The north-south heating divide – who likes their homes warmer?

The answer might surprise you

Northerners have a bit of a reputation for being able to handle the cold. But is it deserved? A new survey suggests not! It reveals that those of us who live up north are much more likely to whack up our thermostats when it gets cold.

The survey, of 2,000 adults carried out by OnePoll, asked how high we set our thermostats. And while the national average is 20 degrees, people in Scotland and the north west set it a whole degree higher, saying 21 degrees is the perfect temperature.

Related: How to keep your house warm in winter

Home attached with thermostats

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Parmiter)

Northerners are much quicker to crank up the heat, too, with one in three putting it on in September, compared to one in five of Londoners. And 10 per cent of those in the south east and south west wait until December before they put the heating on, instead choosing to wear jumper to fight off the cold.

Up in Newcastle, however, a third of Geordies would rather whack up the thermostat than don an extra layer of clothing.

Top 10 preferred ways to keep the house warm in winter

1. Put the heating on
2. Keep the windows closed
3. Wear a jumper/extra layers around the house
4. Close all the doors
5. Use a winter duvet
6. Keep curtains/blinds closed
7. Snuggle up under a blanket while watching TV
8. Leave the oven door open after you've finished cooking
9. Use draft excluders
10. Use a hot water bottle or similar

keep kitchen warm in winter

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

Stay cosy: Avoid Christmas heating disasters at home with these top tips

But no matter where you live, there's one thing we all have in common – thermostat wars. 45 per cent of couples admitted to arguing about the heating, and one in six revealed they secretly turn up the heating when their flatmate or partner isn't there, then turn it down again just before they get home. Sneaky!

Alan Dickinson, a director at Boxt, who commissioned the survey, says, 'The research has given us an interesting insight into the heating habits of the nation. Where the stereotype paints Northerners as resilient through the cold, Southerners are giving them a run for their money.'

Looks like that 'southern softies' tag might soon be redundant...

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.