As the nights get darker and the days get colder, households in Ireland could miss out on significant savings by forgetting to adjust their heating system this winter.
Poor energy use, including leaving heating and lights on by mistake for just four hours a week means homeowners are wasting thousands of euros per year on their energy bills. For example, SEAI estimate that lowering your thermostat by that one degree could save approximately €150 in an average family home.
OFTEC, the organisation that represents the liquid fuel heating industry in Ireland, has issued advice to households on how to avoid these expensive mistakes by highlighting some of the most common winter heating myths:
- Myth: Turning the thermostat up high will warm the house more quickly.
- Fact: When the weather gets cold, you may be tempted to turn your thermostat up to a high temperature. However, you don’t need to do this as house will warm up at the same speed, regardless of what temperature it is set at.
- Myth: It’s cheaper to leave your heating running at a low temperature than constantly turning it off and on when it gets cold.
- Fact: Having your heating on when it’s not needed will cost you money so it is more beneficial to turn it off when it’s not being used. Instead, adjust your timers so it comes on only when you want it to.
- Myth: Turning down individual radiators will save you money.
- Fact: This is not necessarily the case. If your thermostat is on, radiators will keep working until the room reaches the set temperature. If you want to save money, turn off radiators in rooms you aren’t using.
- Myth: Your water needs to be constantly heated during the day or it’ll be cold.
- Fact: If your water tank is well insulated the water will stay warm for several hours. Set your timers so the water is heated an hour before you need it at different times of the day and if your hot water tank does not have a jacket, treat it to one for Christmas!
- Myth: Only have a technician look at your boiler if it’s not working correctly.
- Fact: Have your heating system serviced once a year to check it is working correctly and efficiently. This will help avoid a breakdown in the winter months and potentially costly repair bills. Make sure you use an OFTEC registered technician to ensure your oil boiler is operating efficiently and safely.
David Blevings, OFTEC Ireland Manager, said: "With temperatures set to drop into the New Year, it is tempting to place your heating on the highest setting. However, this can be a costly option. At an already expensive time of year - with Christmas just around the corner – planning and making small changes to the way you heat your home can save you from unnecessary spending. By being aware of the biggest winter heating misconceptions, Irish households can reduce their energy use, save money on their fuel bills, and also enjoy the festive period."For your nearest OFTEC registered technician and more winter tips, visit www.oftec.ie