Posted on 22nd January 2019

Big Energy Saving Week: Energy saving myth busters

There are plenty of different ways to save energy and everyone has their myths and tales of how to save money on your bills. What to know what actually works?

Well, we have answers to some of the biggest and oldest energy saving myths –

Electricity myths

MYTH – My plugs still use energy if they are plugged in but not charging anything?

True or False – TRUE

 You should always try to unplug chargers when not in use. A lot of chargers will use energy when left in a socket, you can check if it’s using energy by touching it – if the charger is warm then it is using energy.

A lot of devices, such as games consoles, laptops and TVs, also draw power when plugged in and not in use. This is sometimes known as ‘vampire power’. Using this standby power can be easily avoided by switching devices off at the wall. An average household wastes around £30 a year by leaving devices plugged in or on standby.

MYTH – Air drying my clothes is better than using a tumble dryer?

True or false – TRUE

Air drying your clothes, with an airer is better because tumble dryers use a lot of energy. Try timing it so you put your washing out on a clothes horse during the hours your heating comes on. Drying your clothes indoors on an airer can cause problems with condensation and damp, especially in old and poorly insulated homes, so it is best to dry your clothes outdoors whenever the weather allows.

Myth – I should run appliances at night?

True or False – TRUE & FALSE 

If you’re on an Economy 7 or 10 tariff, you’ll pay less during the night, but a higher rate than average during the day. But if you’re on another tariff, it doesn’t make any difference.

Check with us at Robin Hood Energy to see which tariff you are on.

MYTH – I should leave lights and appliances on?

True or false – FALSE

Turn them off when you don’t need them. Also avoid leaving TVs and other devices on standby. They will still use power if plugged in and put on standby.

Heating myths

MYTH – I am supposed to leave my heating on a low setting all day and then turn up the heating when I need it?

True or false – FALSE 

 It is not cheaper to leave the heating on low all day. It is cheaper for you and saves more energy to have the heating on only when you need it. We suggest using a timer, your thermostat will turn your heating on and off to keep your home at the temperature you set it at

Myth – I should put Clingfilm on the windows?

True or false – TRUE

 It may seem odd, but this one works – Clingfilm can actually help keep your home warm. The idea is to put a sheet of Clingfilm on your window and that traps a small layer of air, which can help stop heat escaping,

Really though, it doesn’t have to be Clingfilm, you can add a second layer of glazing with any material that is transparent and airtight. In reality, this is only a short term for solution and only really works best on single glazed windows. Double-glazed will see less of an impact with Clingfilm.

MYTH – I should keep the hot water boiler on all the time, or turn it on and off as needed?

True or false – TRUE & FALSE 

If you have a gas, oil or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) central heating system, it will always be cheaper to set the system timer so the hot water comes on only when you need it.

However, if you use an electrical immersion heater and have an Economy 7 or 10 tariff (where energy is cheaper at night), it’s cheaper to heat your water during the night. Make sure your tank is well insulated to prevent it cooling during the day, though.

MYTH – Would painting my radiators black or putting reflective panels behind them help?

True or false – TRUE & FALSE

Painting your radiators black will not save you energy. Radiator panels can save energy, but not very much. It’s more important to insulate your walls to prevent the heat leaking out of your home altogether.

However, putting reflective panels behind radiators can help cut energy use. The idea is that they reflect heat from the radiator back into the room, so it doesn’t escape through external walls

MYTH – When my heating is on, does opening all the doors to each room help distribute the heat?

True or false – FALSE

 You should always keep doors closed for the area you want heated. Radiators, electric panel heaters and convection heaters all work by creating a convection current in a room. As hot air rises, it circles around to the other side of the room, cools and sinks and travels back along the floor to the heater to be reheated again. Closing doors makes sure this current remains within the designated space.

MYTH – I should leave my heating on if I’m going away?

True or false – TRUE

To prevent frozen pipes, which can cause hundreds of pounds of damage, it is recommended that you leave the heating on to some degree during winter even if you’re not there. Remember to check your home insurance policy before you go away but a general rule is to keep your heating at a minimum 12 degrees, rather than switching it off.

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