Home Heating Myths Busted

People want to warm their homes while keeping on top of their energy expenditure. Especially as winter sets in. Skyrocketing energy bills are still a concern, and using less is just one way to keep costs down.

You might have heard “quick tricks” promising significant savings on your energy bills. Some are simply myths, while others hold water.

Below, we’ve created a list of the most common home heating myths.

It’s cheaper to keep the heating on all day

The energy needed to heat a home depends on how much escapes, which is dependent upon its insulation. If the heating is on all day, energy is lost continuously, which costs more.

Thus, many argue for the turning off of heating when you’re not home. But there’s a potential consequence. When the temperature inside suddenly drops, it can make condensation build in the walls. This moisture can ‘wick’ heat away, which means more energy’s needed to heat it back up again.

If the temperature inside is too low, it can cause mould and damp-associated damage. Plus, harm the health of those living there. In fact, it’s recommended that heating is left on to some degree during winter, even when you’re not in. This is to prevent frozen pipes, which can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Thus, the best solution is to use heating only when you need it. Otherwise, keep it low. This is the most efficient way to conserve energy, save money, and prevent damage.

A programmable thermostat will turn the heating on and off to keep your home at the temperature set. Furthermore, most have a winter setting that will stop your pipes freezing if you go away.

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Leaving the hot water heater on saves money

If you don’t have a combi boiler, you may have an immersion heater or boiler that heats up water and stores it in a tank.

Similarly, many think that it’s cheaper to keep their hot water heater on instead of turning it off when not in use. This isn’t true. In fact, it’s wasting energy and money.

For hot water all day long, all you need is a well-insulated tank. With a good jacket, there’s no need to reheat it.

When you need more, it can be heated by setting a timer. For showers and baths, run it for 1-2 hours before you have one. This way, you can save without sacrificing your comfort. Furthermore, there’s no need to keep hot water in the tank for newer washing machines, dishwashers, and electric showers – they heat water on their own.

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The numbers on thermostatic radiator valves refer to the temperature of the radiator

It’s common to think the numbers on TRV are to do with the temperature of the radiator. In fact, they sense that of the room and adjust the amount of hot water flowing into the radiator.

Thus, the number on the valve indicates the room temperature. When the room falls below the corresponding number on the valve, more hot water flows in. It’s that simple.

How TRV relates to room temperature:

  • 0 = Off
  • * = 7°C
  • 1 = 10°C
  • 2 = 15°C
  • 3 = 20°C
  • 4 = 25°C
  • 5 = 30°C

A lot of people overheat their homes, which is just wasted energy. By only heating the rooms you’re using, you could reduce your bills by half. This is roughly £300 in yearly savings for the average-sized home.

A comfortable temperature is between 18 – 21 degrees. Reducing it a single degree can mean significant savings of £80 a year.

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Most heat is lost through windows

It turns out windows aren’t the main culprit of heat loss. Only about 10% of heat is lost through them. The majority of heat loss happens through the roof, and around 15% is lost through the floor. In fact, gaps around doors, the roof, and floors are responsible for around 70% of the heat loss of homes. Furthermore – depending on a home’s construction – the walls could be accounting for the rest through lack of insulation or simply colder materials added, like tiles.

When on a budget, starting with the roof is a smart move. Houses without insulation up top lose over £300 worth of heat per year. Plus, rooms below quickly lose their warmth once the heating’s off.

With that being said, single-glazed windows can be draughty. And earlier double-glazed weren’t much better, with only an 8mm space between the panes. Nowadays, double-glazed windows have 16mm. They also have a layer of low emissivity glass, which reflects heat back into the building. In fact, newer double-glazed windows can save up to 50% more heat in comparison.

You might have to settle for single-glazed if your house is in a conservation area or it’s listed. However, the energy efficiency can be bettered with secondary glazing and films. 

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Smart meters automatically save money

Smart meters replace existing gas and electricity meters. They keep track of energy consumption, conveniently sending readings to the supplier. They don’t actually save money on their own.

What makes smart meters helpful is the display that comes with them. This shows the cost of energy being used in real-time. People can then change their habits to lower usage.

At Low Energy Supermarket, we make it easy for you to go green, save energy and save money. Using our Self Assessment Energy Audit helps see where you can save money and make your home more energy efficient. It gives a personal property score based on construction, energy sources, and occupancy/use-based factors.

Find out your % Energy Efficiency

This article above was wonderfully created by guest content creator Millie Fuller from contentncoffee.com

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