have built up a pretty impressive pile, I've also bought a few bags of coal (bloody expensive). It never lasts long though and it really is a struggle!
Even when I have tried to be prepared, I always end up with no coal in the middle of winter when we're all freezing cold. Heating your home is so important and while the cold weather payments are a step in the right direction, I don't think they're anywhere near enough to even make a dent in many peoples heating expenses.

I have ch but don't use it unless its really really cold. Lucky that our house is well insulated and stays fairly warm even with very minimal use. Radiators are off in the bedrooms, we have a fire in the living room and a small fan heater that I use to make the bathroom toasty warm when its time to get ready for bed, kids get their pjs on in there and then jump straight into bed.

samandi Wed 23-Oct-13 09:22:43

Hardly. Most people use it.

We spend about £50 a month on gas and electricity, and we have quite a large, high-ceilinged flat.

Fires are nice and cosy though, and good for clearing damp.

LucilleBluth Wed 23-Oct-13 10:05:55

I have just paid £580 for 1,000 litres of oil and 135 for a delivery of wood. Unfortunately heating is becoming a major expenditure for a lot of people. We live in a four bed farm house that is completely exposed to the elements, it has zero insulation and if we weren't a family of five and if we didn't need the space then just choosing to live here would be a massive luxury.

I can see a few years into the future when the DCs start leaving, our plan is to build an Eco home to see us into our old age with low energy bills........that's the dream anyway.

treaclesoda Wed 23-Oct-13 10:06:26

I feel I need to point out here that you are all wrong. I heard a Conservative MP on the Five Live the other day saying that his party look after the low paid and needy so well that it is simply untrue to say that people in the UK in 2013 might have to choose between heating and food. No matter how many listeners texted in to say they couldn't afford to heat their homes, he just said they were wrong. Which must have been a great comfort to them. hmm

treaclesoda Wed 23-Oct-13 10:09:22

£580 for 1000 litres? I just checked and its about £590 in my postcode, that's really dropped in price recently, last time I priced it it was over £700, I was almost sick. Better order some.

treaclesoda Wed 23-Oct-13 10:10:44

First time I ever bought oil for my first house, in 2000, it was 15p a litre. And I thought that was very expensive shock <hollow laugh>

ILikeBirds Wed 23-Oct-13 10:13:22

I'm not sure how any of this makes sense.

CH is surely one of the most efficient ways of heating a house. Why would people abandon it as fuel prices go up? Switch it on less maybe, turn down radiators in unused parts of the house but I cannot see it becoming obsolete, especially as for most people the central heating system is the only way of heating water.

I'm sure I remember reading that period houses are becoming less popular though due to rising fuel costs and difficulties with heating.

Just realised we spend less per month on gas and electric than some people spend on Special K! wink

LucilleBluth Wed 23-Oct-13 10:20:42

treaclesoda, Around £25 cheaper than our local supplier.

DidoTheDodo Wed 23-Oct-13 10:25:04

pobble (belatedly) Go and finish your homework - and you're not going out dressed like that.

Dahlen Wed 23-Oct-13 10:25:53

I grew up in a house without central heating and spent most of my adult life also living in places with such inadequate/expensive forms of heating that I came to accept living with ice on the inside of the windows in winter as the norm. Even now, when I have central heating and the luxury of being able to afford to use it, I often don't because I am so used to the cold. People are always coming around my house and telling me it's cold when to me it feels perfectly fine, and I would always put on a jumper before putting on the heating. My DC are very similar.

All that said, if I am cold and a jumper doesn't sort it, I put on the central heating. There is a point beyond which being cold is just fucking miserable, and I am fortunate that I don't have to put up with it anymore. I remember too well the memory of having to drink endless cups of hot water to keep warm, only to be faced with having to expose my arse in an ice-crusted bathroom very regularly as a result. It offends me that in a country as rich as ours people are still having no choice but to live like that. It offends me even more that people who have never experienced fuel poverty talk about how it's just a matter of poor priorities and if people just gave up their fags/booze/goats it would all be ok.

