5 home heating myths that could be pushing up your winter bills

Before you reach for that thermostat as the nights get colder, make sure your lack of heating knowledge isn’t costing you the earth.

With winter firmly upon us, it's tempting to draw the curtains, whack up the thermostat and hunker down ‘til sunnier climes.

Trouble is, for most of us, spring will also mean painfully high energy bills.

[Read more: Could your central heating be making you ill?]

Because although keeping warm inside a house away from the elements sounds easy enough, most people actually have no idea how to keep warm.

We sort your heating fact from your heating fiction…

1. You should turn the heating up when it’s cold outside

Half (52 percent) of the people responding to the Energy Saving Trust survey said they turned the thermostat up when it’s cold outside, but a home shouldn’t need this as the thermostat is there to maintain the internal temperature, whatever the weather. 

2. You should turn up the thermostat to heat the room quicker

Over a third (35 percent) of people in the survey also admitted that they turn their room thermostat up when they want the room to heat up quicker.

“This does not help a room become warmer any quicker and only heats the home to a warmer temperature,” says the trust.

3. You should leave the heating on low constantly

It’s very common for people to think it’s more energy efficient to leave the heating turned on at a low temperature constantly, rather than turn it on and off. Wrong.

“This means these homes are heated when no-one is there to benefit and then the home is too cold when people are in the home,” the experts said.

4. Keep your water heater on all day so you don’t run out

If your hot water tank is properly insulated, water heated for half an hour in the morning should stay warm until midday.

It’s much better to set your water to come on for half an hour before you get up to shower.

[Read more: 5 ways to make your heating work harder]

5. Keep electric storage heaters on all the time

Our research also found that few people with electric storage heaters fully understand how they work (only 38 percent),” says the Energy Savings Trust.

“This means that households with electric heating could be paying through the nose by not taking advantage of cheaper night rate electricity.

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