What’s the most efficient way to heat the home?
There are some people who claim that it’s best and most efficient to leave the heating on all the time. They argue that turning it on and off causes a buildup of condensation in the walls. Better they say, to keep it on but turn it down low.
Each to their own in our view, but we’d recommend that to save energy, and therefore money, it’s better to only use the heating when you actually need it. The most effective way to do this is with a timer. Used alongside a thermostat, the heating will then come on when you you’re in the house and therefore need it, and the temperature is controlled automatically by the thermostat.
Some modern systems have radiators that have (or can be fitted with) thermostatic radiator valves. These clever devices allow you to adjust the heating temperature room by room. This gives you much greater control over how much energy you’ll use and how much it will cost.
We have to accept that we lose heat from our property – our house essentially leaks it! But just how much will depend on how well your home is insulated. If you have cavity and roof insulation, as well as good double glazing and no gaps around your doors, you should lose relatively little compared to houses without those improvements. Adding insulation is a good idea to help you heat your house more efficiently.
If you have a choice between radiators and electric heaters to heat your home, go with the radiators. Electric heaters are one of the most expensive forms of heating generally speaking.
There may be other ‘tips’ you’ve heard of (painting your radiators black anyone?), though there is little evidence to suggest it makes any difference. Others advocate putting Clingfilm over windows to create an air pocket. While the physics in this is sound and it could help with your heating bills a little, it might also spoil the view of the garden somewhat!
Finally, if you’re going away over winter, there may be the temptation to turn your heating off completely. Be wary of doing this however as pipes might freeze and then burst. A burst pipe could set you back a lot more than you’d save on your energy bill.