What’s cheaper to run a fan or aircon as millions of Brits face working from home in 28C heat
BRITS have been enjoying sizzling temperatures for days, with the nation set for another balmy day today.
Although thunderstorms are expected to hit the country later this week, more hot weather is on the cards as we go into summer holiday season.
But with roaring temperatures ahead, is it cheaper put the air conditioning on or invest in a fan instead? We explain all you need to know.
Is it cheaper to run a fan or aircon?
Before you reach over your fan to switch on your air conditioning, just beware that turning it on for a long time might bump up your bills.
According to data from Uswitch, a standard 120W electric fan costs 2p an hour to run, while the average portable air conditioning unit costs 44p per hour to put on.
“At the average usage of four hours 18 minutes during the day and four hours 48 minutes at night, portable air conditioning units could drive up electricity bills by £28 per week during hot weather,” Uswitch energy expert Will Owen said.
That's compared to the extra £1.30 it would cost to run a fan for the same length of time per week.
He added that more customers are buying air conditioning units so should be aware of the costs.
How to cut your bills
IF you’re struggling financially, you might be able to cut the cost of your bills to help you get out of the red.
Council tax: You can apply for a council tax reduction on the Gov.uk website but you'll need to meet certain criteria. Your bill could be cut by as much as 100 per cent if you’re on a low income or claim benefits. Carers who look after someone in the household for at least 35 hours a week are also exempt from paying.
Water: Households might be able to save money by getting a water meter but it all depends on how much you're using. To check if it's finacially worthwhile, use the Consumer Council for Water's free ater meter calculator.
Rent: If you have the space available and your landlord or local authority says it's ok to do so, you might want to consider getting a flatmate. Not only will you split the cost of the rent, but also the other bills.
Hire purchase: If you're struggling to make your repayments on your hire purchase, you can usually end the contract by returning the goods. You will have to pay all the instalments due up to the time you end the agreement but this will limit the amount you owe. Contact Citizens Advice for free for more help with this.
Gas and electricty: MoneySavingExpert says families can save £330 on average by switching from Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs) to a better rate. Use a comparison site such as MoneySuperMarket or Energyhelpline to see what deals are available.
Mortgage: If you get into debt with your mortgage payments, don't wait for your lender to chase you. Work out what you can afford using the Citizens Advice budgeting tool so you can discuss your payment options moving forward with your mortgage provider.
Secured Loan: Your secured loan might be covered by the Consumer Credit Act and if it is, you may be able to apply for a Time Order. This is a special agreement by the courts allowing you more time to make payments. Secured loans not covered by the Consumer Credit Act include gas, electricity or water meters, payments that need to be written off in full, mortgages, credit union loans, loans from an employer and some short term trade agreements.
County Court Judgements: If you receive a County Court claim form talk to a free debt advice service straight away. This includes Citizens Advice (0808 800 9060), StepChange (0800 138 1111) and the National Debtline (0808 808 4000).
TV licence: Some households are eligible for a reduced fee or free TV Licence. Check here to see if you are entitled to a reduced or free rate.
In May last year, Google searches for these units rocked by 133% compared to the previous year, he said.
To give your fan an extra boost for less, you could also put it in front of an open window.
The draughts of air will help circulate the cold air around your room more effectively.
For even more of a cool air turbo boost, Simply grab a plastic bottle or two and put puncture holes from the middle to the top. Fill to just underneath the holes with ice.
Either put the bottles in front of the fan or attach them to the back.
Alternatively, if you have a tower fan, place a tray of ice in front of it on the floor for that extra chill.
The air will be cooled by the ice to create an air-con feeling in any room.
How else can I cool my room for less?
Although closing the curtains on such a sunny day can feel a shame, it will help you cool down.
It means the sun will stop shining into your room and heating it up – so you can work without getting a sweat on.
Keep your blinds closed in your bedroom too – by the time you’re heading for bed, your room should be cooler.
While you might think ditching the pyjamas is a good idea to avoid tossing and turning at night, it actually might make you hotter.
Dr Guy Leschziner, consultant neurologist and sleep physician, told the BBC: “If you’re wearing a natural fabric like cotton it acts as a wick for your sweat and it can increase the surface area for the sweat to evaporate, thus may make you feel much cooler."
Plus, unplug your appliances to stop extra heat being pumped into your room.
Appliances that have to be plugged in tend to generate a fair amount of heat, which will make a hot day even hotter.
Plus, you'll save money on your electricity bill – Brits are wasting a whopping £432million per year alone just by leaving a TV set on standby.
Here's the best fans to keep you cool in summer 2021.
Fancy a dip? Wilko is selling a paddling pool for just £25.
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