Is it cheaper to leave your heating on low all day than switch it on for a few hours? | The Sun

AS temperatures plummet and energy bills soar, most of us are desperately trying to cut heating costs. 

But there are plenty of energy myths that could leave households paying over the odds for their usage.

It comes as bills increased to £2,500 a year – up from £1,971 – for the average household from October 1 due to the energy price guarantee.

From April 2023, it'll rise further to £3,000 for 12 months.

If you're struggling with the costs, you'll want to know that leaving the heating on low all day instead of turning it on for a few hours won’t slash your bills.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, this is one of the most common energy myths.

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Energy experts say you should only have your heating on when you need it, and make sure it’s turned off otherwise.

In the long run, this is the best way to save energy and keep your bills down. 

Joanna O’Loan, knowledge manager at the Energy Saving Trust, said: “If you have gas central heating, it’s generally advisable and most cost-effective to turn your boiler on and off when you need it.

"It’s cheaper to reheat your home than it is to keep the heating on low all day.”

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How much heating costs you

The exact cost of heating your home will depend on the type of property you live in, and your usage.

But according to Chekatrade, the average cost of heating a home per kilowatt-hour is 11.51p.

If your home has a 25kW boiler, heating would cost you £2.87 an hour at that price.

If you leave your heating on all day, so it’s running for 24 hours, that costs £71.75.

Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at, added: “The most energy-efficient way to keep warm at home is to programme your heating system so it comes on when you need it most.

“Having your heating on all day will mean your boiler is constantly coming on to keep your home at the temperature you’ve set on the thermostat, which can be wasteful.

"In the worst-case scenario, you may be heating your house through the night when you’re asleep or when no one is home.”

He added that it’s best to set your thermostat to turn your heating on and off at a set temperature. 

“With many modern thermostats, you can set different temperatures at different times, and even run separate programmes for weekends,” said Gallizzi. 

The ideal temperature for your thermostat

Try turning the thermostat to between 18 to 20°C if you’ve set the temperature higher than this.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save around 10% a year on your bill by turning your thermostat down one degree. 

Think about when you really need your heating on.

You could set it to come on, for example, for an hour in the evening, and shortly before you get up.

You can also adjust the temperature controls on your radiators to ensure you are only warming up the rooms you need to. 

Also check there’s no air trapped in your radiators.

You can do this by turning the radiator on and checking if it’s cooler at the top.

This suggests that there’s air in the system, which makes it take longer to warm a room – and you need to bleed your radiator.

You can find plenty of guides on YouTube.

You’ll need some old towels, a small bowl and a radiator valve key, which you can buy for around £1. 

It’s worth fitting radiator reflector foil behind radiators.

This reflects heat back into the room so it’s not lost going into the wall.

You can buy packs of radiator foil online, or make your own using kitchen foil and cardboard.

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