British people are increasingly running from the cold weather by putting on their heating – in summer. A survey published by the home heating oil specialists, Emo Oil, of 1,084 UK households, found that a striking number are willing to up their heating bill in the warmest months of the year by turning up the radiators, while only tiny numbers are willing to use a hot water bottle, put on a jumper, or close the windows.
In fact, according to the survey published last week, more than a third of British households will turn on the heating in the summer months, which, considering the string of Hottest Days On Record and Hottest Months On Record, makes for a surprisingly fragility. The weather, while on average hotter than normal, is still British Weather, however, and twists and turns constantly, leading to enormous amounts of rain, cold snaps and wind that would put a chill through the heart of Satan. As a result, the average British house will turn the heating on 18 times over the summer months, usually leaving it on for a day or more at a time and noticeably racking up their heating oil bill.
However, of these shivering hypothermics taking action against the cold, only 29% will put on an extra layer to try to keep warm, despite this being the first advice given by older generations, money-saving experts, survivalists in makeshift shelters, residents of chillier parts of the world and Christmas jumper enthusiasts.
However, despite less than a third of Brits using a jumper or cardigan to keep out the chill, just more than one in five (22%) will make themselves a hot water bottle and keep it close, snuggling up with it to keep warm. As an avid advocate for the hot water bottle myself, this is a method I heartily endorse.
Lastly, 9% of those surveyed, which can be extrapolated to 1,751,400 people in all of Britain, said that their preferred way to keep warm is with a cuddle. More tactile Brits can rejoice – cuddling is one of the most effective ways to stay warm, even in freezing conditions.
The Marketing Director at Emo Oil, Suzanne Waddell, on the releae of the survey results, said “It’s very surprising indeed to see just how quickly Britons resort to flicking the switch on their central heating for instant gratification and warmth during the summer months, when our weather is the warmest it’s been on record. Although it’s important to remember that the Great British Summer is famous for its fickle weather and changeable conditions, we’ve seen plenty of Brits getting very creative looking for solutions to the cold, and coming up with some graet ways to stay snug and warm, even if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
You’d think more of them would close the windows, though” she added.
The research also showed which members of the population are most likely to resort to the thermostat for their dose of warmth and comfort, with a North/South divide very apparent – the North are much more likely to hit the button and warm up their homes, although the weather in the South has on average been warmer and less rainy than the North – it’s true what they say – it’s grim up North.
The research also showed a marked gender divide around heat, with women twice as likely to turn the heating on than men – women respondents revealed that they’d put the heating on in summer an average of 24 times, while male respondents claimed to have only switched on the heating 12 times on average! Whether this is an issue of biology, comfort or the man-going-to-the-doctor attitude of “it’s just fine in here, I’m not freezing at all” remains to be seen, but the facts remain – men are more likely to resort to other measures, or simply endure the grim cold, than women, who will make sure the house is cosy even if it means touching the thermostat.
The householders in Durham are the most likely to reach for the thermostat, although given how northerly those houses are, they can be forgiven. At 42%, it’s still a lot of heating oil being burnt up North, while Carlisle follows close behind with 39% use in the summer months. Bucking the trend, the next contender is Southwestern capitol Bristol, which has a quarter of all its houses warmed by central heating in the summer.
For those interested in the raw figures, they are:
The first-choice for keeping warm by UK homeowners
- Turn on the heating – 36%
- Put an extra layer on – 29%
- Hot water bottle – 22%
- Close windows – 14%
- Cuddle – 9%
Only 14% of Brits close the windows if they get too cold – with the rest taking different measures while leaving the windows wide open to the wind. I know turning the central heating on in the summer might seem like a bit much, but that really takes the cake, there.