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I’m an appliance pro – a huge heating mistake could cost you £150 a year, here’s how to avoid it

WINTER is arriving now December has hit – but there’s one way you could be spending hundreds more on heating than necessary.

Appliance experts ElectricalDirect have revealed the huge heating mistake to watch out for just as energy costs soar.

A simple mistake with your heating could end up costing you an extra £150 a year – here’s how to avoid

The advice comes as energy bills soar to £2,500 for the typical household, meaning many will be worried they about their energy use.

After April 2023, the cap will rise to £3,000, so bill payers up and down the country are on the lookout for ways to save them money.

Appliance experts ElectricalDirect have revealed not scheduling your heating throughout the day is the most common mistake made by consumers.

And they say not doing so could set you back a whopping £150 a year.

Dominick Sandford, managing director at ElectricalDirect, said: “With the energy price cap rising by 80% in October, and average bills reaching record levels, households across the UK will be looking to save money wherever they can. 

“The purpose of our research was to highlight the everyday behaviours that are costing people money, perhaps without them realising, and showing how simple changes can lead to significant savings.” 

The overall cost of running your central heating will of course depend on a number of factors, such as the type of boiler you have.

Recent figures from CheckaTrade shows that the average cost of running your heating per hour is 11.51p per kilowatt-hour. This means that if you have a 24 kW boiler, it might cost you £2.76 an hour. 

But in September, for instance, we reported that keeping your radiators on all night will cost you an extra £10.80 a day.

Over the course of a week, that would cost you £75.60, and if you did it all month you could be paying out a whopping £335.

So, there’s clearly a big increase if you don’t schedule your heating just for the hours you need – but prices will still vary.

It’s also important to consider what tariff you’re on, as this could determine how much it costs you at different points in the day. 

Economy 7 or 10 tariffs mean you’ll pay less at night, but a higher rate during the day.

That’s for an average family home on the energy price cap, which is currently the cheapest available energy deal.

Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at, said: “Scheduling the times when your heating comes on is a great way of making sure you are not wasting energy, as it means it is only running when you are at home and can get the benefit.”

It’s recommended that you schedule the heating to come on half an hour before you wake up in the morning so the house is nice and toasty when start your morning.

She continued: “You may also want to set the heating to come on in the evening just before you come home from work.

“Instead of keeping the heating on right until you go to bed, consider using an electric blanket or hot water bottle to stay warm.”

The price of running a heated blanket depends on what model you have and how much you use it.

But, on average, Utilita Energy estimates it will cost 10p to run a heated blanket for one hour a day for seven days.

If you use it for an hour per night for the coldest four months of the year, that’s 91 nights and a total cost of £1.92.

The average hot water bottle has a capacity of 1.5 litres, or six cups, and will stay warm for hours.

Just remember you will need energy to heat that water up in the first place.

To fill six cups of water, enough to fill a hot water bottle, this will cost £5.81 – this is if you just use the bottle at night – for 91 nights.

If you filled your hot water bottle once in the morning, and again at night, this will cost you £10.92 for the same period.

Sarah said: “Some timers may also allow you to set different times for every day of the week so your heating fits around your schedule.”

Other ways to heat your house for less

There are plenty of easy hacks to use around the house too this winter.

Tinfoil behind the radiator

Putting radiator foil – or tin foil if you’re on a tight budget – behind your radiator could save on your energy bills every time you whack the heating on.

It works by reflecting the hot air coming from the back of your radiator back into the room, instead of your radiator blowing hot air at the wall.

This means that you won’t that it won’t be wasting energy – and adding money onto your bill.

Simply put sellotape on the corner of the foil and pop it behind your radiator.

And you don’t have to fork out much to complete the tip either – at Wilko a roll of tin foil costs only 70p – and will work just as effectively.

Draught excluders

To save the most money, you want to stop cold air coming in and prevent warm air from escaping.

DIY draught-proofing starts at just over £3 for a roll of self-adhesive draught-excluding tape though.

You can use it to block up unwanted gaps around windows, doors and chimneys that let cold air in and warm air out.

You can also buy cheap draft excluders that do the same job for gaps under doors.

Insulate pipes

You can pop foam tubes over pipes in rooms you don’t want to heat up – such as the attic or basement – as well as external pipes.

You can just use a long swimming float if you’re not sure – or call your local DIY store to ask if they have any.

You can buy these for as little as £2.99 from Amazon – just watch out for any delivery costs.

We’ve also rounded up the best ones you can buy here to help keep your home warm without the extra-pricey heating bills.

More bill help

If you turn your thermostat down by one notch, it can help lower your bills by a whopping £80 a year.

And keeping it at a steady temperature will save even more.

You should also make sure you turn household appliances off and not leave them on standby as doing this could needlessly add as much as £35 onto your bill.

We spoke to a savvy saver who slashed a huge £180 off her energy bill by simply switching off plug sockets.

But if measures in your own home aren’t enough, there’s still time to apply for government schemes that are designed to help you foot rising energy costs.

Here’s a few schemes run by energy suppliers you could be entitled to:

There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment metre.

All UK households are also receiving the £400 energy bills rebate from now.

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