AIBU to think my house is too cold?(129 Posts)
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)?!
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.
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.
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!
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.
I often see thick curtains in charity shops that can be used as a quick fix for a door curtain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Mine's 17th century. It's freezing. 11 degrees in the bathroom on a good day
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?!
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
A hot water bottle in your lap while working at a desk is a great short term solution (part time freelancing = full time thriftiness)!
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.
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.
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.
Wow that’s freezing my heating triggers in when it’s less than 18 in the winter
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.
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