The people who may well struggle to afford heating are quite often exactly those who are living in older, poorly insulated properties that don't retain any heat whatsoever. They may have young children who suffer frequent respiratory problems as a result of living in cold, damp housing. It's not a question of being 'nesh', cold damp houses cause health problems.

Awomansworth Wed 23-Oct-13 10:30:24

We just can't go without our heating on in the winter. We have a very old house and open to the elements too. If we don't put the heating on the house actually feels damp, plus ds has asthma, and the damp makes it worse.

I've just had the oil tank (no gas supply) filled with 100ltr (£590) and that won't even last through the winter, so I put money into our oil account all through the year to ensure we can have the heating on 24/7 through the winter, althougth thermostat only on 18.

When we moved into the house, we could fill the tank for around £300.

LucilleBluth Wed 23-Oct-13 10:33:59

For those with oil tanks have a look at, an old man from the village put me onto them, they are consistently cheaper.......oh how the old man likes to stop me in the street and have a good long chat about oil prices ;)

treaclesoda Wed 23-Oct-13 10:38:46

Thanks Lucille. Have just ordered, glad you posted the price earlier because it alerted me that now is a good time to buy. The tank is still half full from last winter but I want to buy before the weather turns colder and the price rockets again.

NoComet Wed 23-Oct-13 10:47:33

Without central heating this place would be running with damp and fall down.

Saving money on heating by turning it off rather than down is a very false economy.

LittleRobots Wed 23-Oct-13 10:47:56

We've saved a fortune having electrif storage heaters. It wasn't by design - we're used to central heating - we'd planned to replace once moving in with central heating.

However our bills work out as less than 100 a month and thats our only bill as no gas. Three bed house, lots of heat, cooking etc.

I used to have the problem of them getting cold in the evening but our neighbours mentioned changmg from 'economy seven' to the one that gives a boost in the afternoon - Economy ten or super saver or something. Its not an advertised rate, you have to ask for it, but its made the difference between up wanting to replace the storage heaters and being rather glad we have them due to their cost!

Our tarif also has storage heat for a couple of hours in the pm as well as the evening which means we have a lovely warm house all day for less than gas. I'm home a lot in the day so its brilliant. We also now have lovely warm evenings rather than the heat running out at 7.

I think the only downside is that is has to be southern electric so no competition. With the increasing prices we're glad we didn't convert. Also no servicing costs, on boiler costs. . .

LittleRobots Wed 23-Oct-13 10:50:13

Oh we're never hanging damp washing inside again! We have a condenser dryer now so you can physically see the many litres that are in each load of clothes! No wonder houses get damp. I'd never realised until I saw it as we used to. Its like liberally painting your walls with water and then some!

ringaringarosy Wed 23-Oct-13 10:50:33

Ive never gone without central heating,in fact mine is on all day,for most of the year,i like being warm,but if i couldnt afford it i just wouldnt turn it on,is it that bad?surely you just wear more clothes and socks and slippers?have extra duvets on the bed,blankets in the lounge etc?I can only imagine it being a problem if you had guests who werent expecting it.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Wed 23-Oct-13 11:10:01

"Is it that bad? Surely you just wear more clothes"

Wow. No clue.

KirjavaTheCorpse Wed 23-Oct-13 12:26:46

I can only imagine it being a problem if you had guests who werent expecting it

You lack imagination, then.

closingeveryhour Wed 23-Oct-13 12:34:21

It will be a huge shame if it becomes too expensive to use CH as it's one of the more efficient ways of heating a house (and newbuilds mostly don't have fires or piped gas in any case so not everyone has the option of a fire). Ingested houses require more maintenance because of damp, building movement etc.

Plus what about the sick, vulnerable, elderly or very young? Not everyone is able-bodied or can regulate their own body temperature effectively or manage by just putting a jumper on. For example, there is a good reason why the current SIDS medical advice specifies an ambient temperature of 16-20 degrees for young babies, plus careful temperature charts of what form and combination of layers should be used at each temperature. Overbundling small babies in layers to compensate for lower ambient temperatures is a known SIDS risk as it is much more difficult to ensure they are not inadvertently overheating. Mould and mildew spores from damp housing is also a known SIDS risk.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 23-Oct-13 12:34:59


And didn't you start a thread like this last week too?

