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What is the most economical way to use central heating?

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As the cold snap bites and the cost of living crisis drains our wallets, we need to make sure we are not wasting money when we heat our properties. This means making your home more energy efficient and looking into the most economical way to use central heating. Both of these activities help you save much-needed cash when warming your house, but there is bit of controversy over the latter. Some people reckon you should keep your heating on low throughout the day. Others say you should only turn it on when you need it. Let’s see if we can get to the truth…

Martin Lewis on the most economical way to use central heating

Money saving expert Martin Lewis has fielded this question recently, so that seems like a good place to start. He agrees with the Energy Saving Trust, who claim that leaving the boiler on all day means you are losing energy all the time. Both state that only firing up your heating when you need it is the most economical way to use central heating.

Lewis says: “having the heating on only when you need it is, in the long run, the best way to save energy, and therefore money. A timer’s best as your thermostat turns your heating on and off to keep your home at the temperature you set.”

Some who argue against this say that the energy used to power up the boiler each time can be wasteful and that the system needs to work harder to heat the home up from very low temperatures. However the Energy Saving Trust says that these costs do not compare with the heat loss that builds up over a full day.

most economical way to use central heating

Why you might want to keep the heating on all day

Despite this, Lewis does admit that there are circumstances where you might want to keep the heating on low all day. \

He says: “there are some engineers who argue that keeping the heating on low with all the radiators on and the boiler down can work as it reduces condensation, which when the heating is turned off collects within the walls, and can help conduct heat outside the home – meaning you lose heat more quickly and so will lose heat more quickly and will use more energy as a result. So if your house is prone to that you may want to think about it.”


Other heating tips

Other ways to uncover the most economical way to use central heating include:

  • Use your thermostat. Rather than just whacking the heating on and letting it keep increasing the heat, set a comfortable temperature on the thermostat and it will only heat the home up to that temperature and not go over. That way, you are still warm, but you’re not using excess energy.
  • Use your timer. That way, you can have the house warm for when you get home and it doesn’t matter if you forget to turn it off before bedtime, as it will switch itself off.
  • Drop your comfortable temperature by one degree. A one degree drop can save you around £100 a year on your energy bills and, if you are being honest, you probably won’t even feel the difference.
  • Use smart controls.  If you have them, smart controls are great for adjusting your heating. If your plans change and you’re not going to be in one evening but the heating is set to come on, you can cancel it remotely so you don’t waste energy. You can often use them to only heat the rooms you use, too.
  • Use thermostatic radiator valves. If you don’t have smart controls, you might have TRVs which mean you can turn down the heat of radiators in rooms that you don’t use.



Do you have any other ideas on the most economical way to use central heating? Leave them in the Comments

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