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Energy saving: Q&A

Sep 16th 2021

Find the answers to your questions with our Q&A post

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Q. Is it true that it costs more to turn lights off and back on than it does to leave them on?

A. It is a misconception that switching on and off your lights costs more than leaving them on.

While using energy-efficient bulbs, it is more cost effective to turn lights off when leaving a room than to keep them on.

 

While low-energy bulbs do consume more energy during the first few minutes of operation than they do while operating regularly, the energy consumed during startup is just the equivalent of leaving them running for a few minutes.

Q. Is it more cost effective to leave the central heating on at a low setting than to turn it on and off as needed?

A. It is a widespread misunderstanding that leaving your heating on all the time saves money.

Boilers consume more energy at first to warm radiators from the cold. However, the expense of doing so is significantly outweighed by the cost of keeping the boiler running constantly — even if the central heating is set to a moderate temperature.

 

You should program your heating system to turn on just before you need it (for example, when you get up in the morning or return home from work) and to turn it off again when you leave the house.

 

Q. Are there energy-efficient light bulbs that quickly achieve their maximum brightness?

A. Some energy-saving bulbs may take somewhat longer to achieve maximum brightness than conventional lights. This is due to the technology they employ, which also explains why they are so much more efficient than standard incandescent lights.

Many contemporary energy-efficient lights take only a few seconds to reach peak brightness. When purchasing energy-saving bulbs, check for the Energy Saving Recommended mark, since they must meet specified standards for maximum warm-up time.

 

Additionally, you may choose energy-saving bulbs that are meant to be fast-starting, meaning they do not require a warm-up time. When purchasing new bulbs, look for those labelled ‘fast-start’ or ‘quick-start’.

Q. What are the mandatory minimum energy efficiency criteria for landlords of residential properties?

A. Beginning in April 2018, private sector landlords are expected to maintain an EPC rating of E or above.

This means that landlords are required to enhance the energy efficiency of rental buildings with a F or G grade.

 

Among the improvements that may be necessary are the following:

 

Insulation of cavity walls

Insulation of lofts

Boiler with thermostat

Condensing boilers powered by natural gas

Heating beneath the floor

 

Q. Will shutting off radiators in separate rooms save me money?

A. You will almost definitely save money by turning off radiators in unoccupied rooms. Heating empty areas is a waste of money and energy.

Additionally, seal the doors to any unheated rooms to prevent the heated rooms’ or spaces’ warm air from escaping into the cooler ones.

 

If you have gas central heating, the one room in which you should not switch off or reduce the temperature of a radiator is the one in which your thermostat is installed. This is because it may interfere with the central heating system’s temperature regulating.

Q. Is it preferable to use the gas fireplace in my living room to keep my house warm or to use the gas central heating to heat the entire house?

A. When compared to a gas fire, gas central heating is often more effective in providing heat. Central heating generates more heat per unit of gas used than living-flame gas fires, as much of the heat generated by living-flame gas fires escapes up the chimney.

Whichever option is most cost effective for you will likely depend on the number of rooms you have or wish to heat, as well as your ability to regulate the individual radiators in different sections of your house.

 

If you can’t switch off or don’t have thermostatic radiator valves (TRV’s) to control the heat output the radiators in other rooms of your house, it is more financially viable to use your gas fire. Having the central heating turned on for the whole house wastes money heating unoccupied rooms.

Q. Which method of heating my all-glass conservatory is the most efficient?

A. The first thing to examine is whether the glass in your conservatory is double- or triple-glazed or single-glazed. If it is single-glazed, it may be difficult to maintain a pleasant temperature inside during the winter. In this scenario, you might utilise halogen or fan heaters.

If your conservatory has double or triple glazing, it will be more effective at retaining heat. In this scenario, you might consider installing a radiator similar to the one used throughout the remainder of your home.

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