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The temperatures are already dropping. The heating is going on, with every click of the thermostat akin to dropping coins into a piggy bank - except one you don't get to open for yourself. Fuel prices are likely to rise towards the end of January as the weak pound begins to bite.
If you're facing another winter season where the choice between staying warm and facing huge bills is bearing down on you, worry not. There are many tips, tricks, and ideas for lowering your energy consumption in winter. That's the good side.
On the bad side, some of those so-called innovative energy saving ideas don't work. On the third, worst case scenario side, some of them could ever make things worse.
Want to cut the cost of keeping your kids safe and warm but without having to pay the extortionate price? Time for some energy mythbusting!
Myth: Paint Your Radiators Black To Help Sustain Heat
This one is crafty because it appeals to our knowledge of colours and heat. We know that white reflects light and heat; that's why any country with regular sunshine has white houses as a staple. Black, on the other hand, absorbs heat. Absorbing heat sounds good in the depths of December, so this must work?
Result: Failed - Myth Busted
It doesn't work, mainly because of the source of the heat. Black does absorb heat from light, but radiators don't get their heat from light. There is also a chance that painting them actually makes the problem worse, as they struggle with their output through extra layers of paint.
Myth: Put Cling Film Over Your Window Panes
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It's an extra layer of insulation and won't be too noticeable. Plus most of us have clingfilm around, so what's the harm in giving it a go?
Result: Pass - Myth Confirmed
This will have some impact on stopping heat from leaching from your home. In fact, almost anything you put over windows can help with that - it's like adding an extra layer of clothing when you're outdoors. It's not the most aesthetically pleasing of solutions, but if you're determined to wring every drop of energy, it's worth doing.
Myth: Price Rises Are Inevitable Every Winter
It seems that it's going to happen regardless. The trend of fuel price increases during winter is a steady one, and the problem seems to get worse every year. Will anything be any different this year?
Myth: Pass - Myth Confirmed, sort of.
While prices are expected to rise, there is still plenty of benefits to looking for better deals. This can mean talking to your existing provider and haggling or getting online to compare gas and electricity. Look for a fixed tariff to lock the price in for as long as possible.
Myth: It's Cheaper To Run A Small Electric Heater In One Room
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This seems to make sense - one heater rather than the whole central system, just heating the room you need.
Myth: Failed - Myth Busted
Electricity is much more expensive in terms of price per unit than gas. If you have a central heating system, use it over electric heaters every single time.