If you, like many of us, are looking for the best ways to save on your energy bills you may be considering if it is more energy efficient to constantly have your heating switched on low, or to turn it on and off as you see fit. The idea behind leaving your heating on constantly is the premise that it takes additional energy to bring your house up to temperature initially, thus making it more economical to maintain the temperature.
If you leave your heating on 24/7, you WILL end up using more fuel.
Heat losses will always occur due to the difference between the temperature outside your home and the temperature you are trying to maintain inside. Effectively, if you leave your heating on all the time, your heating system will be using energy constantly in its battle to maintain your house temperature. If your house is well insulated, heat loss may not be as bad, but it will still be greater than if you were to only use your heating when necessary.
The most energy efficient way of heating your home is to programme your heating to come on when you need it most. For example, programming your heating to turn on half an hour before you wake up in the morning or before you get in from work will make sure it is ready for you and will make you comfortable.
Taking actions to insulate your home is an incredibly useful measure to increase cost efficiency, and draught proofing is equally important. Insulating measures include cavity walls, loft insulation, double glazing and filling in any cracks in doors or windows to prevent draughts. The subject also offers another burning question:
Should I heat the whole house or just the room I’m using?
What is right for you depends on a number of variants. If you have a modern boiler and a well-insulated home, you will be better off using your central heating to heat your home, as opposed to heating one room individually. Radiators with temperature valves allow you to vary the temperature of different rooms in a house, which is a great way of monitoring and maintaining your preferred temperature. This enables you to keep a good, comfortable temperature around the home, whilst increasing the temperature in a particular room.
If you don’t have radiators with temperature controls, you may want to use a gas fire or an electric heater in a room where you spend a lot of time, but it’s still a good idea to have your normal heating running concurrently. One point to remember is that gas fires and portable heaters (such as storage heaters) are energy inefficient. For example, a gas fire needs a draw of fresh air in order to provide oxygen for the gas burning process. This fresh air is normally drawn in through a ventilation system or an air brick, leading to the loss of heat from the home.
Heating one room may also cause problems, especially if you are elderly or you have young children. It is not particularly healthy to leave a nice warm room, to get into a cold bed or visit a freezing cold bathroom. Frequently exposing your body to a range of different temperature changes can unhealthy and may lead to health complications. Safety is also another important implication. Open fronted gas and solid fuels can pose a hazard for obvious reasons. Extra precautions must be taken if young children are in the room who will need constant monitoring. Glass fronted fires are a better option.
Always remember that regular servicing of any type of gas fire is essential to the safety and efficiency of your home and heating system.