Save Money – Turn Off Your Heating
Now the weather is cooling down, and we are likely to have the central heating on, our thoughts naturally turn to ways to save money on heating costs.
One of the hotly debated topics is whether it is more cost-effective to have the heating on all the time (and just leave the thermostat set to control the temperature), or to only heat the house when we are in it.
We finally had to settle the argument by turning to the Energy Saving Trust to find a definitive answer (and to be able to get on with our ‘real’ work).
If you are at home all day then it does make sense to have the heating on all day, and to set the thermostat as low as you can to still feel comfortable. Research from the Energy Saving Trust shows that reducing the thermostat setting by one degree can make a saving of about £65 per year.
If you are out of the house for part, or most of the day, then it makes financial sense to only heat the house for the times that you are at home. This was the contentious part, because some of our old retainers felt it was better to continually heat the house rather than let it cool down during the day, and then have to expend extra energy to heat it up again.
So having established that it is better to only heat your home when you need to, you might well ask How do I heat my house efficiently? and What is the best way to use central heating for efficiency and comfort?
Getting Up In The Morning
The easiest way to make sure the house is warm when you need it, is to have a timer so you can have the heating come on before you wake up. Usually half an hour will do it unless you have an older house, very poor insulation, or large rooms to heat. Then you can set it to turn off about half an hour before you leave for work.
Coming Home In The Evening
Again set the heating to come on about half an hour to an hour before you come in. Then you can set the heating system to turn off an hour or two before you go to bed.
Factors that affect how long your house takes to heat up or cool down include:
- The construction of the house
- The size of the rooms
- The amount of insulation in your property
- How efficient the boiler is
In addition to the physical attributes of your home and heating system there is also personal preference to take into account. Some people like a very warm house and others prefer a cooler environment. Recent research into sleep hygiene shows that people sleep better in a cooler room, the Sleep Council recommends a bedroom temperature of 18 – 21 degrees Centigrade at night, so it is a win win situation as far as saving money and getting a good night’s sleep goes, and of course if you are saving money you are probably sleeping easier anyway!