I'm a heating expert – the thermostat myth that's adding £100 to your energy bills revealed | The Sun
THE first signs of spring are in the air, but until temperatures rise a little more, we are still having to rely on our radiators to keep warm.
On the days when it’s especially cold outside, many of us are guilty of cranking the heating up high, in a bid to get a room warmed up quickly.
But turning your thermostat up a few notches will not make your space heat any faster.
That's according to heating expert, Natasha Berthiaume from Hometree, the boiler and home emergency cover provider.
She told The Sun: “While whacking the heating up to the low-to-mid 20s can be tempting, this isn’t actually how a thermostat works.
"A thermostat will achieve the desired temperature and then switch the heating off. It will then turn it back on again when the temperature drops once more.”
The energy-saving whizz points out that it won’t mean the room reaches the desired temperature any faster. Thinking that it does is a bit of a myth.
Your home will heat up to the set temperature, whatever the weather. It may just take a little longer on colder days.
Natasha said: “Turning up your room thermostat is quite a common mistake people make, but it doesn’t work, and could be costing you money.
"With all eyes on energy bills, you want to ensure you’re using your heating system as efficiently as possible right now.”
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Figures show that households can save £100 a year by turning their thermostat down just one degree.
Turn it down by more, and you will make even greater savings.
Of course the exact amount you can save will depend on a number of things, like the size of your home and how well insulated it is.
Natasha said: “If you turn your thermostat up to try and warm a room more quickly, you could potentially be wasting £100 a year for no reason.
"Ideally you want to avoid boosting your heating. Instead, you are better off sticking to the lowest possible temperature which feels comfortable.
"Aim for around 18°C. This could make a noticeable difference to your bills.”
Also bear in mind that a thermostat needs free flow of air to sense the temperature, so ensure it’s not blocked by curtains or other items of furniture.
More ways to slash your energy bills
With the cost-of-living crisis showing no signs of easing and bills still on the up, Natasha has come up with a host of ways to keep our homes warm, while keeping costs down.
While energy costs are set to soften later this year, consumers are being warned to brace for them to rise again before they fall.
Under the Energy Price Guarantee, the typical household is currently paying £2,500 a year for their energy, but this will rise to £3,000 from April, when the cap ends.
Natasha recommends investing in radiator valves to help control the temperature across different rooms in your house.
She said: “They are very affordable and you can pick them up from £9.95 on Amazon.
For additional savings, you could buy a smart valve, which is linked to your smart thermostat, to control the temperature from one place.”
The Energy Saving Trust estimates you could save between £70 and £150 a year if you install thermostats and radiator valves in your home.
Natasha also urges people to check radiators aren’t covered by a sofa or other bulky item of furniture.
She said: “This may sound simple, but having a sofa in front of a radiator ends up blocking the flow of heat into the room, meaning it stays cold, so you are wasting money.”
With many households cutting back on essentials such as food to be able to afford their bills, Natasha has more simple tips to help keep a lid on costs.
She said: “It may surprise many people to find out that using a dishwasher can actually be more energy efficient than hand-washing dishes.
"This is because most people tend to leave the water running, as opposed to filling the bowl and turning the tap off.
According to Comparethemarket.com, the majority of modern dishwashers use around 9.5-14 litres of water per cycle. Hand-washing dishes using far more.
Natasha said: “By filling your dishwasher to its maximum capacity each time, you can avoid the need to wash the dishes after every meal, meaning you save money.”
When it comes to your clothes washing, Natasha recommends air-drying if you can.
She said: “Tumble dryers use a lot of energy. For a big family, drying several loads a day, costs can soon begin to add up.
Figures show it can set you back around £3.40 per load.
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Natasha added: “Try switching to an airer. It won’t be as fast, but it will be completely free.”
Equally, as the weather starts to warm up, you can start hanging washing out to dry again on an outdoor line if you have one.
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