It’s that time of year when household members argue about whether to put the heating on or “just put on another jumper”. With a relatively mild, albeit wet, October, the battles may still be ongoing but it is safe to assume that the impending cold-snap will cause even the most stoic members of the put-another-jumper-on brigade to crack. With that in mind, we will tackle a few of the most common myths about how to heat your home efficiently.
Myth 1: It’s more efficient to have your heating on low, constantly
In general, it doesn’t pay to have your heating on constantly; it’s a waste to heat your home when you are not there or at night, when you can keep warm under blankets and duvets. You are better off setting your timer for your heating to come on at set times of the day: first thing in the morning (getting out of bed is marginally easier when it’s not freezing in your room!) and when you come home from work.
The exceptions to this are if you live in a property that is prone to condensation and damp; if this is the case, heating constantly (at least during the daytime) on a lower temperature can help prevent the build-up of condensation in the home. If you are working from home and prone to switching the heating on every hour or so, it may be best to keep your thermostat lower, and keep it on for longer periods of time as your boiler will work less hard if it is ticking over constantly, rather than regularly yoyoing from hot to cold.
Myth 2: Turning the thermostat high will heat the room more quickly
The thermostat will determine when your heating stops, not how quickly it will heat. Basically, whacking it up to 25 degrees because you are cold now won’t make any difference in the immediate term, it will just mean that you will be uncomfortably hot, forcing you to turn the heating off, which will bring you back to the yoyo effect. What’s more, reducing your thermostat by just one degree can knock almost £80 off your gas bill.
Myth 3: Your thermostat ensures the maximum temperature anywhere in the house
It is easy to assume that, if you set the thermostat at 18 degrees, every room in the house will maintain that temperature steadily. However, unless you have a thermostat in every room, this is not the case. Your thermostat heats according to the temperature of the room it’s in. For example, if it is in a warm room, such as the kitchen, the heating will stop when the kitchen is 18 degrees, but the rest of the house may well still be well below that temperature. Likewise, if the thermostat is in a chilly hallway, the rest of the house may be sweltering, but the heating won’t stop until the hallway reaches the right temperature.