Debunking 5 Common Home Heating Myths 

Top Tips on Keeping Warm in Bed - Save Energy.
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Home Heating

There’s a lot of misinformation about home heating, including myths like leaving your heating on low all day is cheaper and dodgy marketing claims like smart meters save you money (they do, but only with your actions).

This article explores five common home heating myths, with advice and tips to conserve energy and reduce your bills.

Let’s jump in!

Smart thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves are the smoking gun to save money. 

Thermostatic radiator valves hook up to smart thermostats, letting you adjust the temperature of individual spaces and set timers. While this setup can save you money, the savings will disappoint you.

The Energy Saving Trust says you will save £55 per year, providing you use the technology correctly. But let’s be generous and say you save £120 per year.

Five thermostatic radiator valves cost around £180, and you will probably need two packs at £360. A smart thermostat will set you back around £180, bringing the cost to £540. That doesn’t include installation, which costs around £120, which means you will spend £660 on the project for £120 a year of savings.

This means it will take 5.5 years to get your money back.

But let’s be generous and say that you get a fantastic price of £500 for supply and installation. In that case, it will take 4.1 years to get your money back, or 9 if we take the Energy Saving Trust’s recommended annual £55 savings.

Worth it? Not for savings anytime soon, although it will improve your relationship with energy, give you more control over comfort, and save you money in the long run.

It’s cheaper to leave the heating on low all day. 

Under no circumstances is it cheaper to run central heating on low all day.

The cheapest way to use central heating is when you need it, usually before bedtime and in the morning before you get up.

We recommend setting a timer for around half an hour before you get up and around half an hour before you go to bed. Running your central heating for one hour should make your home comfortable.

If you need to use the heating during the day, turn it on for another hour and throw on a jumper, so you don’t feel cold.

Turning the heating up heats a home faster

There is no benefit to setting your thermostat above 21 degrees Celsius in winter, even if temperatures drop below freezing outside, because your home won’t heat up any faster – it will only reach a higher final temperature.

A temperature range of 18 to 20 degrees Celsius is optimal for low running costs. Higher temperatures will make your home warmer, but the effects are only temporary, and you will have a higher heating bill in the end.

Turning radiators down saves money (true, sometimes)

Turning radiators down only saves money when the thermostat is set on a timer rather than a minimum temperature trigger.

This is because the latter keeps the heating on until your home reaches the desired temperature, which takes longer when radiators are on a lower setting, increasing energy consumption and bills.

To save money, you can turn radiators down on a timer or turn them off in any unoccupied spaces and isolate spaces by closing the door.

Turning radiators off in unoccupied spaces reduces the amount of water your boiler heats and, in turn, gas/electricity consumption.

Painting radiators black saves money.

While it is true that painting radiators black helps keep them warmer for longer, the effects are negligible and not worth the price of the paint.

Black radiators do not translate to significant home heating improvements because radiators heat with convective heat, where air heats as it circulates past the surface, and the colour of paint has no bearing on the convective heat process.

Your radiator might get slightly hotter painted black, but it won’t translate to a significant increase in room temperature. You should spend that money on drought-proofing strips for doors and windows, especially those near radiators.

If you enjoyed this article, read our top tips on keeping warm in bed.

 

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