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5 heating myths that are increasing your bills unnecessarily

You could reduce your energy costs

heating myths debunked
Rachel Avery
Rachel AveryHomes Editor
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Heating your home is set to get even more expensive when the energy price cap changes in April, but did you know there are five key myths that are costing you more on heating?

MORE: 10 genius ways to keep your house warm without paying for heating

Heating expert John Lawless at BestHeating is here to debunk the most commonly believed myths around heating to save you money!

1. You should turn the heating up when it's cold outside - False

cold outside heating© Photo: Alamy

You shouldn't change your thermostat when the weather changes

In a recent BestHeating poll, 42% state they turn their thermostat up when it's cold outside, but this isn't needed as the thermostat is there to maintain the internal temperature, whatever the weather. It also doesn't help to turn the thermostat up to try and heat a room quicker as this only makes the room warmer at the same speed. Doing either of these will cost you money without reward as it will not make a house feel warmer at all.

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2.  Pets prefer a warm house - False

More than a fifth of Brits set temperatures higher when they are not home and at night to look after their pets with 60% believing their pets want this, but this isn't actually true. Large animals with thick coats tend to prefer temperatures low while only small cats and dogs with less fur prefer a warmer feeling. Instead, provide your pet with a soft, warm bed, and open the curtains so the sun shines in, giving them a place to sunbathe.

cat heating© Photo: Alamy

Not all pets require a really warm home

3. It is cheaper to heat a house with an electric heater instead of a radiator – False

Central heating is a lot cheaper to run than an electric heater, for every unit of heat put out by an electric heater it will cost around three times as much as a unit of heat from one of your radiators.

If you are in the market for an electric heater though, do note that halogen heaters are the cheapest electrical ones to run.

WOW: 12 unbelievably easy ways to save £1k on energy bills

4. Painting your radiators black can reduce energy bills – False

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. It's more important to insulate walls to prevent heat leaking out of your home altogether. A good idea is to put reflective panels behind radiators, these will help cut energy use by reflecting heat from the radiator back into the room, preventing an escape through external walls.

boiler heating© Photo: Alamy

Bigger isn't always better when it comes to boilers

5. It is better to have a big boiler than a small one - False

Two-fifths of people believe this to be true and the size of a boiler does matter but it must be in relation to the size of the house. Having a massive boiler in a regular sized home will make you waste money on your bills. Make sure you understand how yours works as a recent BestHeating survey revealed that 62% of Brits don’t know what the valves on a radiator or boiler do.

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The amount of heat that you get from the boiler is determined by the size of your radiators, meaning that if you have a high output boiler but small radiators it is not going to have any impact. Finding a correct sized boiler that doesn't work too hard and doesn't have too much to give out is the most energy efficient and cheapest way.

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