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Heating at home and work: how we adapt

Everyone’s different when it comes to their preferred temperature at home. Some of us like to stay cosy with the thermostat turned up the max, whilst others are more comfortable with a cooler atmosphere.

5 heating 640x 400

Heating our homes
Today, gas is the main fuel we use to heat our homes as it’s easily available and low in emissions. But this hasn't always been the case – in the 1970s less than a quarter of UK homes had central heating and out of those that did:
  • over 25% used solid fuel, such as coal
  • 25% used electricity
  • 33% used gas
  • 8% used oil1

Of course, modern homes are more energy efficient and much warmer than they were in the ‘70s. We’re able to keep the heat in by fitting double glazing, cavity wall and loft insulation. It’s also easier to maintain temperature control with the boilers you can buy today. If you do buy a new boiler, it’s important to get boiler cover to make sure you’re protected if anything goes wrong.

In the future, the way we heat our homes may change as gas reserves get lower and we turn to more renewable sources, such as solar and wind power.


Heating the office
While we're able to choose the temperature in our home, at work we often have less control over the thermostat. The temperature most of us find comfortable to work in is between 16°C to 24°Cbut it’s hard to satisfy everyone all of the time.

A OnePoll survey about office temperatures in winter found that:

  • 27.35% said their office was too cold
  • 24.35% said their office was slightly cold
  • 24.35% said it was ideal3

For advice on staying warm, take a look at our central heating tips.


The future is smart
By 2020 all homes in Britain will have a 'smart meter' installed – a digital gas and electricity meter showing the amount you've used and the cost. As you'll know exactly what you're spending, you may think twice before you turn up the heating.

In future we may also be able to reduce heating bills and control the temperature with ‘smart windows’ which block out the warmth in the summer and prevent heat loss in the winter.

1 United Kingdom Housing Energy Fact File, Department of Energy and Climate Change

2 Health and Safety Information Leaflet, Unison

3 Temperature Survey, OnePoll on behalf of Andrew Sykes


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