The answer is – it depends!
With dropping temperatures outside, you’ve probably already put your heating on or are thinking about it. We all love a warmer home in the colder months, but the last thing you want is to spend a fortune on energy bills.
The question of whether it’s cheaper to keep your central heating on constantly is hotly debated and doesn’t have a straightforward answer. It all depends on several factors.
Let’s explore them below:
Keeping It On Vs. Turning It On And Off
Energy Savings Trust experts maintain that it’s a myth to think keeping your central heating on all the time will reduce your energy bill. They emphasize that with the heating on all the time, you’re constantly losing energy, and you should only turn it on when needed.
They advise that the best way to save energy and money, in the long run, is to have your heating on when needed and off when not in use. A timed thermostat can turn the heating on and off according to the set temperature.
Other experts argue that it’s not that simple. They advise that to save on energy bills, keep your heating on at low levels all the time. The idea is to prevent condensation, which occurs every time you switch off your central heating and makes your home colder.
So, every time you switch it on, it has to use more energy to evaporate the condensed water before it can heat your home. Both scenarios are influenced by how much energy is leaking from your home at any given time.
Have You Insulated Your Home?
How much energy is constantly leaking from your home will depend on how good your insulation is. It can help you decide whether or not to keep your central heating on all the time.
It may be cheaper to keep your central heating on at the desired temperature with a well-insulated home. Since very little heat loss occurs, your thermostat works with the boiler to maintain the temperature easily. Meaning it doesn’t get overworked or use significant energy compared to heating your home from cold.
However, if you haven’t insulated your home correctly, then it isn’t energy efficient. No heat will be retained even if you keep your central heating on all the time.
Any generated heat will dissipate quickly, and if you try and maintain a warm temperature, your boiler will use significant energy, which translates to high energy costs.
Therefore, it will be more cost-effective to heat your home as and when you need it.
More Expert Tips To Reduce Your Energy Bill
Draught Proof Your Home
Draught proofing is a cheap and very effective way of saving energy and money in any building. Unlike ventilation, draughts are uncontrolled, and they’ll let in too much cold air into your home and waste a lot of heat.
Draught proofing your home involves blocking any unwanted gaps through which cold air will sip in while warm air escapes. When you save warm air, you use less energy to heat your home and save more money as your home stays warm and snug.
Common places you’ll find draughts include:
- Windows – Use draught-proofing sticks or strips to fill the gap between the window and the frame. Use sealant on windows that don’t open.
- Doors – You can prevent a lot of heat from escaping by draught-proofing external doors. Draught proof the keyhole, letterbox, and gaps around the edges and at the bottom.
- Chimneys – You can have a professional fit a cap over the chimney pot or use chimney draught excluders to stop heat loss and draughts.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
Insulating your home as much as possible is an excellent way to reduce home heat loss, carbon emissions and keep your energy bills low. There are various simple and effective ways to insulate your home and lower your heating bills.
- Wall Insulation – If your home is uninsulated, around a third of all heat is lost through the walls. You can save energy by adequately insulating your cavity or solid walls. Generally, UK houses built from the 90s have insulated walls to prevent heat loss. If your house is older, it probably doesn’t have any insulation.
- Floor Insulation – Insulating your floor will save you around £40 yearly in energy bills, make your home warmer, and prevent draughts. You’ll only need to insulate your ground floor and any floors above unheated spaces like a garage where much heat can be lost.
- Loft And Roof Insulation – Uninsulated homes lose around a quarter of their heat through the roof. Insulating your flat roof, attic, and loft will give you significant savings on your energy bills by reducing heat loss. Done correctly, loft and roof insulation can last for over 40 years and pay itself many times over.
- Pipes, Tanks, And Radiator Insulation – You can keep your house warmer and save money on energy bills by insulating your tanks, pipes, and radiators. Lagging pipes and water tanks and insulating behind your radiators will reduce heat loss and keep them safe from freezing or bursting. You’ll also spend less time and money heating water up, and your hot water will stay hotter for longer.
Keep Your Boiler Serviced
Get your boiler serviced at least once every year to ensure it’s running safely and efficiently. An efficient boiler will use less energy to heat your home and keep your energy costs low.
A defective boiler can increase your heating bills as it works harder to keep you warm. Servicing helps identify any potential issues early so you can resolve them before they get out of hand.
If you’re using an old boiler, you may need to consider upgrading to a modern, more energy-efficient model. An A-rated condensing boiler is guaranteed to reduce your heating costs by £305 annually, and they’re more economical and reliable.
Make Your Windows Energy Efficient
Using energy-efficient glazing covers to make your windows more efficient can reduce your energy bill while lowering your carbon footprint. It can include double or triple glazing, which reduces heat loss through windows and cold spots and draughts.
It can also be as simple as investing in heavy-duty curtains to keep the cold out and prevent heat loss more effectively if your windows are single-glazed.
By combing practical techniques, you can save money but it takes consistency and effort. If you want to cut costs on your heating bill, consider following the above tips – you won’t regret it!