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AIBU to think my house is too cold?

(129 Posts)
myhouseistoocold Thu 24-Jan-19 11:20:49

My kitchen today is 11 degrees C, my hallway is 14 (no radiators in either). My dining room where I'm working from home is currently 16. My bedroom is usually 18 or 19 in the mornings (these last two weeks).

Is it normal for Victorian houses to be this cold? We bought this house 4 years ago and I just can't ever get warm here in winter.

Are these normal temps for a UK house in winter or should I be trying to move (or somehow impossibly save up for a zillion-pound extension with triple glazing and under floor heating)?!

Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Thu 24-Jan-19 11:22:59

Our old house (rented) is never warm. Dc come in from school and it's pj's +a onesie on. Our bedroom window doesn't shut and allows snow to get in!! I kid you not. Wrap up is the cheapest option!

schopenhauer Thu 24-Jan-19 11:24:22

That’s freezing!! Can you look in to more radiators, insulation, new windows, thermal curtains, draft excluders? It is hard with Victorian houses though.

MeetJoeTurquoise Thu 24-Jan-19 11:25:10

16 is my cut off to put the heating on. I couldn't be in a kitchen that was 11, I'd be blue with cold.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 24-Jan-19 11:25:25

My Victorian house is cold. It can't easily be insulated because of the brickwork so it loses heat despite having good windows. Getting the boiler changed last year has made it a bit cheaper to heat, but not much. It's currently 14 degrees in my living room; which I also use as an office, and 12 degrees in my bedroom.

It'll get up to 18 with the heating on for a few hours but I try to limit that as much as I can...

myhouseistoocold Thu 24-Jan-19 11:26:25

April I can't believe you have snow coming in sometimes! Will the landlord fix it eventually?

user1474894224 Thu 24-Jan-19 11:26:27

Why are there no radiators? How is the house heated? Are there radiators in other rooms? Do you have the heating on? (It is normal for old houses to cool down when there is no heating on). Do you have a small oil filled radiator plugged in to heat the kitchen when needed? Do you have double glazing at all? Can you get some? - I'm guessing cavity wall insulation isn't possible....or is it? Do you shut curtains to keep the cold out/warmth in? 18/19 is pretty warm for the bedroom - can you work up there?

tierraJ Thu 24-Jan-19 11:27:14

Definitely YANBU!! Brrrrr!!

Bluntness100 Thu 24-Jan-19 11:27:41

as You have no radiators in the kitchen or hall then yes it would be that cold, you can substitute with something else, fan or oil heaters, but if you don't heat then yes they get cold.

Why is your dining room so cold, is there heating in there?

MustBeDueSomeBetterFeet Thu 24-Jan-19 11:28:55

My daughter's bedroom gets down to 9 degrees in these temperatures (part Georgian, part Victorian oddity that we live in). My kitchen is currently 12 degrees.

I assume there's a reason you can't put radiators into those rooms? Could you look at one/two of those under-cabinet radiators that fit into the plinth if no wall space?

Are your other radiators all Type 22 minimum? When we moved in here almost all our radiators were singles and upgrading them has made a massive difference to comfort levels!

We wrap up, but also can supplement as there's a gas fire in the sitting room, open fire in the drawing room, and we put a logburner in the playroom, so have other heating options/fuel options.

myhouseistoocold Thu 24-Jan-19 11:29:07

Anchor that makes me feel a little better (that I'm not the only one).

I'm wondering whether this is just part of having a Victorian house? Suffering for those period features...

Bluntness100 Thu 24-Jan-19 11:30:15

No it's not about being in a period house, I live in a four hundred year old listed building, it's cold because you're not heating it.

buzzzzzzz Thu 24-Jan-19 11:30:27

When I wake up in the morning mine is 11 in the bedroom, 13 in the lounge at the moment. Quickly rises once the fire is lit according to the thermometers, once it reaches 18 we open the lounge door to let the heat start to spread. No central heating. Means that a dressing gown and slippers are morning necessities, and we use electric blankets in the bedroom at night. The bedroom is always cold.

I think it’s just one of those things. If you aren’t keeping the temperature up overnight it will drop. Insulation isn’t always great in an old house, and if there are no radiators in a room it’s going to take longer for the heat to reach it.

Higher temps are probably only achievable in a modern house and with a thermostat that you don’t turn off. Makes it nice and cool indoors in the summer though.

You can try draught excluders and curtains over the front and back doors and that definitely helps keep the heat in, otherwise it might be worth saving up and seeing what you can do about updating the insulation or windows.

LakieLady Thu 24-Jan-19 11:33:06

When I bought this house (1993), it didn't have central heating. Several of the firms that quoted for installing CH were surprised by my insistence on having a radiator in the tiny hallway. But if I didn't, I figured that every time I opened the living room door, the heat would be sucked out and disappear up the stairs.

