Here are some answers to a few questions about Energy Efficiency which you may find of interest.

    Water & Heating

    What is a room thermostat?

    A room thermostat can be fitted in to the room you use the most and allows you to set your preferred temperature. When this is reached, the thermostat will switch off the hot water supply to the radiators, and when the temperature drops again, the heating will come back on.

    What is a cylinder thermostat?

    Usually fitted to the hot water tank itself, a cylinder thermostat controls the temperature of the water leaving the tank. This means you know the temperature won’t get too high and will keep your heating bill down.

    What are thermostatic radiator valves?

    Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) allow you to control the temperature in individual rooms by automatically turning off the flow of hot water to a particular radiator when the desired temperature has been reached.

    What does a programmer do?

    A programmer or time control, allows you to choose particular time periods when you would like your central heating or hot water to go ‘on’ or ‘off’. For example, you can set it to come on just before you wake in the morning, and if you’re out during the day, you can turn it off.

    How do I insulate my hot water cylinder?

    Your hot water cylinder should be fitted with a jacket. If not, then it isn’t insulated. They’re easy enough to fit yourself, and ideally, you should get a British Standard jacket that is 75mm thick. It costs about £15 and will reduce heat loss from the cylinder by 75%.


    What are CFLs?

    CFLs or compact fluorescents are a cost-effective alternative to regular light bulbs. They can be used for most general lighting purposes and are what most people would call ‘energy saving light bulbs’.

    What are LEDs?

    Although more expensive than CFLs, LEDs will save you even more money long term. They are the ideal replacement for halogen downlighters.

    Do energy saving light bulbs take a long time to light up?

    It is true that when energy saving light bulbs first came on the market, they took a long time to light up, but now they take little more than a few seconds.

    Is it true that it actually takes more energy to make an energy saving light bulb than a regular one?

    Yes, but this is far outweighed by the fact that LEDs can last for 50,000 hours longer than regular bulbs.

    Do CFLs contain mercury?

    Yes, there are very small traces of mercury in CFL bulbs. However, the biggest cause of mercury in the air is the result of burning fossil fuels. As energy saving bulbs us 80% less electricity than traditional bulbs, they are effectively helping to lower mercury levels overall.


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