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Martin Lewis explains if it’s cheaper to leave the heating on all day on low or turn it on just when needed

MARTIN Lewis has explained whether it’s cheaper to leave the heating on low all day or to turn it on when needed.

The hotly debated topic comes as temperatures have plummeted this week and energy bills for the average household now cost £2,500.

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

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain yesterday (December 7), the MoneySavingExpert put the debate to rest.

Martin’s advice comes after a reader wrote into the show and asked if it was cheaper to leave your heating at 18°C all day or have it come on twice a day.

Martin said: “So there is a debate over this – the general advice from the Energy Saving Trust is that you have your heating on when you need it, and you turn it off when you don’t need it.

“The myth that it is cheaper to have it on all day is false.

“The slight argument is that if you have a house that is prone to condensation it might be worth it because you have to get rid of the condensation each time you turn it on and off and this could cost more.

“But in most cases, you should turn the heat on when you need it and you turn it off when you don’t need it.”

The advice comes after recent figures from CheckaTrade show that the average cost of running your heating per hour is 11.51p.

This means that if you have a 24 kW boiler, it might cost you £2.76 an hour

So if you have your heating on overnight for eight hours, it could cost you £22.08.

And if you were to leave it on for 24 hours it would cost £66.24.

Multiply that by seven and you’d be paying £463.68 for the week.

Of course, the overall cost of running your central heating will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of boiler you have, the number of rooms in your house and how often you switch it on.

Martin went on to say that it’s best to control your heating on a timer and a thermostat.

But warned households against turning their thermostats up if it’s already set as roughly 20°C.

He said: “When it gets cold, people turn their thermostat up, but if it’s set to 20°C degrees, you don’t need to turn it up because you’re cold now. You’re just going to have to wait until it gets up to the temperature.

“Don’t turn it up to 22 just because it’s not on right now. That’s what a thermostat is for. It will give you the temperature that you’ve pre-defined it to be.”

Most households will regularly set their thermostat above 22°C, especially as the colder weather sets in.

But energy experts have revealed the exact temperature to set it at so that you can save cash and keep warm throughout the winter.

For most of us, our thermostats should be set between 18°C and 21°C.

In fact, turning your thermostat down by just a single degree could save you as much as £100 a year on your energy bill.

How else can I cut heating costs?

Try to just heat the rooms that you use. Use your thermostat to monitor the temperatures of each room in your house and only turn the heating on in the room you’re using or about to use.

Households can save up to £112 a year by turning their boiler’s flow temperature down to 60°C.

Keeping doors shut will also help keep the heat in.

Using a draught excluder will help prevent heat from leaving as well as a draught from coming in.

It’s something many of us probably don’t enjoy doing, but trapped air in your radiators can stop the warm water from circulating properly.

If your radiator is cold at the top and warm at the bottom then it most likely needs bleeding.

All you need is a radiator key or screwdriver to do it.

It’s also important to make sure that you are using your thermostatic radiator valves efficiently.

If you’ve got a TRV attached to your radiators, you’ll be able to limit or turn off the flow of hot water into the radiator.

This can help reduce the amount of gas that your boiler needs to burn to heat up the water in your central heating system.

The Sun spoke to a plumber who explained exactly how thermostatic radiator valves work and what the numbers on the knobs mean.


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