We’ve all heard energy saving tips from friends, family and even the energy companies themselves, but how do you know what really makes a difference? In this month’s blog we try and separate fact from fiction and give you some sound advice on saving energy in your home.
Should the hot water be turned on continuously or switched off unless I need it?
For those with a gas or oil central heating system, it will be a lot cheaper to have your system on timer so that the hot water is only on when you will need it. If you have an electrical immersion heater and have a tariff that means the energy is cheaper at night, it is cheaper to heat your water at night time but you must ensure that your tank is well insulated so that you don’t lose the heat that you have paid for.
Which is cheaper – radiators or electric heaters?
One of the most expensive forms of heating are electric heaters, whereas the cheapest from of heating is an efficient gas central heating system with thermostatic radiators valves, room thermostat and timer.
Do mobile phone, tablet and laptop chargers still use electricity when they’re plugged in, but not connected?
When you aren’t using your devices, you need to make sure that chargers are unplugged. There are devices that draw power when they are plugged in but charged and not in use. This can be avoided by switching the wall socket off.
In addition you must use branded recognised chargers rather than cheaper copies, because these could be prone to faults and a potential fire hazard.
Should I leave the heating on low constantly, or use it on high when I’m in the house?
It’s a myth that it’s cheaper to leave your heating on all day on low, rather than when and as you need it. You will save energy and therefore money if you only use it when needed and a timer is most efficient because that way your home will be kept at a constant temperature and the system will switch off when it reaches it. By keeping the heating on all the time, you will lose energy too as heat escapes from your home
Can I run appliances during the night?
For most people it won’t make any difference what time of day you use electricity. However if you are on a tariff that is cheaper at night you will save money this way.
What’s the difference between controlling the heating using the thermostat or radiator valves?
There isn’t much difference in terms of energy efficiency, but it can affect how quickly the room is heated up.
A thermostat controls the temperature, so once this is achieved the radiators will go off until the temperature drops again. Turning your radiators up and down using thermostatic radiator valves on the side of them affects how quickly the room heats up. If you have them on high, your radiators will emit lots of heat quickly until the set temperature is met and vice versa.
Would painting my radiators black make any difference?
The colour of radiators makes no difference, so it’s best to keep them the standard white. It’s more important to make sure your walls are insulated, so that heat doesn’t leak out of your home.
If my heating is on, should I keep doors open or closed for each room?
It’s better to keep doors closed for the area you want heated, and turn off radiators in rooms that aren’t in use and keep the door shut otherwise you are heating rooms and spending money for no reason.
Radiators work by creating a convection current in a room. As hot air rises, it circles around to the other side of the room, cools and sinks and travels back along the floor to the heater to be reheated again. Keeping doors closed makes sure this current remains within the designated space.
Should I leave lights and appliances switched on?
Make sure you turn them off when you aren’t using them and avoid keeping appliances on standby.
What uses the most energy in my home?
Tumble driers use a lot of energy, so try using a clothes horse instead.
Are halogen heaters cheaper than other portable heaters and central heating?
This depends what you’re after. Halogen heaters are directional. Once on, you instantly feel the heat. As soon as you turn them off, the heat quickly dissipates. Convection heaters, electric panel heaters or free-standing electric radiators work by heating the air around them to create a convection current. They take some time to heat a room, but once turned off the heat lingers.
Leaving your heating on when going on holidayIf you are going away during the winter, you should leave your heating on timer to prevent your pipes freezing and bursting. You can set your thermostat so that it comes on when the temperature drops to very low – even for just a couple of hours during the nigh.
For more energy saving tips, contact us at Archway Plumbing.