Central heating is an incredibly efficient way to heat a home that is well insulated.
Our thermostat is on between 20 and 22 - 6am to 11.30pm - and our bills are not extortionate. I am sure it is more cost effective to leave the heating on more of the time and have it adjusting on the thermostat than keep turning it on and off.


These are the very basics, surely? I struggle to understand what people would prioritise over having a warm home, once they had put food on the table.
I know that there are people who have to make that choice, but I am genuinely bewildered at people who choose to live in a cold house when they could afford not to.

closingeveryhour Wed 23-Oct-13 12:35:40

*Ingested? Not sure what autocorrect was doing there! Unheated houses!

Abra1d Wed 23-Oct-13 12:39:01

I certainly don't understand why people have to have their thermostats turned up above 18. Unless they are ill or old or have small babies.

treaclesoda Wed 23-Oct-13 12:39:48

'is it that bad?'

A few winters ago we had at least a foot of snow on the ground, and it was something like minus 15 outside. The moisture in the pipe from our oil tank to our boiler froze (its buried several inches under the garden so there was nothing we could do but wait for it to thaw), leaving us without central heating for about a fortnight. So I can answer your question, yes it was that bad. A few extra jumpers really didn't touch the cold. And we're all healthy. If it had been my FIL, who has health problems including COPD, it could easily have finished him off.

At least we knew the nightmare would end, and we're fortunate that if we're cold we can afford to put the heating on. Living like that on an ongoing basis would be no picnic, and my heart goes out to people who have no choice but to do so.

treaclesoda Wed 23-Oct-13 12:43:18

I would prioritise heat over other things as well.

But then as a homeowner, I also can take steps to minimise my energy costs that presumably I couldn't as a renter? I chose to put in extra insulation, replace the boiler with a more efficient one, replace draughty windows and doors (over a period of some years, as money allowed). And again, those were steps that also wouldn't have been available to us if we hadn't been able to gather together the money to make those investments in the first place. They have all paid for themselves by now, they have saved us so much in fuel, but again not everyone can actually do that.

closingeveryhour Wed 23-Oct-13 12:51:11

treaclesoda agree with you - which is why access to adequate heating is a political issue. As a basic need which is particularly important for the young, old, sick and vulnerable, it is not just a matter of expecting people just to put an extra jumper on and suck it up.

I wonder, for example, how much we all pay as a proportion of our taxes to treat conditions in the NHS which are caused or made worse by inadequate heating and poor housing, particularly in elderly people.

willyoulistentome Wed 23-Oct-13 12:52:10

In past years I have been naughty and snuck the heating on while DH was out WAY before it got really cold enough. I do feel the cold. I feel freezing when he feels quite warm, and I'm wrapped up in jumpers and blankets while he is in a t-Shirt. DS1 is lik DH and DS2 is like me.

This year however, we have not put it on yet. EVEN I realise we. DH hsa spent ALL year log chopping so that we would have enough of a head start with logs for the wood burner through winter. We live pretty much IN woods with loads of downed branches or even whole trees lying about. DH and I always bring home a few branches every time we go for a walk.

It's been mild so far so we've been OK. Once it starts to get frosty though, and I am working from home, I will wear my coat and sit on a hot water bottle. My finers are cold even today, and it's WARM today.

lainiekazan Wed 23-Oct-13 12:52:40

I think some people expect their houses to be warmer than is normal and reasonable. In television programmes/films everyone floats around in their houses wearing summer clothes. You never see people wearing a big fleece and big socks. I believe this gives rise to some sort of entitlement that we should all act as if it's summer 365 days a year.

