Scientists reveal how to save nearly £300 on your heating bills – and it's very simple

It gives a whole new meaning to a greener home...

Scientists exploring the psychology of colour claim a warming paint shade, such as green, could hold the power to making us feel physically warmer. It's science, you can't argue with that people.

Could the right warming paint shade be the answer to reduce your heating bills?

Paint experts Valspar have commissioned specific research to explore the power of colour in our homes.

More green ideas: Green bedroom ideas – from olive to emerald, explore the key shades that can create a luxe retreat

In conjunction with Valspar’s Love Your Colour experience, the study saw 157 participants take part in the unique experiment. Testing whether certain colours can affect the perception of our body temperature. The results reveal how the perfect paint colour can create warm vibes in our homes.

How warm paint colours can save you money

manzanilla olive valspar paint

(Image credit: Valspar Paint)

Placed in three different rooms, each the same ambient temperature of 18°C, participants were asked to record their body temperature – from one room to the other. The rooms were deliberately painted in a spectrum of primary colours, in order to test the impact of colour on their senses.

The study found that despite each room remaining at the same temperature, almost 31 per cent felt warmer in the olive-green room. The average perceived temperature in this room was 20.3°C, with some even recording that they felt up to five degrees warmer that the actual room temperature.

'Taking inspiration from the primary colour spectrum, each Valspar shade used was specifically chosen to test their effect on the senses,' explains Professor Charles Spence, head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory who carried out the research.

'This illustrative study goes some way to showing that our senses are intrinsically linked and that the colour our walls are painted can really impact our thermal comfort.'

green living room with grey carpet armchair fireplace and valspar paint

(Image credit: Tim Young)

Achieving the perfect room temperature at home can be an ongoing challenge. Are you forever adjusting the thermostat to get it just right? This new research could be a game-changer when it comes to feeling the warmth and saving on your heating bill. Simply paint your home olive green, the shade found to increase perception of body temperate by 2-3°C.

With climate change afoot we're being encouraged to turn down the thermostat. By adjusting the temperature indoors by even 2-3°C, we could help the planet – and our bank balances! By saving up to £270 a year on energy bills.

'Olive green features undertones of warming shades, such as yellow and brown,' says Professor Charles Spence.

'This may explain why it was such a popular choice for making participants feel physically warmer. In regards to the home, these suggestive findings offer some intriguing possible solutions on how to help save on fuel costs.'

bedroom with valspar blue moon glow paint

(Image credit: Valspar Paint)

For those who already feel the heat, the research interestingly found 28 per cent of participants felt coolest in the blue-painted room.

More ideas with blue paint: Blue bedroom ideas – see how shades from teal to navy can create a restful retreat

valspar manzanilla olive paint

(Image credit: Valspar Paint)

’We commissioned this research because we understand how hard it is to choose paint colour for the home,’ explains Jane Ryder, European Marketing Director at Valspar. ‘By testing participants’ reactions to individual colours, we were able to give them a deeper understanding of the affect these colours have on their senses. Therefore helping them to be more colour confident when selecting a new paint.’

’To encourage consumers to try out a new paint colour, we’ve launched the Love Your Colour Guarantee. If you don’t like the Valspar shade you’ve chosen, tell us and we will replace it free of charge. So what better time to try olive green and heat up your home!’

Explore the power of colour: Living room colour schemes brimming with character and style

Are you warming up to the idea of a greener home?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.