‘Most common’ energy myths to avoid to ‘save money’ on bills

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Colletta Smith demonstrates how you can save energy at home

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With rising energy prices hitting the British public hard already, and further increases predicted, saving money on household bills is a top priority for many. However, it can be hard to know the difference between good advice and fake news. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, William Hobbs, energy expert at Myjobquote.co.uk and Sophie Gilmore, Managing Director at HybridTec, have debunked some of the most common energy myths – which could cost you money rather than helping you make a saving on energy bills. 

Myth 1: A ceiling fan will cool down an unoccupied room

According to the engineer, one of the “most common energy saving myths” is that a ceiling fan will cool down a room. However, this is not strictly true.

Ceiling fans circulate room air but do not change the temperature. A running ceiling fan in an empty room is only adding to a household’s electricity use.

He explained: “Although it may feel like the fan is cooling down the room as you feel cooler when you’re underneath the passing air, the reality is that the fan is simply cooling you down rather than the room. 

“The fan simply moves the air and it is this movement of air that makes you feel cooler. You can save money on your energy bills by turning the fan off when you’re not in the room.”

Myth 2: Putting the thermostat higher will make your home heat up quicker

If you come home to a cold house, it’s tempting to whack the thermostat up in the hope that this will make the place warm up faster. Sadly it won’t.

William noted: “Heating systems work at a steady rate. If you turn your thermostat all the way up, you home won’t heat up any quicker. 

“Many people do this and then forget to turn the thermostat back down, resulting in your heating system working for longer than it needs to. This is a big waste of energy and will often result in your home becoming too warm. 

“You can save energy by choosing a smart heating system with a programmable thermostat. This will optimise your heating system so that you’re always at a comfortable temperature.”

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Myth 3: Turning down the temperature won’t save much money

According to Sophie, one of the “biggest energy saving myths” is turning down the temperature won’t save much money. 

In fact, turning the temperature down by just one degree can “save you up to 10 percent on your next energy bill”, claimed the expert.

William agreed: “Many homeowners believe that lowering the thermostat won’t make much of a difference in the amount of energy that is used. However, you may be surprised to learn that lowering your thermostat can significantly decrease your energy consumption. 

“Even just one degree lower can make a big difference in your energy bills and you’re unlikely to notice much of a difference in the heat levels.”

Myth 4: Most heat is lost through windows

Households might think most heating is lost through their windows. That’s because it often feels like the coldest place in the house if they’re not double-glazed or insulated properly.

However, Sophie claimed that this is a “myth” as only “10 percent of heat is lost” through well fitted windows, whereas 35 percent can be lost through badly insulated walls.

Myth 5: Leaving lights on uses less electricity than turning them on and off

While it’s true that turning your lights on can cause an initial burst of energy, that burst of energy only lasts for a fraction of a second. 

William said: “If you leave your light on for a long time, the energy usage can really add up. If you’re going to be out of the room for more than 15 minutes, it’s much more energy efficient to turn the light off and then turn it back on when you return.”

Myth 6: Keeping the curtains closed will keep the heat in

Sophie claimed: “‘Keeping the curtains closed will keep the heat in’ is a big myth. 

“Leaving the curtains closed can keep your house cool in the summer, however, during the colder months, opening the curtains will let in sunlight, which will naturally heat the room and allow for effective circulation of the air in that space.”

Myth 7: Hand washing dishes is cheaper than using the dishwasher

Many people think that hand washing dishes is a more economical option over using a dishwasher. However, when dishes are being hand washed, Britons are most likely using more hot water than the dishwasher uses, according to the expert.

William explained: “Modern dishwashers are designed to be very economical and efficient. As long as you’re filling up your dishwasher before each cycle, you’ll save money by using it over hand washing your dishes.”

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