5 energy efficiency myths that could be costing you money


 
Misconceptions about how we use our heating systems could not only be preventing us from saving energy, they could actually be costing us even more.

We took a look at 5 of the most common energy efficiency myths, why they don’t work and what you can do instead to cut down your heating bills.

Myth 1. Turning the thermostat up makes your home heat more quickly

A thermostat works by turning the heating on until the temperature in the room reaches the one you have set. This means that turning the thermostat up will simply cause the room to reach a higher temperature, but at the same speed. A good way to ensure your home is warm enough at certain times is to install a timer or programmable thermostat, our guide to using boiler thermostats and controls has more information on this.

Myth 2. You should leave your heating on low all the time

This is one of the most common energy myths and in the majority of cases it’s not true. The theory behind it is that keeping your home at a constant temperature uses less energy than heating it from cold, but most of the time this is not the case. It is more energy efficient and cost effective to only heat your home when you need it. Since heat is lost through various parts of your home (walls, roof, windows etc.) insulating will make it easier to keep your home warm.

Myth 3. Electric heaters are cheap to run

Electric heaters generally use a lot of electricity and depending on the type of heater, may not keep a room warm for a long period of time. If you have radiators, you may be better to use these instead. If you are wary that you will be heating parts of your home that you will not be using, simply switch off the radiators in these rooms. Alternatively you could install a zoned smart thermostat which will allow you precise control over which areas are heated and when.

Myth 4. Electricity is cheaper at night for everyone

For the majority of homes in the UK this is a myth as most of us pay a single unit rate for electricity. It is however cheaper in the evening if you are on an Economy 7 tariff with your supplier. Generally this period of cheaper electricity runs for several hours each night, so it’s only suitable for some people’s lifestyles but may be worth exploring if you rely primarily on electric heaters and a water tank.

Myth 5. Hot water will run out if you don’t have the tank on at all times

Many people leave their water heating tank on at all times as they worry they will run out of hot water. This could actually be costing a lot more than necessary, and in most cases it is far more efficient to heat the water shortly before you need it. If you have an electric immersion heater and you are on an Economy 7 tariff, it may be cheaper to heat your water tank at night instead. In both cases it helps to insulate your hot water tank as this will prevent as much heat from escaping, keeping your water warmer for longer.


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