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Martin Lewis warns of key thermostat mistake that folks make when winter weather arrives | Personal Finance | Finance


The financial journalist gave some advice to listeners to his BBC podcast about how best to make use of timers and thermostats. As freezing temperatures have arrived in Britain this week, he spoke a few mistake people make when setting their heating due to the cold weather.

He said: “Many individuals, when it gets cold because it’s happening at once, they turn their thermostat up, with the concept that may make them warmer.

“Well no it won’t. In case your thermostat is about to the suitable temperature, it’s set to the suitable temperature.

“Yes, you’re going to need to wait for it to rise up to that heat, but don’t start setting your thermostats higher simply because it’s colder.

“The thermostat takes you to a certain temperature, that’s its entire raison d’etre. Timers and thermostats are very powerful tools.”

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He also said people often misunderstand the impact turning down the thermostat by only one degree could make on a household’s energy usage.

While admitting this instance just isn’t a precise science, the savings expert commented: “Say your thermostat is currently set at 21 degrees and also you’re dropping it to twenty degrees, that seems like it’s not very much. But in fact, we’re just comparing it to zero degrees, which is an arbitrary figure.

“In point of fact, your own home may only be heating from 16 degrees as much as 21 degrees, and in that case dropping from 21 right down to 20 is a fifth of the energy usage, it’s 20 percent of the energy usage. Which is why dropping by one degree can have a very big impact.”

The World Health Organisation recommends 18 degrees as an acceptable home temperature for healthy people.


Mr Lewis encouraged listeners to set their thermostat on the temperature that most accurately fits their needs, but in addition to experiment with turning down the heating in the event that they can.

He said: “You should set it at the speed that you are feeling is comfortable for you. In fact, older people and people with medical conditions will want it warmer than that.

“But my suggestion can be, try dropping one degree in your thermostat, see the way it feels, and should you don’t notice much difference, that is usually a big saving.”

Mr Lewis also told listeners about how they may slash their gas bills by nine percent, by turning down the setting on their boiler.

READ MORE: Cold Weather Payment could provide £25 as temperatures drop below zero

He commented: “If you have got a gas combi boiler, which is the kind most homes have, the flow rate on most of those boilers are set too high as a default.

“The flow rate is the temperature of the water that circulates across the system. If it’s too high, the boiler isn’t operating to maximum efficiency.

“Changing your flow rate can cut gas bills by over nine percent and also you won’t notice the change.”

He also mentioned The Money Saving Boiler Challenge, a project which is totally separate from Money Saving Expert, which Mr Lewis founded.

The challenge encourages Britons to show down the flow temperature on their combi boiler to 60C or below, as this could “knock kilos off your heating bill annually and reduce energy waste from your property”.

Flow temperature refers back to the temperature a boiler heats water to before it goes across the radiators of a property.

The Energy Price Guarantee got here into effect at first of October, capping the worth of energy but still meaning bills rose significantly, to on average £2,500 a yr, for typical households.

The cap pertains to the unit price of energy so people in larger households, which use more energy than on average, may perhaps have larger bills.

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