As the entire country joins in a game of “who can turn on their heating last”, people are looking for the most effective and economical way to heat their home. Leave the heating on low all the time, or whack it on when it gets cold? This week we take a look at some of the most common questions and will do our best to debunk a few myths.
Does plastic on windows actually work?
We know that double and tripe glazing works by insulating the home. But does adding a layer of plastic in the form of what is effectively cling film actually work? Amazingly, it does! Even cling film adds an extra layer of insulation; it is like putting a jumper on when you are cold. And as far as low cost solutions go, this is about as cheap and effective as you can get.
Should hot water stay on?
In a time when every penny counts, lots of people are wondering if it is more efficient to have their boiler on all the time for hot water, or just at set times of the day. The answer is not completely straightforward as it depends on the type of boiler that you have, as well as your energy tariff. For gas and LPG, it is cheaper to set your hot water to a timer, so it is on when you need it. If you have an electric immersion heater and an economy 7 or 10 tariff, overnight heating may be the best for you. If you are in doubt about the type of heater that you have, or your tariff, check with your energy supplier and ask your boiler engineer next time you get it serviced.
Are energy vampires real?
It’s true: energy vampires DO exist. They suck up your power even when they are off. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save more than £5 a month just by unplugging appliances instead of switching them off but leaving them plugged in.
Is central heating cheaper than electric heaters?
Some people who are resisting switching on their central heating may “cheat” occasionally and pop the electric heater on. This is almost certainly a false economy; electric heaters are the most expensive way to heat your home. If you have put on the extra layer and the hot water bottle isn’t helping, then you may have to relent and put the heating on for a bit. You can save money by switching the radiators off in certain rooms.
Heating on low all the time, or on higher when it is needed?
This question is much-debated. Some organisations say that if you have the heating on all day, you are losing heat all day. Others say that the energy needed to heat up a cold house is greater than the energy needed to keep a warm house warm. And dampproof specialists say that keeping your heating on low constantly helps to reduce condensation. The answer really depends on how good your insulation is, and how cold your house gets. If you have great insulation, long and low may be the answer. For more energy saving tips, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.