Most of us control our heating systems using a timer so that they come on two or three times a day, then switch off again automatically. We have been asked in the past, 'does turning our heating on and off save us money?' However, there is a school of thought that says it’s actually cheaper to leave the heating on all the time and let the thermostat control the temperature.
Which is correct?
Well, it depends on a number of factors. As specialists in this field here is our advice on what to consider:
If you follow the conventional approach of using the timer, your boiler will only come on at set times, usually in the morning and evening. This means you won’t be heating the house and using fuel during the day when you’re out at work. But because the house cools down when the heating is off, the system will have to work harder to heat it up again.
On the other hand, if you leave the heating on all the time, the boiler will be working constantly but the house won’t cool down as much. You will need to turn your thermostat down when you go to bed at night so as not to get over-heated.
Which is the cheaper solution?
Deciding on which is the cheaper solution really depends on your level of insulation. In a modern well-insulated home, keeping the heating on all the time can be cost-effective, as minimal heat will be lost so the boiler won’t have to work too hard.
In older homes where there’s more significant heat loss, the boiler will be working harder to make up the deficit so you’ll be wasting fuel. Of course, most people will be somewhere in between the two extremes, so how can you be sure which is right for you?
Put your heating to the test
You can find out by running an experiment. Try each method for a couple of weeks, taking meter readings at the start and end of the period, and see what difference it makes. You need to select a period when the weather is fairly constant to do this. If there’s a sudden cold snap during one half of the test, then it will invalidate your results.
So, does turning our heating on and off save us money?
There’s no right or wrong answer here - which method is best will depend on your property and your individual circumstances, so it’s worth taking the time to test what’s best for you.