A GP from LloydsPharmacy Online has shared the seven health conditions that are often triggered when you turn on the heating.

Autumn has arrived and winter is well on its way which means one thing - it won't be long until we're debating about when to put on the heating. 

With temperatures expected to drop in the coming weeks, many households across the country will be thinking about turning on their heating for the first time this season.

Is it cheaper to keep the heating on low all day?


In fact, experts have studied weather data to reveal the exact date you should be looking to dial your thermostat up.

When should I turn on the heating?

Analysing Met Office data from the past five years, online heating specialists, BestHeating, have revealed that you should turn your heating on from October 20 this year.

From this date, temperatures aren’t expected to rise above 15°C for the rest of the year.

However, the experts noted that 2022 was a particularly warm year and saw temperatures of up to 23°C in October (29th).

If we are to have similar weather this autumn, then it will be around November 2 until the boiler is required to work hard.

However, if you're considering hitting the heating switch, you should be aware that it could trigger a number of health conditions from asthma to migraines. 

GP, Dr Neel Patel (GMC: 7085151) from LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor has issued a warning over the seven ways that central heating can negatively impact health.

The warning is particularly stark for those who already have pre-existing conditions such as Asthma or Eczema.

Can central heating affect your health?

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: Asthma, itchy eyes and more are triggered when the heating is turned on. ( LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor )Asthma, itchy eyes and more are triggered when the heating is turned on. ( LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor ) (Image: LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor)

Here are seven health conditions that can be triggered by turning on the central heating over the Autumn and Winter months, according to Dr Patel.


Dr Patek advised: “Central heating can make the air inside our homes very dry.

"This can cause lung conditions like asthma to flare up. You may find the dry air triggers coughing and shortness of breath.” 

Sinus infections

The doctor also noted that a drier atmosphere can lead to sinus infections.

The medical expert explained that is because "the air dries out the layer of mucus lining your nose, leading to blocked sinuses.”


Additionally, Dr Patel noted that turning the heating on can trigger any allergies.

“As radiators heat the air in a room, a process known as convection is produced," he continued.

"This causes dust to circulate around the room which can trigger allergies.”

Headaches and migraines 

“Although dehydration is something we usually associate with summer, it is easy to become dehydrated when in a centrally heated environment all day," Dr Patel commented.

If you're prone to them, you could experience more headaches and even migraines by turning on your heating.

Skin conditions 

Dr Patel also warned those who have eczema or dry, sensitive skin that they may notice they are worse in winter.

He added: "The reason for this is central heating dries out the air and reduces humidity which can trigger eczema and skin irritation.”

Itchy eyes

Turning on your heating can also lead your eyes to feel "gritty, dry and itchy.”

The doctor explained that this is because the dry air can cause your tears to evaporate too quickly.


Dr Patel also warned that people may also find they get more nosebleeds in the winter months.

He continued: "Again, this is due to the lack of moisture in the air which can result in dryness and scabs inside your nostrils.”

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: Dr Patel has also shared five ways that you can use to manage these conditions over the winter months. ( LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor)Dr Patel has also shared five ways that you can use to manage these conditions over the winter months. ( LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor) (Image: LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor)

How to manage these health conditions in winter, according to a GP

Dr Patel has also shared five ways that you can use to manage these conditions over the winter months.

Be prepared with medication

“If you know you suffer from any of these conditions in winter, ensure you have the medication required to alleviate your symptoms," the Doctor said.

He continued: "Whether that’s migraine relief tablets, allergy medication or an asthma inhaler, prepare for the cold weather by stocking up now.”

Turn down the heating slightly 

Dr Patel shared: “Both a room that is too warm and a room that is too cold can be bad for your health so it’s about finding a balance.

He added: "18°C is usually the temperature recommended for bedrooms while 21°C is ideal for living rooms.”

Moisturise dry skin  

The medical expert commented: “You can look after your skin in winter by moisturising regularly. Ointments can be quite greasy but are most effective at keeping moisture in the skin.

He went on to say: "Lotions contain less oil and are therefore not greasy but may be less effective. Creams sit somewhere in between.”

Add humidity to your environment

“Another thing to try is investing in a humidifier to regulate the amount of water vapour in the air, Dr Patel said.

He countered: "However, if you’re on a budget, simply placing a bowl of water near heaters should have the same effect.”

Drink lots of water 

“It can be easy to forget to drink enough water in the colder months," the doctor acknowledged.

The expert added: "You still need to aim for six to eight glasses of non-alcoholic fluid each day if you want to avoid dehydration.”