I'm very glad I insisted now, especially as I have coat hooks above the radiator so when I put my coat on to go out, it's all toasty warm.

Threehoursfromhome Thu 24-Jan-19 11:34:46

It's not that unusual for Victorian houses, unfortunately, especially if they are single glazed/ don't have full roof insulation/ have working chimneys/ have an inefficient boiler. My kitchen, which doesn't have a radiator, used to go down to 9.

It's possible to make improvements - I now have a new back door, pillows up the chimneys, extra insulation in the loft, have drylined some of the exterior walls and have a new boiler and it rarely gets below 14, but it's never going to be as warm as a new build.

myhouseistoocold Thu 24-Jan-19 11:35:16

The kitchen does have two fan heaters (under the cabinets) - sorry meant to say that in my OP but forgot. One of them cuts out all the time and they seem to heat the air around them rather than the whole room.

We're gradually getting windows double glazed - two in kitchen are newer and are double glazed, two are single glazed (with gappy frames). Under cabinet radiators sound interesting, I'll look into it!

There's no wall space in hall or kitchen for radiators, but I do need to get round (urgently!) to putting curtains over the two outside doors in my hallway (weird through hall so there's a draughty door to the back garden opposite the draughty door to the front).

Dining room has surprised me being so cold. It does have a radiator and new double glazed windows, though I only have the heating on 1 today as had a message from the energy company yesterday saying they were putting up my bills. Maybe I'm expecting too much from the '1' setting on my heating in this room!

3WildOnes Thu 24-Jan-19 11:37:22

My parents live in a Victorian House and although it’s colder than my house it is not as cold as yours. They struggle to get it above 19 when it is properly cold outside.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 24-Jan-19 11:40:02

*Anchor that makes me feel a little better (that I'm not the only one).

I'm wondering whether this is just part of having a Victorian house? Suffering for those period features...*

It is for me right now.

Don't get me wrong, if I whack the heating on full, it will heat up - but it has to stay on to stay warm and I'd spend a fortune on it; as well as it being awful for the environment.

We can't have cavity wall done, and quotes for solid wall insulation are around £14k, and because of the house layout, they reckon it would take over ten years for that to pay for itself. We intend to move before then, I think.

We do have heavy curtains, I wear warm clothes and two pairs of socks and I'll put the heating on if I'm freezing, but otherwise I just try to cope with it.

(It's a big change from my last new build, which was very efficient and heated up a dream!)

Threehoursfromhome Thu 24-Jan-19 11:40:16

The through draft between the front and back door will be making a big difference, as will the single glazing in the kitchen, in my experience.

Chowmum Thu 24-Jan-19 11:40:46

Wow, your bedrooms are warm! I doubt mine was much above 10 (if that) this morning.

I know it's bad when there's ice on the dogs' water bowl. (Kidding. Maybe.)

MotorcycleMayhem Thu 24-Jan-19 11:40:55

Review your energy company.
Are your radiators big enough for the rooms? Do they have sufficient BTU output for the size of them? www.diy.com/help-advice/btu-radiator-calculator/Dev_npcart_100006.art If they are rubbish radiators, they aren't ever give you enough heat.
Is the boiler up to the job?
Could you add more radiators? Will the boiler cope with more being added? Could you put in tall thin ones a few inches wide where you don't have wall space in the hallway or kitchen for a wider style one?

It's surprisingly cheap for labour to add more radiators.

babysharkah Thu 24-Jan-19 11:41:58

I live in a victorian house, its a bit draughty at the front door so we have a draft excluder and can also be draughty through the bathroom floorboards. It's warm though, I don't have a thermostat but it's definitley warm! We left the heating on low all night last night and cranked it up again this morning to full. First time this year we've had to put it on to full.

Whats taking up the hall and wall space in kitchen, I'd be prioritising putting radiators in to be honest.

BarbaraofSevillle Thu 24-Jan-19 11:42:10

What are the walls like and can you get cavity wall insulation?

Putting curtains over doors and windows will help - the back of our house is not overlooked and the only time we shut the curtains is in winter to keep the heat in.

A Victorian house isn't necessarily cold or hard to heat. Our first house was a Victorian terrace and that was toasty warm but it did only have one external wall as was back to back and walls were really thick stone.

myhouseistoocold Thu 24-Jan-19 11:43:26

Thanks Motorcyle - I'll look into BTU output and also get my boiler looked at.

At the moment the radiators on the top floor don't ever go beyond lukewarm (even if heating is on full whack).

I'm thinking it'd be nice to have one of those systems where I can use my phone to turn zones on / off in my house so I don't heat the whole house when nobody is in the upstairs rooms etc.

myhouseistoocold Thu 24-Jan-19 11:44:52

Loads of great thoughts on this thread, thanks everyone. I think I could make some improvements to make things a bit warmer and more efficient.

