As the nation shivers its way through the first frosty months of the year, new research reveals that average heating bills are up by around £107 - a side effect of lockdown.
In an attempt to bring the bills down without compromising comfort, many are trying to prevent a financial headache by following tips they believe to be true.
After 70% of Brits stated that they believe they know the truth from the myths of heating, John Lawless, heating expert at BestHeating, has looked at some commonly believed tips and exposed them as myths, to help you save as much money as possible during cold spells of weather.
You should turn the heating up when it’s cold outside - False
In a recent BestHeating poll, 42% state they turn their thermostat up when it’s cold outside, but this isn’t needed as the thermostat is there to maintain the internal temperature, whatever the weather. It also doesn’t help to turn the thermostat up to try and heat a room quicker as this only makes the room warmer at the same speed. Doing either of these will cost you money without reward as it will not make a house feel warmer at all.
Pets prefer a warm house - False
More than a fifth of Brits set temperatures higher when they are not home and at night to look after their pets with 60% believing their pets want this, but this isn’t actually true. Large, animals with thick coats tend to prefer temperatures low whilst only your hairless small cats and dogs prefer a warmer feeling. You should always provide your pet with a soft, warm bed, and open the curtains so the sun shines in, giving them a place to sunbathe.
It is cheaper to heat a house with an electric heater instead of a radiator – False
Central heating is a lot cheaper to run than an electric heater, for every unit of heat put out by an electric heater it will cost around three times as much as a unit of heat from one of your radiators. Obviously, if you forget to turn off radiators in rooms you aren’t in then an electric heater will prove cheaper, but this isn’t being savvy with your bills.
Painting your radiators black can reduce energy bills – False
This is a common myth built on the idea that black absorbs heat quicker so will transfer heat out at a better rate than white or other coloured radiators. It's more important to insulate your walls to prevent the heat from leaking out of your home altogether. A good idea is to put reflective panels behind radiators, these will help cut energy use by reflecting heat from the radiator back into the room, preventing an escape through external walls.
It is better to have a big boiler than a small one - False
Two-fifths believe this to be true and the size of a boiler does matter but it must be in relation to the size of the house. Having a massive boiler in a regular-sized home will prove to not be cost-effective for your bills. Make sure you understand how yours works as a recent BestHeating survey revealed that 62% of Brits don’t know what the valves on a radiator or boiler do.
The amount of heat that you get from the boiler is determined by the size of your radiators, meaning that if you have a high output boiler but small radiators it is not going to have any effect. Finding a correct sized boiler that doesn’t work too hard and doesn’t have too much to give out is the most energy-efficient and cheapest way.
John Lawless from BestHeating, adds: “When it comes to our heating there are many misconceptions thrown out there about how to save the most money and the temperature to have our thermostat set at.
“We hope that our research has debunked many myths and given people a clearer indication of how to minimise the amount of energy used whilst protecting their boiler, radiator and most importantly their bank.