Living with other people is a game of constant compromise. Even our nearest and dearest can drive us up the wall when we are in close proximity to them for a long period of time. And with energy prices rising constantly, utility consumption can be a major issue in the relationship between bill-payers and other people in the household.
MoneySuperMarket has found that arguments over the central heating are making blood boil across the UK. An investigation into the nation’s ‘secret heaters’ found that almost one-third (29%) of Brits have argued with, or been annoyed by, the other people in their home over the thermostat.
Overall, 26% of respondents said that they have changed their household’s thermostat without discussing this with the other people in the house. However, their stealthiness may be wanting, as 63% of these respondents said they had been “caught in the act” doing so.
Unsurprisingly, the most common reason for people to butt heads over their central heating is financial, with 44% of people who admitted arguing over thermostats saying their energy bills were the cause of the conflict.
But even though so many Brits are secret heaters, money-saving ways to keep warm at home are very popular, with more than half of respondents saying they would rather put on extra clothes than switch their central heating system on.
MoneySuperMarket Energy Expert Stephen Murray predicted that arguments over the central heating will become even more commonplace as the winter months draw closer.
He noted that the research reveals that people across the country are still concerned about the cost of gas and electricity, adding that people can save up to £184 a year by switching energy supplier.
While minimising use of the central heating and putting on extra clothes can help people reduce their energy bills, it is “crucial” for people to ensure that they are not paying too much for their gas and electricity, Mr Murray argued.
For those who want to catch secret heaters as they covertly adjust thermostats, MoneySuperMarket offered the following tips:
- Watch out for when people are absent for too little time to make a cup of tea or use the toilet;
- Remember that secret heaters may act in a sheepish manner or avoid making eye contact after they have adjusted the central heating;
- When complaints such as “it’s cold in here” or “I’m freezing” become less regular, the central heating may be behind this;
- Noises from boilers, such as gurgles and groans, are “dead giveaways”.