Top 40 Winter Bugbears – Short Days tops the list

Winter BugbearsScraping ice off the car, having to dry clothes indoors and constantly having sore, cracked lips are among the most annoying winter bugbears.

A study of 2,000 adults found that shorter days and having less sunshine are Brits’ top bugbears in the winter months, along with rising heating bills and always feeling cold.

And despite it being the season to be jolly, one in five struggle with people being grumpier than usual in winter. While the same number of people admitted that hearing Christmas music everywhere they go is one of their pet hates.

Getting out of the shower when it’s chilly, having to wear multiple layers and dealing with issues around the house also feature in the top 40.

Says Marc Robson, smart energy expert at British Gas, which commissioned the research:

“While we can’t do much about the days being shorter and we’re not in control of the sun, there are some simple things we can all do around the home to make it nice and snug.

“Making a few small, practical changes will keep the house warmer for longer, without using more energy than is needed – which is also good news for your bills.”

Ten top tips to make your home more energy efficient

The study found that more than a quarter of adults go as far as to say they ‘hate’ winter, with almost half spending more time in a bad mood during this season than at any other time of the year.

Almost one in four also said they are less productive during the colder, darker months of the year, while 44 per cent exercise less often.

But 37 per cent admitted they do tend to sleep better in the winter, with 45 per cent wishing they could just ‘batten down the hatches and hibernate’ until it’s over.

It also emerged that while more than eight in 10 Brits love nothing more than being warm and cosy inside when the weather is wild outside, three quarters are conscious of how much they’re using the heating.

Despite this, one in five make no effort to improve the energy efficiency of their home.

Adds Marc Robson at British Gas:

“We recommend that customers fit draught excluders around the house to stop heat from escaping and insulate their pipes and their loft.

“Having a smart meter installed is also a good idea. With more time being spent in the home at the moment it means you can see how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence – helping you identify where savings can be made.”


1. The days are too short
2. Missing the sun
3. Scraping ice off the windscreen of the car
4. Heating bills go up
5. Always being too cold
6. Waking up in the dark and coming home in the dark
7. Dry skin and lips
8. Having to dry clothes indoors
9. Falling, slipping and sliding when the ground is wet/icy
10. Having to get out of bed when the house is freezing cold
11. Getting out of the shower when the air is cold
12. The car takes ages to warm up
13. The heating not working
14. Everyone has a runny nose and sniffles
15. Not being able to get warm
16. Arriving home with wet coats, umbrellas etc. that need to dry
17. Having to wear multiple layers
18. Getting wet feet when you go out
19. Getting rained on because it is too windy to put the umbrella up
20. People are grumpier
21. Putting on weight
22. Never getting any fresh air because it’s too cold to open the windows
23. Christmas music, again and again
24. Eyes watering every time you go outside
25. Christmas decorations appearing too soon
26. The traffic jams as a result of bad weather
27. Worrying about things going wrong around the house e.g. boiler breaking down
28. Going into hot buildings and then back out into the cold
29. Everyone talking about how cold it is the whole time
30. Running out of hot water
31. Inability to use your smartphone with gloves on or with cold hands
32. Public transport seems to collapse
33. Never knowing what footwear to have on, as the weather is so changeable
34. Tea goes cold quicker
35. Tan fading/being pale
36. Losing your gloves, hat or scarf.
37. Worrying about old people
38. Dry and frizzy hair
39. Having to wear tights
40. Having to put on extra layers to take out the bins

Chris Price