Heating expert shares four common energy myths ‘that will cost you more money’ | Personal Finance | Finance
People are at risk of increasing their energy bills by following certain savings ‘tips’, a heating expert has warned.
With the cold weather season in full swing, Simon Brown, chief engineer and compliance officer at Rightio, has tackled the most common misconceptions about winter heating to bust some myths and help people reduce their bills .
meIt’s cheaper to leave your hot water running all the time – a myth
There are two types of boilers – combi and system boilers. A combi boiler works on demand, which means that as soon as the tap is turned on, it will start generating hot water.
A system boiler, on the other hand, comes with a hot water cylinder that must heat up when hot water is needed.
Mr Brown said: “With a combi boiler, you don’t have to worry about turning it on and off, as the action is done automatically. This type of boiler is best suited for homes where the water pressure is correct.
“However, a system boiler can be operated in two different ways: by heating the tank only when needed, or by leaving it on permanently.”
Family Money Savings tested both methods to find out which is which more efficient and cost-effective. The results showed that the family used 253 kWh and spent £7.78 during the month when the boiler was always on. During the month when the water was only heated when needed, the family used 199 kWh and spent £6.11.
Mr Brown said: “And with that, the myth is busted. Get a system boiler with a well-insulated tank to keep the water hot for longer. To increase your boiler’s efficiency, make sure it is regularly serviced and replaced every 10 years or so.”
Turning the thermostat higher will heat the house faster – a myth
Some people believe that raising the thermostat higher than recommended may help the house heat up faster.
Mr Brown said: “Our house will heat up at the same speed no matter how high the temperature of the thermostat is. That’s because your thermostat has no control over how quickly your home heats up. Instead, it matches the last temperature you set.
“Turning down the thermostat in an attempt to heat the house faster will cost you more money and end up making the room uncomfortable.”
Mr Brown suggested keeping the thermostat at the recommended temperature of 18C to 21C while at home and making sure a timer is set accordingly so he doesn’t come home to a cold house.
Ask an engineer to look at your boiler only if it stops working – a myth
Opting for an annual Gas Safe boiler service instead of booking an appointment only when there is a problem could prevent an “expensive bill” in the long run, Mr Brown said.
He explained: “Servicing can catch any potential issues before they become a problem. It’s a preventative measure that could stop your boiler from breaking in the future and cost you a fortune.
“Make sure you call a Gas Safe registered engineer as their expertise will ensure strict safety standards are met and the job is carried out to the highest standard.”
Double glazed windows keep the heat in – a myth
It is commonly thought that a lot of heat is lost in the home through the windows, which is why double glazed windows are so popular. However, this only accounts for 25 percent of the total heat loss.
According to Designing Buildings, the construction ‘Wiki’, is the biggest source of heat loss through the walls at 35 percent. About 25 percent of the heat is lost through the roof, and 15 percent through the floors.
Having said that, Mr Brown said: “Double glazing is still a viable solution for windows, but it can be expensive. Insulate your walls and attic to stop the heat from leaving your home.
“Although these may seem like small changes, when used effectively, they can have a big impact on your energy use and cost. Don’t let your energy bill give you the cold shoulder.”
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