MacarenaFerreiro Thu 24-Jan-19 11:49:12

I am not one of those "whack the thermostat up to 30" brigade - we are more a 20c sort of house. But I couldn't live with those temperatures, OP.

My parents live in a stone cottage, probably Victorian but possibly older. It's always FREEZING even with central heating. They have double glazing but it's very difficult to insulate those types of properties.

I'm very grateful for my warm, nicely insulated 1960s house.

Threehoursfromhome Thu 24-Jan-19 11:49:17

The new radiators and the zoning are worth considering, but I would recommend doing the more low tech insulation and draft-proofing first. Otherwise you're paying for the heat to go out of the windows, and possibly up the stairs. It sounds like that's happening now if the upstairs is 18 and the downstairs 11.

The other good thing about draft proofing and insulation is it keeps the house cooler in summer, so it has a double benefit.

Wingedharpy Thu 24-Jan-19 11:49:28

Another, shivery Victorian houseowner here.
I think tall ceilings and warm air rising also has a lot to do with it.
Thermal undies and cashmere socks and jumpers help!

bagelthinsareyummy Thu 24-Jan-19 11:50:56

Maybe you need a higher setting? I'm letting my flat out at the moment - tenant recently complained that it was cold. Had heating and radiators checked and all fine. I used to live there and didn't feel cold in the flat - I'm someone who feels the cold, so will warm my home appropriately. She was putting the heating on to 18 for two hours after work and found it cold when she got up in the morning. To me that's an unrealistic expectation when it's mid winter, but to her it isn't. It's a Victorian property. Maybe her last home wasn't and would have been sufficient to heat it until morning, I don't know.

milkmoustache Thu 24-Jan-19 11:50:58

I often see thick curtains in charity shops that can be used as a quick fix for a door curtain.

AngryAttackKittens Thu 24-Jan-19 11:51:39

Your house is bloody freezing. I'd be afraid to cook in a kitchen that cold in case my numbed by the cold fingers slipped while holding a knife or a heavy pot.

LBOCS2 Thu 24-Jan-19 11:54:47

In my experience, yes, unless you want to haemorrhage money in heating costs (or lose period features such as original stained glass in windows/doors to double glazing and composite replacements), Victorian houses are generally cold.

Tips for warmth: a heavy curtain over the windows and doors (back and front) to stop draughts, update older single skin radiators to double skinned ones for a better heat output, see if you have space in the kitchen or hallway for tall radiators even if you can't fit traditional long ones, decent loft insulation between the joists, draught excluding sticky foam things on the frames of all the windows you haven't replaced yet, wool or feather duvets, blankets for sofas and chairs when you're sitting down, CLOSE DOORS. And stick a jumper on, obviously.

Simonfromharlow Thu 24-Jan-19 11:54:52

Have you bled the lukewarm radiators?

FFSFFSFFS Thu 24-Jan-19 11:55:00

I have had a balmy winter with a standard temperature of 22 degrees. It is DELIGHTFUL. Before this I loved in a Victorian terrace and it was ARCTIC. This flat is also about that period and single glazed but has radiators wherever you look and is well damp proofed etc. My quality of life and happiness has improved significantly.

MustBeDueSomeBetterFeet Thu 24-Jan-19 11:55:24

These are the radiators that fit under the cabinets: www.plumbnation.co.uk/site/plinth-heaters/

Fan heaters are next to useless as you've discovered! And also cost a hell of a lot to run.

You may wish to consider turning the dining room one up beyond 1!!

Underfloor heating anywhere?

Also, I know you've said you're upgrading your windows to double glazed. Just be aware that by sealing the windows (and I understand you're preventing draughts!!), you may cause other issues with regards to condensation/mould. Older houses need heating but also need ventilating to ensure moist air can escape.

allflownthenest Thu 24-Jan-19 11:56:13

I'm in a modern house, currently working in room that is 15c. we have heating on for an hour x2 a day. Will lite the fire once I've walked the dog and it will get up to 20c. Think I need to walk the dog now my feet are cold!

RelaxedSelfGuiding Thu 24-Jan-19 11:57:47

Mine's 17th century. It's freezing. 11 degrees in the bathroom on a good day

WitsEnding Thu 24-Jan-19 11:57:58

Moved from a Victorian house to a 1920s terrace, there isn't a lot of difference. Boarding the loft and having a new roof helped a lot - there was thick insulation already but it definitely cut the draughts.

Thick curtains would cut the draught from the windows, The wind also blows up between my gappy polished floorboards but I'd rather bear it for now than carpet. All the interior doors stay shut unless I'm deliberately airing the rooms.

Grimbles Thu 24-Jan-19 11:59:40

I cannot recommend decent thick curtains on windows and doors enough! In the summer we swap the back door curtain for voile which acts as a fly screen of sorts too.

blackteasplease Thu 24-Jan-19 12:00:55

I've struggled to warm mine up this week. It's 1930s. Just had the radiators on a lot and occasionally the fire (although it does bog all). Hallway radiator currently broken and waiting for a plumber though.

