We take a look at common energy saving myths and reveal whether they are real or fictitious


The energy price cap has increased as a national energy crisis unfolds.

As a result, households are doing everything they can to reduce their energy bills.

Many have their own energy saving tips, for example, believing that placing reflective panels behind radiators can warm their homes better.

But how effective are they? Energy Helpline asked the British for their best advice and analyzed its real usefulness.

Households Reveal Their Best Energy Saving Tips By Putting Stretch Film Around Windows

The research uncovered some good ideas, but there were also some more questionable ones.

For example, 22 percent said they believe putting stretch film or duct tape around windows can save energy or lower energy costs.

Meanwhile, 9% think putting aluminum foil in the attic can help, while 6% think painting radiators black can help by retaining heat.

When asked which of these energy saving tips they actually apply around the home, 17% said they would go so far as to install rugs in every room to conserve as much heat as possible, and 13 % said they put reflective panels behind radiators to better heat their homes.

This is Money, with Energy Helpline, evaluated the most common energy saving tips and tricks in the UK to separate the facts from the myths.

Should I put reflective panels behind my radiator?

Reflective panels can work to save energy by returning heat back into the room, however, it really only works for exterior walls as they prevent heat from escaping outside.

If you live in a semi-detached or terraced home, you’ll see little improvement by placing reflective panels behind heaters on interior walls, or walls you share with the neighboring home, according to Energy Helpline.

If you do decide to install reflective panels, it is important to use a specially designed product that you can purchase at a home improvement store.

Placing materials such as plastic on a radiator can be dangerous as they can melt and burn.

Energy Helpline Asked Consumers What They Consider Their Top Energy Saving Tips

Energy Helpline Asked Consumers What They Consider Their Top Energy Saving Tips

Does installing a smart meter save energy or reduce costs?

It will not by itself save energy or reduce costs. However, by having a smart meter installed, you see how much energy you are using and therefore you may be able to identify how to reduce your consumption by changing your daily behavior.

The jury is still out.

Should I turn off the hot water when not in use?

There’s really no savings to be made by turning your hot water on and off, says Energy Helpline.

It is best to make sure that your boiler tank has a good insulating jacket so that the water does not need to be reheated.

For those on an Economy 7 tariff where energy is cheaper at night, you can save money by setting your water heater to turn on at night for daytime use.

Is it cheaper to wash my clothes at night?

Again, it depends on what type of fare you have. If you are on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff, it will be cheaper since you will pay less for your energy at night.

But for the most part, running the washing machine at night doesn’t affect the cost or the amount of energy used.

Will I save energy by installing rugs in every room?

Carpets are an effective way to insulate your home. While installing carpeting in every room helps your home stay warmer, it’s probably best to stick with those carpeted rooms that you spend a lot of time in.

Most likely, bedrooms or living rooms – but the expense can take a while to pay off in terms of energy bills.

It is better to only heat your house when you are there rather than keeping it low all day.

It is better to only heat your home when you are there rather than keeping it low all day.

Should I leave the heat on low all day rather than high heat for a short time?

This is a very common myth because it takes a lot of energy to keep your radiators warm all day. It is best to only heat your home when you are around to feel the benefits.

Many have the option of programming the central heating to turn on and off at certain times.

Can wedging a sponge in the mailbox or cling film around the windows help?

While this is a bit extreme, these can actually help save energy by retaining heat, preventing it from escaping outside.

The cling film acts as a protective layer and the sponge blocks the gaps where heat could escape through the door.

Protecting your home from drafts is a very easy way to minimize energy use, as a warmer home decreases the likelihood that you will be using the thermostat and can be accomplished without looking for more kitchen-friendly items.

Should I paint my radiators black?

There is no evidence to suggest that the color of your radiator affects heat production.

To get the most out of your heaters, avoid placing large pieces of furniture like a bed or sofa directly in front of it, as this will likely absorb heat and you will find that it will take longer to heat your home.

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