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How much it will cost to run an electric blanket this winter

If you’re looking to save as much energy as possible, there are a few simple things to keep in mind

The experts at Sleepseeker have taken a deep dive into the data to discover how much it costs to run an electric blanket compared to heating this winter. Many people are looking for cheaper ways to stay warm as energy bills are set to increase again on October 1.

A Sleepseeker spokesman said: “To calculate how much it will cost to run an electric blanket, you need to understand the cost per unit of electricity. According to the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), in October 2022, the cost per pence/kWh of electricity will be approximately 52p, i.e. £0.52 after the recent energy price increase.

"An electric blanket generates heat by running electricity through wires in the fabric. Each electric blanket will have a different power rating and the overall cost will depend on the rating on your blanket’s label.

"For the sake of this example, we’ll use an approximate power of 100W as this is most common for an electric blanket.

  • First, you need to convert to kW. 100W is 0.1kW (or 100 divided by 1000).

  • Then you simply need to multiply this by the pence/kWh unit.

  • This would be: 0.1*0.52 = £0.052.

"This means that running an electric blanket for one hour would cost just over 5p in October 2022."

Based on the above example, running an electric blanket will cost you around 42p a night (based on 8 hours of use). This is significantly cheaper than having your central heating on all night, and for a smaller 50W or 60W blanket, you’re looking at even less.

If you’re looking to save as much energy as possible, there are a few simple things to keep in mind for your electric blanket:

  • Timer - many electric blankets come with a timer, which is a great way to save energy. You can simply set it to turn off after a set period, so you don’t have to leave it running all night.

  • Variable power and heat settings - it may not be a surprise, but using a higher heat setting will up your energy consumption. If you have a variable temperature setting, you can use just enough to stay warm and increase it or decrease it as needed.

  • Dual controls for larger blankets - only warm the parts of the blanket that need it! For a single blanket, this could mean the ability to warm just your feet or just your body. For a double electric blanket, it could mean only warming one side of the blanket.

  • Prepare in advance: preheat it - rather than blasting it on a high heat before you get into bed, simply put it on a low heat further in advance, this way you won’t use so much power.

  • Stay low and add heat when you need it - Start using your electric blanket on low heat. And, if you need a little extra oomph, you can up it for a short period of time.

Hayley Thistleton, at SleepSeeker also included her 5 top tips for keeping your electric blanket in good condition to increase energy efficiency:

1. Wash semi-regularly

“You should wash your electric blanket approximately every few weeks - once a month or whenever the blanket gets dirty.

Firstly, you should check the tag to see the manufacturer's cleaning advice and follow this. If the washing machine safe symbol is listed, you should ensure the blanket is unplugged and wash on a gentle cycle in cool to warm water using a mild detergent. Let the machine run for a few minutes before turning it off and leaving the electric blanket to soak in the soapy water for about 15 minutes, and then skip to the rinse and spin cycle.

2. Dry gently

“Most electric blankets can be machine dried, but again check the tag for advice. Set the dryer to a low heat setting for around 10-15 minutes before taking it out and evenly hanging on a drying rack to finish drying. If your dryer does not have a low heat setting, skip this step and simply air dry the blanket from the start as high temperatures can damage the electric wiring inside the blanket. Additionally, you should never dry clean an electric blanket as the chemicals used in the dry cleaning process can damage the blanket's wiring and heating system.

3. How to store

“During the summer months, electric blankets are usually stored away till the weather gets cold again. Before storing, wash and dry the blanket, ensuring it is completely dry before storing. You should then roll, not fold, the blanket, making sure there are no harsh folds as this can damage the inner wires. Pack away in a cool, dry place with the controls and cords unplugged.

4. How to remove stains

“To spot clean an electric blanket, unplug before blotting with a damp cloth and using a butter knife or anything with a thin blunt edge to carefully scrape and remove any food or drink from the fabric. For a more stubborn stain, rub a mild laundry detergent on the area to lift it, before removing with a damp cloth. Air dry before use.

5. Safety

“Electric blankets are designed to create a warm and cosy environment when getting into bed, however, they are not recommended for overnight use and should be turned off when getting into bed or set on a timer to turn off within a short while. Make sure to also use your electric blanket as the top layer, above any other blankets or duvets and do not lie or sit on it.

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