I am a 19/20 degrees in the house person usually and like to wear a warm jumper rather than crank up the heating. But I have been cold this week.

ChariotsofFish Thu 24-Jan-19 12:01:09

Have you checked that your kitchen hasn’t been not through to incorporate the old scullery? They were often single brick and will make the room much colder.

ChariotsofFish Thu 24-Jan-19 12:01:25

Knocked through, not not through.

veggiepigsinpastryblankets Thu 24-Jan-19 12:01:36

I spent part of my childhood in a Victorian house and I don't remember being particularly cold - but I do remember my mum putting masking tape around the edges of the draughty front door and sticking tissue in the keyhole every night - maybe that's the secret?!

Missingstreetlife Thu 24-Jan-19 12:01:36

My friend uses the cooker to heat the kitchen but it's not cheap (or safe?) you need to keep doors closed & heat the hall a bit, block chimneys. Only heat rooms you are using to keep cost down and allow boiler to concentrate on radiators that are switched on, turn the others off at the valve

BettyDuMonde Thu 24-Jan-19 12:02:51

A hot water bottle in your lap while working at a desk is a great short term solution (part time freelancing = full time thriftiness)!

Bluntness100 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:02:51

If your radiators never get warm then something is wrong. Either the heating is too low or they need bleeding, it's very simple to do, but generally they should heat up to a level you couldn't keep your hands on them for more than a few seconds.

The bottom line is low level to no heating and any property is going to result in a cold house in these temps, but particularly an old one.

As said mine is ancient, and yes it's expensive to heat it, I have central heating, two wood burners and a plinth heater in kitchen. If when it's very cold outside I have all the radiators off upstairs it becomes very difficult to warm downstairs, as the heat just disappears up stairs as it rises.

Either accept there is a few weeks of rhe year it will be expensive to heat or accept it will be freezing as you don't want to pay to heat it. Whatever other small measures you take, fraught excluders etc, will make a small difference but the primary answer really is heating it.

Jappydooda Thu 24-Jan-19 12:03:09

I live in a Victorian house too and I did find it a bit chilly.

However, I have had a new boiler and put a double radiator in the kitchen and just had new windows and back door put in. It has definitely made a difference to the temperature.

All I need now is to put a curtain across the front door and sort out some insulation for the roof.

justasking111 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:04:43

George III was on the throne when our home was built of stone quarried locally. We spent years, taking up floors and insulating , dry lining internally. Lagging the loft, the list went on and on. Putting in a new central heating system, log burner. Still in this weather it would get cold. The best thing was the log burner we had to open doors or melt in the heat.

Fundays12 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:06:24

Wow that’s freezing my heating triggers in when it’s less than 18 in the winter

ScouseQueen Thu 24-Jan-19 12:07:37

Draught excludes help and aren't expensive. Get those for front and back doors and close all your other doors, especially the kitchen - isolate the coldest space at least. The draught excluding tape for the window frames is also cheap.

Fan heaters are shit. Oil filled radiators, on the other hand, are good and not very expensive to run, and Aldi had small ones on sale for £15 a couple of days ago.

Twillow Thu 24-Jan-19 12:07:42

Yes, they take a long time to warm up and lose heat quickly unfortunately compared to modern building standards. Professionally renovated the sash windows to be draughtproof in one house, which helped a little, but the next one had double glazing and you could tell the difference (even though they weren't so pretty!). Both Victorian terrace.
Can you imagine what it would have been like when they were built, with just open fires??
I felt bad heating the house when I was the only one home, tended to wear a bodywarmer (and sometimes hat!). An oil filled radiator sounds a good idea for one room if you work from home. There is evidence that it costs as much to heat a house from cold as it does to leave it on most of the time!

ILoveChristmasLights Thu 24-Jan-19 12:07:43

Have you bled all the radiators?

You need to find all the draughts and block them up cheaply/temporarily until you can do something permanent. The smallest draught can really have a huge impact. We need to replace the front door (it’s completely shot) but it’s not happening until the rest of the work is complete because Sod’s law one of the contractors will bash it with something whilst carrying material into the house and I don’t want to put them in the position of worrying about it. Further in the house in a cloakroom, there’s a skylight, if I have the tiny air vent open it sucks the sucks the air through the gap in the front door- WAY more than you’d ever give it credit for.

tillytrotter1 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:10:22

Wow, your bedrooms are warm! I doubt mine was much above 10 (if that) this morning.
I was thinking that, I never have bedroom radiators on, unless someone's ill or we have the very young grandchildren to stay, I even have the window slightly open all winter for fresh air.

