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Knowing how best to save energy can be confusing to say the least. There are so many differing opinions about whether home improvements work.

So to help you separate energy-saving myth from reality we’ve talked to a few experts. And there’s never been a better time to think about spending less money on gas and electricity as bills have risen considerably for millions of households from April as the regulator Ofgem increased the energy price cap to pre-pandemic levels due to changes in wholesale prices.

Should you keep your heating on all the time?

A debate for the ages: when it comes to your energy bills, is it cheaper for you to have the heating on low all the time, or just turn it on and off as and when you need it?

Those who argue for having their heating on all the time believe it takes additional energy to bring their home up to temperature when the heating has been switched off. Why bother spending a lot of time heating up your home only to let it cool down again?

It’s clear that if you leave your heating on 24/7, you will typically end up using more fuel. This is because some heat loss will always occur due to the difference between the temperature outside your house and the temperature you are trying to maintain on the inside.

So, if you have your heating on all the time, your heating system will be using energy on an ongoing basis to maintain the inside temperature.

But, the greater the heat loss from your home, the more energy you will need to maintain the inside temperature, which means that the cost of leaving your heating on all the time will be especially expensive.

And the experts agree. The Energy Saving Trust says the idea that it’s cheaper to leave the heating on low all day is a myth. The Trust also advises if you’re keeping the heating on all day you’re losing energy all day, so it’s better to heat your home only when you need it.

If you’re willing to go even further, Uswitch says that where possible, using your boiler timer and room thermostat in combination with radiator temperature controls (TRVs), is the most energy-efficient approach to heating your home.

Don’t take our word for it – test it for yourself!

There is a simple test you can run at home to see whether you should have the heating on all the time or you should use the programmer so it only fires up a couple of times a day. Basically over the course of two weeks – test each method. You will need to take gas readings to do the test, and also bear in mind that if a sudden cold spell hits then your results will most likely be null and void.

Insulating your home

Insulation is the simplest thing you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home, but where do you start? If your property has a loft space that’s a great place to start. Loft insulation is cheap and easy to install, but also saves a huge amount of money on heating.

If you already have loft insulation in place but it was installed some time ago you may want to check your levels. Older loft insulation is typically of a lower level than today’s recommended levels, so you may need to top up your insulation.

Even if you already have loft insulation in place though you can still save plenty of money by looking into wall insulation. Wall insulation is more expensive to install than loft insulation and you will probably need help, but it will still pay for itself in a few years time.

Should I put clingfilm on the windows?

And what about other energy saving tips like putting clingfilm on your windows to preserve heat and therefore use less energy? Is it fact of fiction?

The Energy Saving Trust says this idea works – although clingfilm is normally used to wrap up your sandwiches, it can actually help keep your home warm. The idea is that putting a sheet on your window traps a small layer of air which can help stop heat escaping.

The Trust says you can use any material for the second layer of glazing, as long as it’s transparent and airtight. However, while clingfilm works in theory, in practice you’ll probably want to use specialist secondary glazing as it’ll last longer. If you have double glazing, adding a third layer could make you a little warmer, but the benefit will be much less than when dealing with a single-glazed window. If your windows are draughty, it’s worth fixing that as well as adding secondary glazing, as otherwise you’ll only get half the benefit.

Join Our Energy Campaign

This is where a better understanding of the benefits to be gained from switching and saving comes in. So to help cut through the jargon, we’ve launched a fantastic energy switching awareness service for gas, electricity or both.

It’s fast and easy to use along with our accredited partner Uswitch, the UK’s most popular energy comparison site. And we can offer you a simple and fast way to make great savings quickly, with no interruption to your supply.

Uswitch has helped more than 5 million people compare energy prices and save on their bills, and its free energy comparison site has been fully accredited by the Ofgem Confidence Code since 2006.

Let’s see what we can do for you.



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