With winter on the horizon, the seasonal anxiety around our energy bills strikes again. The news about rising gas and electricity prices isn’t alleviating our worries much, either. However, these energy saving tips might.
We’ve delved into the most common misconceptions about winter heating to bust some myths and help you reduce your energy bills.
Myth 1: leaving the heating on all the time saves energy
Many people believe that turning the heating on and off all the time uses more energy than leaving it on all the time, and therefore increases your energy bill.
However, if you do the latter, heat is constantly leaking out of your home (depending on your insulation), which is essentially wasted energy. According to the Energy Saving Trust, it’s best to have the heating on only when you need it.
Rightio tip: “set your timers accordingly so that the heating comes on when you’re in the house, and make sure that the clock on your timer is adjusted properly.”
Myth 2: it’s cheaper to leave your hot water on all the time
There are two types of boilers: combi and system boilers. A combi boiler works on demand, so as soon as you turn the tap on, it will start generating hot water. A system boiler, on the other hand, comes with a hot water cylinder that you need to heat up when hot water is needed.
With a combi boiler, you don’t need to worry about turning it on and off, because the action is performed automatically. This type of boiler is best suited for homes where the water pressure is right. A system boiler, however, can be operated in two different ways: through heating the tank only when needed, or through leaving it on permanently.
Household Money Saving tested both methods to establish which one is more efficient and cost-effective. The results showed that throughout the month when the boiler was constantly on, the household used 253 kWh and spent £7.78. During the month when the water was heated only when needed, the household used 199 kWh and spent £6.11. And with that, the myth is busted.
Rightio tip: “get a system boiler with a well-insulated tank to keep the water hot for longer. In order to increase your boiler efficiency, make sure you get it serviced regularly and change it every 10 years or so.”
Myth 3: get an engineer to look at your boiler only if it stops working
People think it’s cheaper to call an engineer to look at your boiler only when there is an issue with it.
However, opting for a yearly Gas Safe boiler service will prevent you from paying a costly bill in the long run. Servicing can identify any potential issues before they become a problem. It’s a preventative measure that can stop your boiler breaking in the future and costing you a fortune.
Rightio tip: “make sure you call a Gas Safe registered engineer, because their expertise will ensure that strict safety standards are followed and that the job is done to the highest quality.”
Myth 4: turning the thermostat up higher will heat the house quicker
Sometimes, we’re in a rush to heat up the house when we’ve just come inside. That’s when we turn the thermostat higher than recommended in the hope that our home will heat up quicker.
However, your house will heat up at the same speed regardless of how high the temperature of the thermostat is. That’s because your thermostat doesn’t have control over how quickly your house heats up. Instead, it matches the final temperature you’ve set. Turning the thermostat up in an attempt to warm the house up quicker will cost you more money and will eventually make the room uncomfortably hot.
Rightio tip: “keep your thermostat at the recommended temperature of 18°C–21°C when you’re in the house, and make sure that you set your timer accordingly so that you never have to come home to a cold house.”
Myth 5: double-glazed windows keep the heat in
Many people believe that the heat of their home is literally leaving through the windows. That’s why double-glazed windows are extremely popular.
However, if your home isn’t insulated correctly, only 25% of the total heat of your home is lost through the windows. The biggest source of heat loss is through the walls at 35%. About 25% is lost through the roof, and 15% through the floors.
That being said, double glazing your windows is still viable solution, but it could be expensive.
Rightio tip: “insulate your walls and loft to stop heat leaving your home.”
Although these might seem like small changes, when used efficiently, they can significantly impact your energy usage and cost. Don’t let your energy bill give you the cold shoulder!