StrawberryBlondeRed Thu 24-Jan-19 12:10:52

Have you heard of Duvet Suits OP?

www.planetcamping.co.uk/lazypatch-duvet-suits.html

spoon19996 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:11:24

Mines is the same also rented
Bathroom and bedroom window don't close properly
Luckily my girls are in the room with the boiler so they stay warm. Costs me so much to keep the house warm. I have a 6 month old so I haven't a choice really. My landlord is useless too I've told her about it all 😑

Asta19 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:12:10

I'm in a Victorian with single glazing and yes, it is obviously colder than a new build, but not freezing. My thermostat is set to 19, at night I put it down to 17. I haven't RTFT but does your heating go off at night? I find if the heating is off completely the house gets very cold, very quickly, so mine stays on all the time in Winter. My gas bills are not excessive either. So I find that to be the best way.

If you are working from home get one of these:

www.qdstores.co.uk/products/bauer-luxury-soft-touch-heated-throw-120x160cm.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIidCQs7GG4AIVEM53Ch0vAgizEAkYASABEgJrpPD_BwE

It is a game changer! I'll have it over me in the evenings sometimes. If I have it on the highest setting, within half an hour I'm sweating and end up throwing it off me! You could easily have it over your lap while working.

FFSFFSFFS Thu 24-Jan-19 12:14:21

@StrawberryBlondeRed I am quite seriously going to order a Duvet Suit. And wear it until April. Everywhere.

Myimaginarycathasfleas Thu 24-Jan-19 12:14:27

Get a radiator into your kitchen somehow, OP, even if you have to lose a kitchen unit. It’s a room you can’t avoid using, so don’t let it be torture. If you really can’t fit one in, get a convector heater to boost the temperature when you’re in there. I speak from bitter experience!

FFSFFSFFS Thu 24-Jan-19 12:14:35

(I am also Australian. We don't like the cold)

llangennith Thu 24-Jan-19 12:15:01

I'm in a Victorian terraced house, open plan downstairs, and mine stays warm. No central thermostat, just on radiators. I insisted on an oversized rad in the front room and in the hall as you can turn rads down or off but you can't increase the heat output from a small rad already on max setting.
I have a draught excluder sausage-dog type thing by the inner front door, double glazing everywhere including an ugly double glazed front door.
Heating goes off at night.
Rad thermostats on 4, my bills are acceptable.
Myhouseistoocold fix as many draughts as you can and don't expect any room to be warm in a setting of 1.

Myimaginarycathasfleas Thu 24-Jan-19 12:16:00

Also, if you have a curtain across the front and back doors, consider fitting portieres. They attach to the door and lift the curtain off the floor as you open it. Keeps the curtain clean and makes it much easier when coming in from the outside!

PositivelyPERF Thu 24-Jan-19 12:17:35

You’d be surprised how much if a draft comes through a keyhole, OP. If you have some keyholes, but don’t need to use them, then stick a bit of tape over them.

Bubble wrap on any windows, including stained glass.

Hit the charity shops/Facebook and cover any wooden floors with rugs or even vinyl/Lino to stop the drafts between floor boards.

Run your hand around the bottom of the skirting boards, to check for drafts. They can be filled with caulk/sealant (diy stores sell them in a few colours)

Electric blankets for the beds will prevent that horrible damp feeling beds get when a room is cold. Put a very heavy blanket/throw, over the top.

Get an electric throw. They are amazing and you will feel lovely and cosy under one on the sofa at night.

I use these draft excluders and they make a great difference.

www.ebay.co.uk/i/121792463435?chn=ps&ul_ref=https%253A%252F%252Frover.ebay.com%252Frover%252F1%252F710-134428-41853-0%252F2%253Fmpre%253Dhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.ebay.co.uk%25252Fi%25252F121792463435%25253Fchn%25253Dps%2526itemid%253D121792463435%2526targetid%253D595627863833%2526device%253Dt%2526adtype%253Dpla%2526googleloc%253D1007282%2526poi%253D%2526campaignid%253D1660961668%2526adgroupid%253D69691776891%2526rlsatarget%253Dpla-595627863833%2526abcId%253D1140496%2526merchantid%253D113478732%2526gclid%253DEAIaIQobChMInb3j3rKG4AIVwbTtCh09Bg9-EAQYBCABEgLnbfD_BwE%2526srcrot%253D710-134428-41853-0%2526rvr_id%253D1832024435797%2526rvr_ts%253D7fc9c6be1680aadaf9a198c4fff6fa5f

elliesm98 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:17:44

I live in a block of flats that were originally a school house, built in the 1800s and it’s always freezing but I have electric storage heaters due to it being a listed building, so can’t have heating on in evening

myhouseistoocold Thu 24-Jan-19 12:17:49

ChariotsofFish I've just been to look and I think you're right, there's a tiny extension at the end of the kitchen that I think has incorporated the old scullery, I can see that the brick at that end of the kitchen is thinner than the walls at the side. Damn!

DontCallMeCharlotte Thu 24-Jan-19 12:19:07

We have a Victorian house and it's pretty warm. The radiator doesn't work in the spare room and it's still warm in there.

