True, false or ridiculous – energy myths busted!

electric radiator

Many of us have been raised on well-worn commands such as: ‘close that fridge door’, ‘turn off that light’, ‘shut that door, we don’t live in a barn’! However, there are some energy beliefs that have stood the test of time, yet aren’t based on any factual evidence. Here are some of the most common:

Leaving the heating on low all day is cheaper than turning it on and off – False!

The Energy Saving Trust amongst others is quick to debunk the idea that having the heating on low, all day, is cheaper than turning it on and off when needed.  The thinking behind this myth comes from the thought that it takes additional energy to bring a house back up ‘to temperature’ after the heating has been switched off.

Although there is some logic to this idea, if the heating is left on 24/7, the home owner will typically end up using more fuel in a like-for-like situation, compared to someone heating their home only when needed.  The reason for this is that some heat loss always occurs due to the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures and a heating system has to use energy on an ongoing basis to maintain the inside temperature.

When the heating is on, it is best to close the doors for the area being heated – True!
Central heating radiators, convection heaters and electric radiators all work by creating a convection current in a room and as the hot air rises, it circles around to the other side of the room. The cool air sinks to the floor, travels back towards the heater, to be reheated. Closing doors ensures that this current remains within the required space. For those looking to heat less frequently used rooms, Electric radiators are cost-effective and offer excellent energy efficiency for heating individual areas, as 100% of the electricity used to power them is converted into heat.

Localised heating controls are a waste of time – False!

 To ensure central heating is as efficient as possible, incorporating as many localised controls as possible is key.  As well as using a thermostat and timer, individual radiator valves can save money and energy, especially when used to lower the heating in rooms that aren’t used as frequently as others. For those looking to heat rooms that don’t contain radiators, also check out Haverland’s suggestions on the best electric radiators to use for each area of the home.

Closing the curtains saves energy? – True!

 According to scientists at the University of Salford, closing the blinds or curtains at dusk can reduce heat loss by 13-14 per cent and 15-17 per cent respectively. So, as well as shutting out those dark evenings, closing the curtains saves energy as well!

So, to save money and energy this winter, do localise your heating controls, shut doors, set timers and use electric radiators!