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Off with the heating!

Flowers are in bloom, lambs are in the fields, T-shirts are out and beer gardens are back in business, which can mean only one thing - the nicer weather is well and truly upon us.

Now, if the AA's guesstimation is anything to go by, the majority of the nation will have switched off the central heating by now, as the longer, warmer days roll in. 

According to experts at the organisation, last Friday (April 25th) was the day most people said goodbye to their radiators for another few months, after callouts last year for boiler problems began to diminish in number after this date.

The assumption is this happened because fewer people had their central heating fired up, relying instead on the fact the weather was nicer.

Nevertheless, the results of a survey showed that one in 25 people actually keep their thermostat at a constant level all year round. Looking at different regions of the UK, those living in Wales are most likely to keep their heating on all year, while Scottish individuals are the most likely to switch it off when the warmer weather begins.

While it may not be advisable to leave heating on all year round - not only to avoid skyrocketing bills, but also to protect the environment - the AA does suggest turning it on for just 15 minutes each month to keep the system running smoothly and ensure there isn't any debris building up.

AA Home Membership engineer of the year Ryan Murphy offers one other piece of advice for homeowners. "If you can, [get your boiler serviced] in the summer. That means you’ll know it’s in good working order for the winter when you’ll need your heating most," he says.

Ensuring the central heating is in good working order could be especially useful for any homeowners looking to sell their property. This is following a GoCompare survey that found nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of those looking for a new place to live are more tempted by the idea of an efficient central heating system than they are by characterful features.

Cavity wall insulation was cited by almost half (48 per cent) of respondents, showing how highly these attributes are regarded in consumers' estimations.