However, our living room, which is pretty small, feels cold. There is a double glazed bay window but there must be a gap somewhere because that end of the room is quite chilly at this tie of year. "My" sofa is opposite the window and next to the radiator wink

RomanyRoots Thu 24-Jan-19 12:19:16

Kitchens are supposed to be colder than other rooms though. However, your house is cold as most Victorian houses are.
Look at ways of keeping the heat in. Open windows in the morning if you can, it heats up quicker, believe it or not.
Draught excluders are good and tape/cling film over windows.
Have you had your radiators bled recently, this can make a huge difference.
Boiler may be able to run more efficiently, check websites, or instruction book.

Racecardriver Thu 24-Jan-19 12:20:21

Well 18 is perfect sleeping temperate and 16 is fine with slippers and a cardigan but your kitchen and Galway are a bit cold

PregnantSea Thu 24-Jan-19 12:20:59

The problem with Victorian houses is they tend to be full of nooks and crannies that let in drafts. I had the same problem when I lived in a Victorian house, and also when I lived in mill era terrace.

Unfortunately I think the only thing that you could do to really help long term is spring for new flooring, new doors and double glazing. I know - it's all horrendously expensive stuff!

In the mean time though - carpets, rugs, draft excluders and heavy curtains! And if you have the time to faff with it you could buy a rubber seal to attach to the bottom of your door - they sell them in places like b and q. Won't help with the crafts coming up through the old flooring though sad

viques Thu 24-Jan-19 12:21:57

Another cold Victorian house here, owned by a meany whose mantra is put another jumper on! So some thoughts.

Huge bay and French Windows don't help, so you have to grit your teeth and think how much nicer they are in summer. I had replacement windows put in a long time ago , and am aware that there are now much better and more efficient ones on the market, a small and I thought insignificant kitchen window was replaced by a super insulated one and the difference is amazing. I close Living room and bedroom curtains at dusk

Loft is very well insulated because I got it done for free. Twice!

Original floorboards in the hall with a cellar underneath, was very draughty but I found some amazing stuff that you poke between the spaces which cuts down on the draughts, hard on the knees though.

A porch helps a lot, I am always staggered by the drop in temperature between hall and porch, I have a heavy curtain behind the front door which also helps.

Keeping doors closed really makes a difference.

PearsandWine Thu 24-Jan-19 12:22:36

Given the cost of power now I think you also have to choose one room to be the warm room and live with the others colder. Personally I like a warm living room so that is the room which gets the additional heat.

Not fussed about bedrooms as I prefer a cool bedroom (and can always use an electric blanket which is cheaper than heating the room). Not really fussed about the kitchen either as it warms up when I am cooking although I do miss the Aga I had in a previous house! I do have underfloor heating in the bathroom on a timer - this is also where the cats choose to spend their time in the Winter.

mumsiedarlingrevolta Thu 24-Jan-19 12:25:13

My Victorian house similar.
No heating at all in kitchen and feeble at best elsewhere.
TBH I like it most of the time but can be a shock to guests grin
I love sleeping in the cold under a pile of duvets and we tend to have an open fire most nights which is lovely and cozy.
MY DC love to report the temperatures in their rooms in the morning-they sometimes claim it's colder than outside!
But yes-think Victorian houses tend to be cold and draughty but the charm makes it worth it...

mumsiedarlingrevolta Thu 24-Jan-19 12:26:56

and TBH I prefer it to houses with forced heating-they make me feel hot and bothered.
Another plus is too cold for germs not really but we have to hope

MyFamilyAndOtherAnimals1 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:27:04

flowers !!
Get a hot water bottle and shove it up your jumper!! (Bliss!)
... also, a rug over your knees when your working also keeps you warm (even if it does make you look 50 years older than you probably are!)

recklessruby Thu 24-Jan-19 12:27:48

I live in a Victorian house and it used to be really cold in the winter when we had single glazed windows and a wooden door.
There were gaps air came in and rotting frames.
This year we have had all new double glazing and thick pvc doors and frames and it gets lovely and warm .it s really made a difference and our heating is usually set at 18-20 c.
The only problem is in the kitchen the cat flap has to stay propped open in the day as my dopey cat can't work it out.confused

Grubsmummy Thu 24-Jan-19 12:32:49

I don't live in an old, old house, was built in the 1960s. But ours is still cold. I think its mostly due to size and/or layout of the property.
My parents house is very square and warms up lovely. Our home is wide, conservatory on back that let's in drafts, and has large rooms. 14/15 degrees is the best we can get even with the heating on

viques Thu 24-Jan-19 12:33:52

The stuff I poked between my floorboards is called StopGap.

ChariotsofFish Thu 24-Jan-19 12:34:27

You can get the single brick bit well insulated, though it will still be colder than double brick. But it would only make sense to do it when you’re having the kitchen replaced. Whatever else you do your kitchen will stay chilly if part of it is single brick.

