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oil filled radiators

(15 Posts)
smilingthroughgrittedteeth Fri 09-Nov-12 18:10:15

Despite already having a very tight budget we have to cut back more, the only place we have left to save money is on gas and electric so have decided to turn the heating off all together, we only have it on for 4 hours a day anyway (2 in morning and 2 in evening) so are already used to wearing jumpers, snuggling under duvets etc

Mil has offered to buy us an oil filled rediator for christmas so we can heat the lounge, does anyone know if this will make our energy bills lower or will it work out to be as expensive as thhe central heating?

I've already insulated the house as best as I can but its an old house so does get cold

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Fri 09-Nov-12 18:11:22


Fluffycloudland77 Sat 10-Nov-12 08:29:33

We have two from our last house.

Look at your bills and check the unit price of electric, ours are 2kw so would cost us 22p per hour to run but they don't heat constantly they have thermostats and go on and off as the room heats. Plus vat at 5% so 23p per hour to run.

Some have timers so you can come home to a warm room.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Sun 11-Nov-12 12:42:58

Thank you for replying.

I have been looking at oil free radiators, they are apparantly cheaper to run than oil filled ones and heat up quicker. We are going to get one for the lounge and one for the bathroom (is a downstairs bathroom and is freezing).

Our boiler is ancient and the heating takes ages to warm the house, because its so inefficent it is too expensive to run all the time.

Currently it comes on for 2 hours in the morning (an hour before I get up --and is only just getting warm--) so if I set the oil radiator on a timer it should take less time to heat the bathroom, I can cope with a cold bedroom as I can shower and get dressed in a warm bathroom and then switch it off when I'm finished.

In the evening it comes on at 6 and goes off at 9 (the house is warm by 7.30 and stays warm till about 11) but since our lounge is fairly small I would imagine if I set a radiator to come on at 6.30 it will be warm by 7 when I get home.

We rent so can't replace the boiler i would if I could our landlords are good in every other way and the rent is reasonable for the area so we don't want to move but the cost of heating the house is financially draining us.

I have curtains up on all doors and windows, insulating stuff around all doors and windows, we do have roof insulation but not wall, I have double sided draught excluders on all doors, duvet and fleeces on the sofa, rugs on floors (wood floor throughout). The dogs bed is well padded and she also has fleeces that she snuggles under.

I'm not too fussed about the kitchen being warm but I do leave the oven door open after cooking so the heat from that does a surprisingly good job of heating it.

My dsc's room is the room where the airing cupboard is so that heats the room when the hot water is on and is also the warmest room in the house so never gets overly cold, I do have a little fan heater that can be used in there for short periods of time if need be, they are 9 and 14.

I sleep with the window open so our room is always cold which is fine as I sleep better that way so not bothered about heating that

Is there anything else I can be doing which will help?

Our electricity bill is always lower than the gas as we are quite strict on not wasting electricity (last bill we were in credit for electric by £157 but owed £285 on gas is a combined tariff so was paid off of gas but I can't afford to keep upping the dd, the only thing we use gas for is the heating and hot water, I don't want to jump from a fairly reasonable electric bill to a really high one but need to do something to lower the bills, so please be honest does it sound like I'm on the right track or am I just going to spend the same amount but this time on the electric bill?

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 11-Nov-12 12:56:53

If you buy a plug in electric monitor they monitor the appliances use and work out how much it costs to run it or you can get ones that fit onto the meter and tell you how much you use overall in the house. You wont know until you have them though unfortunately.

The only thing I can think you could do is;

Wear thermal underwear or Uniqlo Heattech clothes.

Only heat the water for a set time, eg ours used to be on for an hour but looking back I bet 30 mins would have been long enough.

If the water tank is giving off heat it isnt insulated enough, I have two jackets on mine now and the cupboard is alot cooler. Heating water is really expensive.

Check the loft hatch if you have one, they are not always insulated but if it isnt ring your home insurance provider and ask what they expect you to use to insulate it, I have heard that if you choose to line it with non-standard materials and have a fire then it is classed as a fire risk. We had a house once where carpet was used for loft insulation!.

Have you looked on the Energy Saving Trusts website?

I got free tap inserts off my water board, they saved me £5 a quarter off the water bill but it means that you arent using as much hot water when you run the tap, I have them here even though we are on rates now.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 11-Nov-12 13:00:47

Oil filled radiators are very expensive to run. Look at what they use, your unit cost of electricity and do the sums. Compare to a normal day.

