We are well into the cold weather now and you will be reaching for the thermostat in order to keep your home nice and toasty. There is nothing better than a nice cosy home, when the weather is terrible outside! However, we know that worries about cost are an issue for a lot of people, you may be wondering what exactly are the best, and most cost efficient ways to stay warm this winter. unfortunately though, that ‘great tip’ you once heard might not actually be all that helpful. Here are five very common home heating myths that you might believe to be true.
Is it Better To Leave My Heating On Low Constantly?
This is one of the most common heating myths, and one we get asked about a lot! Lots of people believe that leaving the heating on constantly, at a low temperature saves money. Following advice from both British Gas and the Energy Saving Trust, we say this is a myth. The theory is, that it’s cheaper to have the heating on low, rather than having the massive energy surges when switching the heating on, to warm up a house from cold.
In truth, you are just wasting energy, when you aren’t there to benefit from the heat, so it’s a false economy. Just switch the heating on when you need it, you may feel colder for a little longer if you own a particularly large property but it doesn’t take that long to warm most homes up.
Will Painting My Radiators Make Them More Efficient?
It’s easy to see the logic when people paint their radiators black, or any other dark colours. It’s true that dark colours are much more effective at absorbing and transmitting heat than white (the colour of most radiators) . Painting your radiators though, can actually have the opposite effect – the paint will act as an insulator, meaning that heat can’t be dispersed easily and thereby lowering the radiators efficiency.
Instead, try wall or cavity insulation behind radiators or even putting reflective panels them to help stop heat escaping.
Should I Turn the Thermostat up to Heat a Room Quicker?
You should never turn up the thermostat to heat a room quickly, it can feel tempting if you have just come in from a cold walk or work and want to get the temperature up quickly, but it’s a very inefficient method that will just end up being quite costly.
This mistake is common because of a misunderstanding of how thermostats work. If you come in and blast the heating up to full, your home will continue to get hotter until it reaches that temperature. If that temperature is say 30C, then the room will be uncomfortably warm. Set a lower temperature – your home will warm up just as quickly – but it will stop once it reaches the comfortable temperature.
Should I Turn My Heating Up If Its Colder Outside?
We can confirm that this will make absolutely no difference. Apparently a huge 52% of the people responding to an Energy Saving Trust survey said that they turned the thermostat up when it’s cold outside (usually when it’s snowing!)
You shouldn’t need to do this and the problem is once again down to a misunderstanding of how thermostats work. A thermostat is there to maintain the internal temperature of your home, whatever the weather. If you set your thermostat at 25C for example, your home should maintain that temperature, even if a blizzard suddenly appears outside!
Should I Keep My Water Heater On All Day?
You might believe that keeping your water heater on all the time is better, as you will have constant hot water, but If your hot water tank is properly insulated in the first place, water heated for half an hour in the morning should actually stay warm until midday.
Set your water heater to come on before you wake up, so you have a supply for showers or getting a wash, then set the time to come on maybe late afternoon – ready for when you arrive home from work. Even if you are at home a lot, keeping the water on constantly is of no benefit….after all, how much hot water could you possibly get through?
Get in Touch
We hope you found our advice useful, please get in touch if you have any questions about your central heating and how to stay warm this winter.
We are experienced engineers, specialising in a range of services. From boiler installation to an emergency plumber service, we are ready to help you with all your plumbing and heating needs. Give us a call on 01273 417 000 or get in touch via our contact form.