CostanzaG Thu 24-Jan-19 12:37:07

Our house is freezing....we have very pretty sash windows that the previous owners had restored at great expense but you can feel even the slightest breeze through them. The kitchen has a stone floor and is in the cellar so is freezing even in summer!

We've got shutters where we can, put carpets down and got a new front door. We also use the log burner a lot.

Still I love my house even though i bloody freeze every winter!

Drum2018 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:38:08

Radiators may need bleeding or actually flushing, if they are years old. We need to get ours seen to as some are not heating fully. Neighbour had theirs flushed and said the amount of gunk that came out was gross. Seal around older window frames with silicon. Keep door to your workspace closed to keep the heat in there at least. If you have a letter box seal it and get a post box on the wall instead. And layer up - when kids aren't home I tend to put up with the house being a bit colder so I'll put on a fleece over a jumper. I'd put the heat on when they are home from school.

Drum2018 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:39:34

Also, is your attic well insulated? Lots of heat is lost through the roof. You'd need a good thick layer and can get spray insulation too which made a difference to our upstairs.

TowerRingInferno Thu 24-Jan-19 12:44:49

My house is Georgian and freezing. No insulation, single glazed windows, high ceilings etc. Hallway currently at 12 degrees. Room over the garage was at 6 last time I looked.

I heat certain areas effectively so they are warm (20 degrees) - multifuel stoves in sitting rooms, aga in kitchen, electric oil-filled radiator in the study, but the actual central heating achieves little.

justasking111 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:48:01

Towerring. I understand what you are saying which is why we dry lined all the rooms, in a couple of cases having the old plaster hacked off first. An old house will never be as cosy as a modern one.

I was at a new one the other day, upstairs, I felt quite ill at the temps. upstairs. Had to leave the room.

StatisticallyChallenged Thu 24-Jan-19 12:49:42

Victorian house here, and it used to be cold (and it still is if you leave the heating off for long.) The coldest rooms can hit single digits if left to their own devices.

However, we have found that in our house it was worth switching to having the heating always on and thermostatically controlled instead. The temperature never drops below about 17 degrees and is more like 19-20 during the day. The funny thing is that the cost difference for us has been minimal compared to doing the more traditional approach - it's hard to be certain because of supplier and rate changes but it maybe costs us £10 more a month averaged over the year to have the house always warm.

Roomba Thu 24-Jan-19 12:52:20

My Victorian house is pretty cold too. If I get up before the heating has come on in winter, it's 14 degrees in my living room when it's mild out. 12 or less when it's cold out! That's in the warmest room in the house. My kitchen has no radiator so no heating, except a pull cord fan heater that I use very rarely, so it's usually below 10 degrees in there in the winter at 5am! Bedrooms are probably around 12/13 degrees first thing. Of course, once the heating has been on for an hour, it's much better! I set mine to 17.5 so it turns off at 18.5. Upstairs is a couple of degrees cooler - but I don't like being too warm tbh. It could be much warmer in here I'm sure but my bank balance wouldn't thank me.

Things that have made a huge difference to how long the house actually retains the heat once it's warmed up:
- Double glazing and new composite front/back doors. Much warmer when there isn't a 1 inch gap under the front door, and curtains don't blow around when it's windy outside grin
- Free loft insulation - no idea who put ours in as it was a while ago, they knocked on the door asking about it. Immediate massive difference in warmth. There's none above the bathroom due to no access - it's always cold in there because of it.
- Putting insulation boards on the ceiling of the cellar - the living room above it used to be freezing and is now the warmest room.
My house is perfectly warm enough for us, we're used to it. I do long for underfloor heating in that kitchen though...

Rio18 Thu 24-Jan-19 13:14:37

I've got a 1950's house and a fancy system that controls my heating for me.

It turns off automatically when we're out and I can see the average temp of the house at the moment is 16.
We're very well insulated, double glazed etc, it's just bloody cold.

It dropped to 15 overnight and only got up to 17 this morning when i had the heating on to get up.

I've just turned my heating on from my phone so it's warm when I finish work soon.

Jux Thu 24-Jan-19 14:13:23

Get to Lidl, buy an oil filled radiator - 40 quid - our sitting room has actually been warm FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 13 YEARS!!!!!

MacarenaFerreiro Thu 24-Jan-19 14:13:52

Oil filled radiators are a great solution and very effective.

namechangechanger Thu 24-Jan-19 14:38:26

I don't know how cold my house is but most days in winter I have a coat, hat and scarf on indoors and blankets over me on the sofa lol. We put the heating on until house is warm and very soon after we turn it off the house is freezing again, can't afford to keep it running constantly though 🤷🏻‍♀️

Blooger Thu 24-Jan-19 15:21:54

You need to seriously prioritise overhauling the heating system in your house and getting some extra radiators, plus having the system 'bled' so that air pockets don't impede its functioning. Also double glazed windows needed throughout--do the most important rooms first if money is an issue. And ensure you have thick enough insulation in the loft. That made a huge difference to our house. In every case, good contractors can advise you of the best systems.

