So which is the best option: having the heating on low all the time, or just turning it on when you need it?
If you’re looking for ways to save on your energy bills you may be wondering if it is more energy-efficient to leave your heating on all the time or to turn it on and off as required. Read on to find out the answer.
When should your heating be on?
One key factor that gets people wondering whether or not to have their heating on all the time, is the idea that it will take additional energy to bring your home ‘up to temperature’ when the heating has been switched off.
However, 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 that the cost of leaving your heating on all the time will be especially expensive.
That’s why ensuring your home is well insulated and draught proofed is vital to minimise this heat loss. Taking steps to improve insulation is a good way to save on your energy bills - this can include insulated cavity walls, a well-insulated loft, double-glazing and draught proofed doors.
Typically the most energy-efficient approach to heating your home is to programme your heating system so that it comes on when you need it most.
With many of the more modern room thermostats you also have the ability to set different temperatures at different times, and you may even be able to set up a separate programme for weekends.
When you use your boiler timer and room thermostat in combination with radiator temperature controls (TRVs), you really do have the most energy-efficient approach to heating your home.
How to test it
If you have a well-insulated home, you can test whether putting on the heating 24/7 is cheaper than programming your system to come on at certain times of the day.
To get a good idea of the energy usage for each option, you can leave your heating on constantly for a week, followed by a week of programming your heating to come on twice a day.
You will need to take a meter reading at the beginning and end of each week, and from the results you will be able to see - assuming the weather and temperature outdoors have been similar across the two weeks - which approach is the most energy-efficient for you.