You’ve been using your radiator all wrong – and it could be pushing up your energy bills | The Sun

ENERGY bills have soared for millions of households this year.

And the way you're using your radiator could be adding hundreds of pounds on top.

Temperatures plummeted earlier this month but it's since warmed up.

Even so, most Brits will be looking to have the heating on at this time of year.

But also front of mind for millions of people is the soaring cost of living with energy and food costing so much more than usual.

There are a number of ways to drive down the costs though, and it all starts with how you use your radiator.

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Here's how you could be using your radiator all wrong.

Making dodgy adaptations

One common myth is that painting your radiator a dark colour like black will make it more efficient.

Many households believe the design quirk helps reduce energy bills, but that's not actually the case.

The myth is built on the idea that black absorbs heat quicker so will transfer heat out at a better rate than a white radiator.

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Instead of splashing out on a colour scheme that might not go with the rest of your home for the sake of saving a few pennies ineffectively, a more cost-effective solution is insulation.

If the wall the radiator is mounted on is insulated then heat won't leak out of your home, so you won't be wasting any money and your heating doesn't have to work as hard.

Another way to modify the radiator is to put reflective panels behind.

This works in a similar – but faster – way with the heat from the radiator reflected back into the room, preventing warmth escaping through external walls, which can happen even if they're insulated.

Not using it at all

Some people believe it's cheaper to heat a house with an electric heater instead of a radiator – but that's false.

Using your home's central heating can be cheaper than running an electric heater.

According to Best Heating, every unit of heat put out by an electric heater costs three times as much as a unit of heat from one of your radiators.

The appliances could add a staggering £70 a month to your electric bills if you were to use one every evening.

If you're only looking to heat just one room in the house then the electric heater does work out cheaper though.

Turning it up too high

Many people go into autopilot mode when the weather gets colder, and instantly turn up the heating to battle the winter temperatures.

Most households will regularly set their thermostat above 22°C, but that's higher than you need.

Instead, if you lower the heating at the wall by just one degree, you can save hundreds of pounds according to experts.

"Keep the thermostat down and at a steady temperature," said Will Owen, energy expert at Uswitch.

"Turning the temperature down by just one degree could reduce your bills and potentially save you over £100 a year."

Boilers work at the same speed no matter what temperature the thermostat is set to, that's the same for the radiator pumping out the heat.

By setting it higher your central heating will just have to work for a longer period of time, which will use more energy.

Forgetting to bleed

Neglecting to bleed your radiators could stop them from running properly, so you could end up wasting energy heating nothing.

You should bleed radiators regularly as it will stop them from having cold spots, where air gets trapped inside.

You'll need a radiator key or a flat-blade screwdriver to do it, but's it's an easy enough fix that will mean your home is warm once more and your costs are kept down.

Ignoring the rest of your home

Will from Uswitch recommended looking at the other elements in your home that are stopping your radiator working to its best ability.

He said: "Fit curtains as well as blinds, as this prevents cold windows from cooling down the room.

"Curtains are a great option for preventing heat loss – remember to close them at night when it's colder and open them again when the sun comes out to let the heat back in."

The method means your radiator won't have to work over time heating a home that's losing as much as is being put out.

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He also advised to keep your radiators obstruction-free – you should do that anyway to prevent any fire safety issues but the precaution can help reduce your bills too.

Will said: "Objects that are in the way can absorb some of the heat from your radiator – and one of the biggest culprits for this is the sofa."

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