Onlyjoinedforthisthread Thu 24-Jan-19 16:07:41

If you've turned your heating down to 1 and don't have radiators in some rooms, single glazing in others and it is 1 degree outside your house will be cold, Victorian or brand new. How do you can you expect it to be warm?

LakieLady Thu 24-Jan-19 16:11:15

Dining room has surprised me being so cold. It does have a radiator and new double glazed windows, though I only have the heating on 1 today as had a message from the energy company yesterday saying they were putting up my bills. Maybe I'm expecting too much from the '1' setting on my heating in this room!

Do you mean 1 on the radiator knob? If so, I'm not surprised it's cold. My radiators barely heat up at all on 1.

Onlyjoinedforthisthread Thu 24-Jan-19 16:19:37

1 on the radiator is little more than a frost setting

LakieLady Thu 24-Jan-19 16:26:10

At the moment the radiators on the top floor don't ever go beyond lukewarm (even if heating is on full whack).

This doesn't sound right, OP. Do the radiators need bleeding? If they are warm at the top but much colder at the bottom (or possibly the other way round), they definitely do. How long is it since they were flushed out? Are the valves at both ends fully open?

Is your thermostat in a place that is unusually warm, so the heating system is tricked into thinking it's warmer than it is and turning it off when the room isn't up to temperature?

If you have a combi boiler (which you almost certainly do, unless the boiler is pretty old) it will probably have 2 controls on it: one for water temperature, with a tap symbol, and one for radiators, with (surprise, surprise) a radiator symbol. These control the temperature for the water in the 2 parts of the system.

If you've eliminated all the above problems, try turning the boiler temp
control for the rads to a higher setting and see if that helps. Mine has never been up to getting all the rads warm at the manufacturer's recommended setting, but works a treat a bit higher. But then it is a heap-of-shite Weissmann and I'll never get another one.

LakieLady Thu 24-Jan-19 16:29:34

You need to seriously prioritise overhauling the heating system in your house and getting some extra radiators, plus having the system 'bled' so that air pockets don't impede its functioning.

Bleeding the radiators is a doddle, even I can do it, and a bleed key is about £1.

The only thing you need to know is which rads are furthest from the boiler: you start with the one that's furthest away, then to the next one and so on. It's usually easy to work out, unless your heating was put in by a mad plumber.

LakieLady Thu 24-Jan-19 16:35:00

Moved from a Victorian house to a 1920s terrace, there isn't a lot of difference. Boarding the loft and having a new roof helped a lot - there was thick insulation already but it definitely cut the draughts.

During a power cut, when I was crossing the landing with a candle, I noticed we had a shocking draught coming through the loft hatch. Putting draught excluder round the opening made a massive difference to the temperature upstairs. I can't believe I'd never noticed it before, it was so stroing it almost blew the candle out.

You often get a draught from chimneys if you have unused open fireplaces. You can buy chimney balloons for sorting that.

flapjackfairy Thu 24-Jan-19 16:43:23

Don't know if anyone has mentioned that you can get insulation plaster board that goes on the inside of the outside walls. We have a Victoria house and have insulated each room as we have gone along and it makes all the difference

DillyDilly Thu 24-Jan-19 16:43:45

You need to find a way to have some sort of heating in the hall. Otherwise every time you open a door into the hall, the cold air will flow through to those rooms.

Maybe get engineer in to see why the radiators aren’t warming up ?

Seniorschoolmum Thu 24-Jan-19 16:46:17

Agree with drum2018. You should have 20cm of loft insulation on the joists over the rooms on the top floor. Take a torch, poke your head through the loft hatch & have a look. Ideally also a lined roof & insulation panels between the rafters.

My house is 1830s and after having that done, it’s as warm as a modern house.

LeSquigh Thu 24-Jan-19 16:51:35

I am in a Victorian terrace but the houses either side aren’t heated due to the circumstances of the occupants (long story!) insulation is terrible because there is no wall cavity but the loft is insulated well. Ours does warm up fairly well but as soon as the heating goes off it gets cold again so on all day here at the moment.

MereDintofPandiculation Thu 24-Jan-19 17:04:49

In Victorian house, paying attention to draughts is a good first step. If nothing else, strips of newspaper twisted into long thin sausages work well. Try all round the window frames (if you choose a cold windy evening to do this, you'll get a good idea of where draughts are coming in), tops of skirting boards join between skirting board and floor, gaps between floorboards (thick carpet underlay or even sheets of newspaper better than nothing). Check whether you're getting draughts under doors - if so use a "sausage" or a rolled up blanket. Draughts round door edges will need proper stick-on draught excluder.

Have you any open chimneys? They need blocking when not in use.

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