But one heating expert has now warned that some of the viral ‘hacks’ doing the rounds on social media won’t actually save you cash on your heating – and could in fact end up costing you more in the long run.
Jess Steele, heating technology expert at designer radiator specialists BestHeating has shared the so-called advice to avoid this winter.
Put the tin foil down
Shoving tinfoil down the back of your radiator to make your house warmer has been a popular tip over on TikTok, but whilst there is some merit in using foil to reflect heat into a room, it won’t actually have much effect on overall bills.
“Radiators still have to be turned on and reach a high temperature for a lengthy period of time to heat a home for the foil to have the desired effect, so this will have a slight impact on the warmth in a room, but the costs will end up being basically the same,” says Steele.
Instead of focusing on how to warm your home for less, Steele advises that it is much better to improve the efficiency of a home through ensuring checks are done before radiators are in use and that insulation is sufficient.
Don’t crank the thermostat to high for short bursts of time
It’s an age-old debate, is it cheaper to keep your heating on low for longer or high for shorter? Well, apparently it doesn’t actually make that much difference.
“It doesn’t help to turn the thermostat up high to try and heat a room quicker as this only makes the room warmer at the same speed. By the time you turn it off this will only cost money without reward as it will not make a house feel warmer at all and raise bills,” Steele advises.
“Instead, set a timer for the most common periods you need a warm house such as just before you wake up and when you are relaxing in an evening.”
Use your central heating instead of portable heaters
Another TikTok favourite at the moment when it comes to heating advice is to use portable heaters instead of turning on your central heating.
Well, as Steele explains, this will actually add a whack to your energy bill and is advice that definitely shouldn’t be followed.
“Central heating is a lot cheaper to run than an electric heater, for every unit of heat from a radiator it will cost around three times as much for a unit put out by an electric heater. The only exception is if radiators aren’t turned off in unoccupied rooms, then an electric heater will prove cheaper, but this isn’t being savvy with bills.”
Don’t bother painting your radiators black
Yup, although it might look cool, painting your radiators black won’t actually make an impact on your energy bills.
This is a common myth built on the idea that black absorbs heat quicker so will transfer heat out at a better rate than white or other coloured radiators – but that’s all it is, a myth.
Steele says “The colour of a radiator has no effect on how effective it is because the majority of heat emitted is convective, which can’t be impacted by different shades. It’s more important to insulate walls to prevent heat from leaking out of a home altogether.”