It may work out less because you're only heating one room but it could easily not.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Sun 11-Nov-12 13:15:26

The water tank already has 2 jackets on as I bought an extra one when we moved in as it was really hot in the airing cupboard, it is cooler now but gives off enough heat to keep the kids room warmish if the door stays shut.

Hot water is on for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening but I could try just heating it once a day.

I will check the loft hatch that hadn't occured to me thank you.

DP has been going on about getting an oil filled radiator for ages and I kept saying no as I always thought they were expensive but our heating system doesn't allow us to turn off individual radiators so I am currently heating a whole house when I only need to heat 2 rooms! I heat our room then open the window, the kids are only here 1 weekend a month and half terms so their room doesn't need heated most of the time and even without heating it stays reasonably warmish, so I keep thinking it must be cheaper to use a plug in radiator for two rooms a couple of hours a day 1 room less than an hour than to heat a whole house for several hours, but I guess I won't know unless I try, and if it doesn't work I can always sell the heaters to pay the bill grin

lottiegarbanzo Sun 11-Nov-12 13:39:33

You can do the sums without buying the radiators. You are charged per kilowatt hour, the prices are on your bill for gas and electricity. The heaters will have a rating per kwh on the box and on any web-site they are sold through.

So, if they run at 20kwh and you want to run one for two hours a day, that's 40. Look up the electricity unit price on your bill and x by 40.

You can calculate current usage by reading your meters at the same time one day, then the next (maybe do two or three times to ensure accuracy, just in case you use more or less than usual in that day). Again, multiply by the unit cost (for both gas and electricity in this case) to give a total.

To get the amount you'd save by turning the central heating off for a day, you'd need to do that and compare to normal. Or, if you'd hardly be using gas at all, just use the daily gas useage figure.

That gives you all the numbers you need.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 11-Nov-12 13:42:43

I know when I did calculations a couple of years ago, for running one large oil filled radiator, it was going to cost about £10 a week to have it on, I think for 3-4 hours a day. That's £130 a quarter for just one room. Any more time and the cost would have rocketed.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 11-Nov-12 14:14:28

My oil filled rads are only 2kw.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 11-Nov-12 14:16:46

I plucked 20 out of the air, to illustrate the example, I've no idea what the actual useage of my radiator was.

Shodan Sun 11-Nov-12 14:32:55

I know our electricity bill rockets when we have the oil-filled radiator on in the conservatory, so we're looking at getting what my PILs have, which is a flat panel electric heater. Admittedly it's only in their lobby but it packs a real heat punch. I think they're not cheap, though.

Other than that- the insulating stuff you have around your windows- is it like double glazing?/ Do you have double glazing? You can get rolls of clear plastic that you tape around the window frames and then blowdry to make it taut which works surprisingly well. I actually used just clingfilm one year (taping it to itself to make it the right size iyswim) and that worked fine too. You can also get greenhouse bubble wrap (it's double smooth sided with bigger bubbles in the middle) which you could put on any windows that aren't facing to the front (or anywhere, really, if you don't mind what it looks like).

If you have a sofa, chairs or bed that are sitting on the wood floor, try putting fleeces/blankets/old duvets underneath to stop cold air wafting up your bum/ around your legs. (So underneath the whole thing, rather than just underneath the cushions).

If you have any spare attractive fleeces/blankets/large scarves, put them up on the walls to help insulate.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 11-Nov-12 14:43:12

I've just thought the ideal home channel does some electric radiators.

Are you sure you cant turn the rads off? I have some of ours turned off at the side with the small valve i.e not the side where you normally adjust flow.

Mind you I have worked in health centres where you cant turn the boiler off and the heating was on in that very hot summer of 2003.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Sun 11-Nov-12 16:26:06

Am positive that none of the radiators turn off, the whole system is very old.

The radiators we are looking at are 1.5kw (for the lounge) and 750 for the bathroom so not huge ones.

I really don't know if we are doing the right thing but to be honest the heating is off now so its either continue to live in a cold house or try the radiators for awhile

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Sun 11-Nov-12 16:58:10

We do have double glazing but its very draughty around the window ledges which is why we have blinds and curtains.

The stuff we have around the windows is insulating tape

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