Households loose their cool over heating

Northern Ireland is heating-spat hotspot, says AA

Households fall out over the heating

Even as wintry temperatures hit the UK, there is a chill in the air that's not caused by the weather.

Research by AA Home Membership shows that as temperatures drop, one in six householders will have a run-in with a housemate over the heating each week.*

The heating spat hotspot is Northern Ireland, where almost a quarter (23%) say they argue over the heating.

A boiler breakdown at this time of year really will lead to frayed tempers among families who already fall out over the heating.

Helen Brooker, head of AA Home Membership

South-west England is the most 'chilled-out'

Scotland comes second (18%) with thermostatic tempers, whereas south-west England is the most 'chilled-out' region, where just one in ten (10%) disagree over the heating.

The most common squabbles are over what temperature the heating should be – 60% of those who've had a fall-out cite this as the cause. Another 42% have fallen out over the length of time the heating is on, and 27% bicker over the energy bills.

Helen Brooker, Head of AA Home Membership, said: "Many people know what temperature they feel comfortable with and when they want it on. People can be quite set in their ways about this sort of thing, but if family members have different views it can lead to tension and even arguments.

"With energy costs rising, heating a home isn't cheap. While some people value warmth and comfort, others consider the expense more. But if the heating fails no-one benefits.

"A boiler breakdown really will lead to frayed tempers among families who already fall out over the heating, never mind being extremely inconvenient."

So it's best to be prepared. Boiler cover from the AA provides emergency assistance where the boiler, controls or central heating system has failed completely, leaving your home with no heating or hot water.

Nation's 'favourite' temperature is 20°C

The research also reveals that the nation's 'favourite' temperature is 20°C, though six per cent of those from both Northern Ireland and north-west England like their home to be a toasty 25°C or warmer.

Most people seem to make some sort of compromise in order to save money on their energy bills. A hardy seven out of ten will put on warmer clothing rather than the heating, while four out of ten keep their heating on a lower temperature than they'd like. Almost half say they only heat specific rooms to save money.

Do you argue with the people you live with about the heating?

Region

Percentage who argue
once per week or more

Northern Ireland

23

Scotland

18

South-east

17

West Midlands

17

Yorkshire and Humberside

17

Eastern England

16

East Midlands

15

London

15

North-west

15

North-east

14

Wales

12

South-west

10

Average

16

What are these heating arguments about?

Argument

Percentage

What temperature the heating should be

60

The length of time the heating is on for

42

The price of our energy bills

27

At what time of day the heating goes on or off

27

At what time of the year to turn the heating on or off

22

Not knowing how to use the heating controls

9

The state of repair of our central heating system

3

Other

5


* Research carried out by Populus on a sample of 2,110 adults aged 18+, on 26 September and 4 October 2013.

Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

19 November 2013