In mil's nursing home it is stifling . Now, I know old people feel the cold more, but I think it is unreasonable to have the old people sitting there in summer blouses and cotton skirts or sleeveless nightdresses in the winter. Sure, it should be warmer than the average home, but to heat the place to rival the Kew hothouses is ridiculous.

ringaringarosy Wed 23-Oct-13 13:04:39

Headsdown and Kirjarva,i did say i didnt have a clue didnt i,i have never had to live in a cold house and i dont know anyone who has,unless you are ill i really cant see how it can be so bad,there are other ways of keeping warm.

treaclesoda Wed 23-Oct-13 13:07:45

Putting on extra layers sort of works better if you pre-empt the cold. I find that by the time my feet are cold, extra socks don't really help them heat up, whereas if I had realised they were going to get cold, and put an extra layer on, they wouldn't get cold in the first place. Does that make sense to other people?

lainiekazan Wed 23-Oct-13 13:13:45

Oh, yes. Perfect sense. I was actually thinking about Angela's Ashes this morning, the bit where Frank McCourt describes being wet and damp all the time. The awfulness of having to put on a still wet wool coat when you're already cold and shivering.

Nottalotta Wed 23-Oct-13 13:20:28

It is bad having no heating. We live in an old house with oil heating. There have been occasions where we have run out or it broke and we were without heating for 5 weeks in the snow and freezing temperatures. Yes, extra layers, thick socks, fleeces, hot water bottle. I had two pairs of socks and slippers on but my feet were so cold the bones hurt. I got chillblains on my hands. We don't have a tumble dryer so use an airer in wet weather except it ws so cold the washing never dried.

We use the heating minimally but the difference between no heating and minimal heating is huge. We do also have an open fire and a wood burner but they are really quite expensive to keep going.

imnotwhoyouthinkiam Wed 23-Oct-13 13:20:51

I have central heating, but even when its on my house is FREEZING! I think the problem is that I cant afford to have it on long enough to actually warm the rooms up. So I don't bother putting it on, although occasionally I do it to get the washing dry.
We have fleecy blankets on the sofa to snuggle under instead.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Wed 23-Oct-13 13:41:38

Why don't you try it, if it's not so bad. Switch all the heating off for a week or two, if it doesn't seem like anything an extra pair of socks won't fix. Doesn't bear thinking about, does it?

Bubbles1066 Wed 23-Oct-13 13:52:30

We had a winter with very little heating to try to save money and the result was a very damp house that actually ended up costing us more than if we'd just put the heating on more. Water was dripping off the walls and windows. We had to spend £100 on a dehumidifier to dry it out and as someone said earlier I would never again try to dry washing inside if I had any other choice. We had damp, smelly washing that never dried and mould. Even those heated driers, which are good, spew out moisture and cause damp.
We eventually bought a second hand condenser dryer and you wouldn't believe the amount of water that comes out of drying washing. No wonder the house was dump. I'm very frugal with heat (keep the house around 18C), wash in cold water unless things are soiled and do no more than 2 dryer loads a week but if you cut back too much on heating it may cost you more in the long run than you save.

The thing some people dont seem to get with their posts of extra socks etc, is that even the most healthy persons house needs the heat.

Damp turns to mould, wallpaper peels away and at the absolute worst, the building itself can become affected. The damp gets into the walls, a couple of freeze/defrost cycles with no warmth inside to maintain a higher temp, and the wall can break! Your pipes freeze, you have no water for washing or cooking. How are clothes supposed to dry, if you don't have a tumble drier, with no heat to dry them?

I am lucky enough to have never had to experience this, but ffs, it doesnt take a genius to work out, only a little bit of empathy!

lainiekazan Wed 23-Oct-13 14:03:35

I am not advocating no heating, or being thoroughly miserable with cold. But I do think some people's idea of cold needs adjusting. It is unreasonable to think that you are entitled to have the thermostat at 30 degrees all the time.

MymbleHasRisenFromTheGrave Wed 23-Oct-13 14:08:13

There is a place for it but certainly we can't afford to keep it on all day. Usually in winter it's an hour in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening. We are so used to leaving it off now that on the rare occasions we've kept it on for longer I have started to feel a bit unwell. I prefer layering up!

MymbleHasRisenFromTheGrave Wed 23-Oct-13 14:09:40

Also agree with Bubbles re: damp. I'd never have the heating on at all if it weren't for the fact that I don't want a damp, mouldly house! The amount of time we have it on is purely to keep the damp out.

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