"Electricity is 34p kWh so 10,000 x 34 = £3,400."
The combination of cold weather and rising energy prices means UK households are fretting about their daily central heating costs.
There is currently a freeze on the £2,500 energy price cap until April 2023. As such energy saving tips are more important than ever.
It is estimated that half of fuel bills are spent on heating and hot water so using heating in the most efficient way is essential to keeping bills low.
When working out how to run your system, we look at how much central heating costs per day to run.
Although it is difficult to be precise when working out central heating costs per day due to many variables, Home Building gave an estimate for a typical home.
- £2.82 a day (12p an hour) for a gas boiler
- £3.10 a day (13p an hour) if running a heat pump
Central heating costs vary depending on different factors such as the size and energy efficiency of your home, the climate, whether you use a heat pump or boiler, when you need heating, how well insulated the property is, and how efficient your boiler is.
The number of people who live with you and their needs is another important factor.
For example, those working from home might need the heating on during the day during the colder months.
According to Worcester Bosch’s Martyn Bridges, the estimates are based on a typical boiler running 10 radiators in a three-bedroom detached house with two to three people living in it.
In this scenario, it averages 10,000 kWh a year.
Mr Bridges says: “Presently gas is calculated at 10.3p kWh (kilowatts an hour) therefore 10,000 x 10.3 = £1,030.
“Electricity is 34p kWh so 10,000 x 34 = £3,400.”
When divided by 365 days, this gives an average of £2.82 a day.
Running a heat pump generates three times more energy than you put into it. Therefore, a heat pump working at this level of efficiency would work out as 10,000 x 34 ~ 3 = £1,130.
That gives a daily cost of £3.10 and an hourly cost of 13p if running central heating with a heat pump.
Does insulation make central heating cheaper to run?
Insulation makes a massive difference to how much your central heating costs to run.
An uninsulated home loses approximately 25% of its heat through the roof, 33% through the walls, 15% through the floors, 15% through draughts, and 20% through the windows.
The difference in bills can be hundreds of pounds.
Low Heat for Longer or High Heat in Short Bursts?
This depends on different factors.
Not-for-profit energy group Ebico says a house will heat up from cold more quickly the hotter the radiators are and, on the face of it, operating a boiler at maximum, therefore, means the home is warm quicker.
But it depends on the correct balance of boiler power output to the size and number of radiators.
So, the key to keeping your home warm with the central heating system at minimum cost is having the correct boiler installed in the first place, and then using the optimal output setting.
Experts at the Energy Saving Trust say leaving the heating on low all day to save money is largely a myth. And MoneySavingExpert states that having the heating on only when you need it is, in the long run, the best way to save energy, and therefore money.
Does emitter type make a difference to heating costs?
Radiators work by heating the air around them through convection.
Underfloor heating (UFH) uses both convection and radiant heat to warm a room.
Generally, underfloor heating (UFH) is the most efficient option if your home is well-insulated, especially when paired with a heat pump.
This is due to underfloor heating having a lower operating temperature (around 40°C) than a radiator system, which normally operates at around 65°C.
They can be around 25% more efficient than radiators depending on the design of the property and other factors.
Take into account that you can use both radiators and UFH in the same property.
With soaring energy bills, heating your home efficiently has never been more important, both in terms of keeping warm and saving money.