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5 Heating myths that won’t cut those bills

As freezing temperatures sweep the nation, and with another recent energy price cap rise, Brits are searching for ways to keep their homes warm for less.

With lots of guidance spanning across social media and online, it’s important not to put things in place that won’t help lower bills, so we’re here to downplay some of the most popular, but incorrect, advice.

Debunking those heating “tips”

There are many tips on saving energy and reducing your bills – we’ve even offered some tips for heating your home without central heating before.

But today we’re going to debunk five of the biggest heating myths that people are incorrectly following and explain why they won’t reduce bills while keeping your house warm.

Leaving the heating on low all day to lower bills

It is wrong to believe that having the heating on low all day will use less energy than the boiler turning on and off, as this will cause bills to rise, particularly if your home has poor insulation.

Instead, you should only use the heating when it is needed so it is only on for a few hours per day.

A long-term solution is to ensure the home is properly insulated as this will keep energy in your home for longer and reduce bills.

Turning the thermostat on high in short bursts

A heating system being switched on via the wall thermostat

At the other end of the spectrum, it doesn’t help to put the thermostat up for short periods of time to heat a room quicker.

This only makes the room warmer at the same speed and won’t reap any rewards other than higher bills.

Instead, set a timer for the most common periods you need a warm house – such as just before you wake up and when you are relaxing in an evening – but turn this off if the weather is a little warmer than usual during a cold spell.

It is cheaper to heat a house with an electric heater instead of a radiator

Electric heating has become more popular over the past couple of years, but despite higher gas bills central heating radiators are still a better option.

Central heating is a lot more cost efficient to run compared to an electric heater as every unit of heat will cost around three times as much.

Also, whilst radiators can be turned off once the desired temperature is reached, and retain heat around the room for a long period of time, the heat from electric heaters will be lost much quicker.

Painting radiators black can reduce energy bills

a black column radiator

Whilst black is known to absorb heat quicker than lighter colours, many wrongly believe that this will transfer heat out at a better rate than white radiators.

The colour of a radiator will not affect how well it distributes heat because the majority of heat emitted is convective, which can’t be impacted by different shades.

Instead, the heat output will only be significantly impacted depending on the reflectiveness of the finish, so a shinier surface will mean a lower heat output.

It is better to have a big boiler than a small one

boiler close up

There is an assumption that a larger boiler will work better than a smaller one, but this isn’t always the case.

If you have an overly large boiler in relation to the size of your property, then this will cause heating bills to be higher because there will be lots of wasted energy.

This is because the amount of heat given out by a boiler is determined by the size of the radiators.

Similarly, you also don’t want oversized radiators for the size of the room because this will again increase bills from wasted energy.

Frequently asked heating tip questions

Leaving the heating off can be a contributory factor to minor health issues such as common colds, particularly in the colder winter months of the year. What’s more, the likelihood of mould increases when hot water radiators and central heating are left switched off, which can enhance the prospects of respiratory infections.

To learn more, browse our dedicated blog, The dangers of NOT using your heating.

Yes, you should make the most of any natural heat and energy that enters your home. So on warmer sunny days, you can leave the curtains open to let in light during the day and close them when the sun goes down.

By doing this, the curtains will act as an extra insulation layer and help to retain warmth – the same is true even in winter when you might be trying to leave the central heating off for as long as possible to combat rising energy costs.

For more handy hints and tips to keep your energy bills home while keeping cosy and warm, visit our dedicated blog, 23 ways to keep warm without turning the central heating on.

Flushing radiators can certainly help improve their efficiency of performance, however it is quite an involved job and not really a ‘quick fix’.

You can check for cold spots at the foot of your designer radiators to see if they need flushing – if they are hot at the top and cold at the bottom, it probably indicates a conglomeration of debris and sludge within the radiator.

To flush the system, you can remove the radiator from the wall and flush it out using a pressure washer or hosepipe, ridding it from any unwanted debris that could be causing a blockage and preventing the rad from running efficiently.

For more tips on maximizing the performance of your heating devices, explore our blog, How to improve radiator efficiency and performance.

There are a few simple signs to look out for to tell if your house is losing heat.

Firstly, if you notice drafts in close proximity to windows and doors, it is likely that warm air is escaping the house and being replaced by cooler air.

Also, significant visual spaces surrounding fixtures and outlets can harness heat loss. Such sizeable gaps offer a easy entryway for outside air.

And on the outside of the home, a lack of frost appearing on your roof can actually indicate heat loss if surrounding properties are frosty.

For further insight into household energy efficiency, take a look at our dedicated blog, How Can I Make My Home More Energy Efficient?

On a basic level, there are a few simple indicators to suggest a house is energy efficient.

The vast majority of energy-efficient homes feature a well made and tightly sealed thermal envelope, in addition to quality heating and cooling systems and controlled ventilation.

Furthermore, the presence of well manufactured, energy efficient doors and double glazed windows can also be expected within energy efficient properties.

For further information, tips and advice surrounding household energy efficiency, take a look at our dedicated blog, How Can I Make My Home More Energy Efficient?

It is a good idea to leave underfloor heating switched on constantly during the colder winter months in particular.

By leaving the underfloor heating system turned on, better levels of efficiency and faster warm up times will result. Basically, your home will heat up to a comfortable temperature faster.

So, whilst it won’t necessarily be cheaper to leave your underfloor heating on for a sustained period initially, it could lead to long-term savings.

For further insight into underfloor heating and the benefits it can offer, explore our Advice Centre blog, Is Underfloor Heating Easy to Install?

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