This is why you shouldn’t leave your heating on all day – even on a low level

It transpires that unless you have money to throw away, it’s pointless leaving heating on constantly as you’ll lose energy daily and face bigger bills, according to experts at the Energy Saving Trust.

That’s because no matter how good your insulation is, a certain amount of energy is constantly leaking from your home.

Instead, it is better to heat your home only when you need it.

“It’s best to use a timer or programmer to make sure your home is only heated when you’re there, or you’ll waste energy while heating an empty house,” said EST energy expert Caitlin Bent.

“It’s a common myth that leaving the heating on low all day will help you save energy.”

British Gas advises people to use their central heating timer – not the thermostat – to turn heating on and off.

Also, by installing cavity wall insulation you can save about £160 a year, while loft insulation can knock £140 off your bill.

USwitch says the debate about keeping the heating on all the time is understandable, as “if you spend a lot of time heating up your home what’s the point of letting it cool down again, just to then heat it all up again?"

But, the price comparison service added, "if you leave your heating on 24/7, you will typically end up using more fuel in a like-for-like situation.

“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.”

The greater the heat loss from your home, the more energy you will need to maintain the inside temperature, which means the cost of leaving your heating on all day will be “especially expensive”, uSwitch warned.

What should you do though, if you own a pet, and are worried they’ll suffer in a freezing cold home while you’re away?

A survey by the Energy Saving Trust three years ago found that providing for creature comforts was costing homeowners a substantial £78million annually in the UK, as householders left heating and electrical devices on for their pets during the colder months.

It also found that 53 per cent of dog owners left the heating on when they went out, compared to 47 per cent of cat owners.

The trust said that by doing so, you would be paying an extra £140 annually for your energy bills.

As a more cost-effective alternative, the trust suggested pet owners could use smart thermostats, to control the temperature via a smartphone app when not at home.

Pets4Homes points out that “unless your cat climbs under the duvet with you, your cat might be particularly chilly at night.

“It is important that the temperature does not drop significantly at night, but you do not need to heat your whole house to achieve this.

“There are various ways of providing a single warm spot for your cat without having to spend money heating every room.”

Heating: tips on how to save money

Use your curtains – open them to let the sunlight in during the day to make the most of free heat from the sun. When it’s dark, shut them to provide another layer of insulation.

Turn down your heating by a degree or two. Turning your thermostat down by 1 deg C could cut your heating bill by up to 10 per cent, so keep the dial at 18 deg C.

Block out the draughts, to help keep warmth in. The Energy Saving Trust estimates draught-proofing doors, windows and cracks in the floor could save £25 a year.

Keep your radiators clear. For example, don’t put a sofa in front of them as it’ll absorb a lot of the heat.

Reflect the heat by using radiator panels, which are easy to install and ensures heat warms up your room and not your walls.

Sources: The Conversation and British Gas

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