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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.

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