When should you turn your heating off in spring?

As we enter March in the United Kingdom, the days are getting longer, and the bite of winter is starting to subside.

We are all mindful of energy bills, and so the sooner the heating can be turned off, the better. But how far into spring should you wait before giving your central heating a break?

The short answer is, the decision comes down to personal preference. But there are a range of relevant factors that can help you to decide.

In this article, we weigh up the key considerations of when to turn off your heating in spring.

The ‘15°C benchmark’

Conventional wisdom from a number of sources indicates that once the daily average temperature goes, and stays, above 15°C, that’s the time to turn your heating off.

This is just a guide. The 15°C benchmark is based on the fact that once the temperature stays over this level in the day, your home should retain the majority of the heat at night.

There are other factors at play, however, such as the insulation in your home, and which direction your property faces.

Ultimately, while you should look out for the temperature staying over 15°C as an indicator, your personal comfort is likely to dictate your decision.

Consistency is key

It’s worth emphasising, you shouldn’t be turning off your heating as soon as the weather hits the 15°C mark. Throughout the early stages of spring, temperatures are likely to fluctuate and there is every chance of a cold snap, even after the weather appears to have warmed up.

Taking the UK as an example – the average high temperature for March is still only 12°C, and it’s not until April when that average reaches 15°C. So before outdoor daytime temperatures become stable and comfortable, you might want to hold off making the decision.

As a rule of thumb, if your home is feeling comfortable without the heating on throughout the day, and is regularly reaching over 15°C, it could be time.

Take advantage of ‘nature’s heat’

If you make the decision to turn the heating off during spring evenings, ensure that you take full advantage of ‘nature’s heat’ during the daytime.

Open your windows to allow the warm air in. In this way, natural sunlight will heat your property, taking your home to a higher temperature level that it can retain at night time.

Just before it goes dark, be sure to shut your windows and blinds or curtains. This can have the effect of trapping the heat inside your home for the night, meaning that you will be less likely to have to turn your heating system back on.

Try a gradual transition

Instead of an abrupt switch from off to on, you might wish to take a phased approach.

If you use a thermostat, turn it down a few degrees when warmer weather is on its way. This can reduce runtimes but still ensure that it turns on when required. By turning off your heating in stages, you can monitor conditions and reduce energy use before you take the decision to fully switch off your heating.

Why you should tread with caution

A comfortable daytime temperature doesn’t always mean that it will stay warm all night. That’s why we recommend the phased approach above. Spring nights can still get chilly, and a sudden temperature drop could leave you waking up to a painfully cold house.
You should also note that if you do turn your heating off, it may take longer to restart your heating system after a cold weather snap has kicked in. Another consideration with a heating system that is inactive is moisture build-up from higher humidity that leads to corrosion.

Are night-time temperatures in spring still reaching below freezing in your area? If so, it’s also the pipes that you should bear in mind. Depending on external temperatures, pipes that are normally being heated by warm water running through them have the potential to freeze and even burst.

Consider a system checkup

After these words of warning, spring also presents an opportunity to ensure that your boiler and heating system are running as they should. Winter is over, and so your heating system has fulfilled its main responsibility. This is the time to have the system inspected, with any maintenance work carried out ahead of the autumn. If you live in the North Wales or Cheshire areas, this can be a sensible season to call in a gas engineer Chester- or Oswestry-located.

Trust your senses, with an eye on the temperature

Guided by your comfort preferences, but while monitoring both daytime and nighttime temperatures, you can come to a decision on when is best to turn off your heating in spring.

There is no right or wrong time. However, armed with the right information and taking it day by day, you can ease your heating system off its winter workload and enjoy the season of renewal’s natural warmth.