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Energy saving myths

Energy Saving Tips
Posted by PFP Energy

Energy is a subject clouded in rumours and misconceptions, causing many of us to use more energy even when we are trying to cut down. We hope that the myth busting below clears up some of the confusion, helping you to reduce usage and make savings.

Heat is mostly lost through windows

A common misconception is that the largest source of heat loss is through windows. The truth is that most heat loss happens through walls. Luckily, the Government is helping households out with energy-related home improvements such as air source heat pumps. You could get up to £10,000 in grants to make your home more energy efficient. For more details about the available grants click here.

Turning up the thermostat heats the house faster

In most cases, turning up the heat does speed up the rate of heat flow. However, raising the temperature on your thermostat is an exception to the rule. Raising the heat on the thermostat does not raise the heat of the boiler, but the eventual heat of the house; no matter what heat you set the thermostat to, your boiler will heat the house as fast as it can until it gets to that temperature. So, if the temperature is raised, it just means the house keeps heating up beyond the temperature you want it – uncomfortable and a waste of energy, right?

LED bulbs aren’t worth it

Although LEDs can initially cost more than incandescent bulbs, the long-term costs more than make up for it. LEDs are far more energy efficient and so not only are they the greener option to run, but they are also the cheaper option. A bonus is that they can last up to fifty times longer – that’s fifty times more value for your money.

It’s cheaper to run appliances at night (excluding an E7 or Smart Meter)

You may have heard that running appliances at night is cheaper but this is only true if you have a meter which records time of usage such as an Economy 7 or Smart Meter. These meters record both on-peak and off-peak times, allowing consumers to sign up for cheaper rates at night-time and weekends, with the trade-off of paying higher rates at peak times.

It’s cheaper to use a small, electric heater than a radiator

This one is a little dependent on context, but the key point is that an electric heater typically uses over twice as much energy as a radiator to heat the same space. It is of course more sensible to heat just one room with an electric heater than heating the whole house with central heating if only one room is being used. However, a more energy efficient alternative could be to turn the central heating off in vacant rooms.

Leaving the heating on constantly uses less energy than having it on a timer

Another myth is that leaving the heating on continuously uses less energy than only turning it on when it is needed. This may come from the fact that, with a lot of appliances, there is a small power surge when you turn them on. However, central heating does not work in this way and in any case, the energy needed to keep the central heating on continuously would be far greater than the energy in a power surge. Many thermostats these days are digital, so make use of the timer function if you have one!

Leaving lights on is more efficient than turning them off and on again

As mentioned in our last point, there is a small surge of power when you turn on many appliances, including lights. However, this power surge is minute compared to the amount of energy used to keep the lights on. Turning the light off whenever you leave a room is a great habit to get in to, so make a mental note to remember.

If it’s cold, turn your thermostatic radiator valve to the max

Ever wondered what the knob on a radiator that lets you control its temperature is called? Probably not, but now you won’t have to – it’s the thermostatic radiator valve. This knob adjusts the temperature as you would expect for the most part but moving it to the highest heat (often 5) will not just increase the temperature, it will keep the radiator on regardless of the heat of the room – so if your house is well insulated it will get very, very hot.

For more energy saving tips, why not check out our other blog posts or follow our pages below.