How to protect your home in winter...
Most of us are keen to limit our energy use and keep bills low. But there are a number of energy-saving myths concerning the best ways to avoid wasting gas and electricity.
Here are five of the most common energy-saving myths:
Energy-saving myth 1 - Leaving the heating on all day saves money
Many people think that keeping a home warm all day, albeit at a relatively low level, consumes less energy than turning on the heating only in the morning and evening.
The theory is that the power needed to raise the home’s temperature when it has gone cold is greater than what is necessary to keep it at a constant warmth.
But experts say this is unlikely to be true for most of us.
Energy-saving myth 2 - Chargers only use electricity when they are charging
Laptops, tablet computers and smartphones all come with their own dedicated charger. But the charger only consumes electricity when it is plugged into the device, right? Not necessarily.
Try touching a charger when it is plugged in at the wall but not to the device: chances are it is warm, which shows it is using some energy.
Energy-saving myth 3 - It is cheaper to run appliances at night
In some homes, electricity is supplied at a cheaper rate at night – usually between 7pm and 7am – on an economy tariff.
But the majority of households pay the same price for their energy regardless of when they use it.
If you are on an economy tariff, however, it will be less expensive if you use your washer or drier at night – but do have some consideration for your neighbours.
Energy-saving myth 4 - Energy-saving light bulbs aren’t as good as traditional light bulbs
In the early days, many energy-saving light bulbs took a few moments to reach full brightness and often produced a harsh, blue light.
But the technology has improved considerably: most bulbs light up immediately, especially LEDs, and you can choose how warm or yellow you want their light to be.
Check online reviews to find the most popular and highly rated light bulbs.
Read our guide to energy-saving light bulbs...
Energy-saving myth 5 - Switching your energy supplier isn’t worth the hassle
There are in fact substantial savings to be made by moving to a new energy provider.
Households which have never switched, or who have not done so for several years, have the most to gain.
This is because they are the most likely to be on the more expensive tariffs.
Gas and industry watchdog Ofgem says that the typical customer who has never changed their supplier could save £200 a year by doing so.
A number of services are available online to find the cheapest deal based on where you live and how much energy you consume.
Signing up to a new firm is straightforward, and the companies involved will handle all the paperwork for you.
How to keep warm in winter...