Winter is here and we are all looking at ways to keep warm without the heating bill going through the roof. During winter, heating is usually the biggest household bill, with up to 50% of household energy consumption being heating related. By being savvy and following our simple and effective top 10 tips, it is possible to reduce heating costs by up to 40%.
1. Bleed the radiators
The air bubbles in the radiators prevent the hot water circulating properly therefore reducing the efficiency of the heat being emitted.
You’ll need a radiator key the right size to bleed your radiator. Turn off your heating, wait for everything to cool and then find a small valve at the top of one side.
Turn the intake and exit valves to ‘open’, insert the key, and turn it anti-clockwise. You should hear a hissing, which is the trapped air leaving your radiator. Some water will also come out so it’s handy to have a rag on hand. When the water becomes a steady stream, turn the valve back off, and tighten.
2. Maintain the temperature at 20°C
For every degree of temperature above this, costs typically increase by 6-7%. The ideal temperature for a warmth to cost ratio is to keep the room heated to around 18°C.
3. Don’t cover radiators
Where possible, do not cover radiators with curtains or cabinets. Allowing the air to move freely over and around the radiator means the heat is moving around properly. Covering a radiator can increase fuel consumption by 40%.
4. Regular boiler maintenance and cleaning
This is essential to ensure the proper functioning of the boiler and therefore, heating in general. The cost of servicing will be covered in the long term through the savings made by an efficient boiler.
5. Insulate your boiler, pipes and radiators
Lagging water tanks and pipes, and insulating behind radiators, reduces the amount of heat lost so you spend less money heating water up and the water stays hotter for longer.
6. Use thermostatic radiator valves (TRV)
These sound complicated but are really pretty simple – they are a simple device that allows you to adjust the consumption of hot water for heating. A thermostatic radiator valve is a self-regulating valve fitted to hot water heating system radiators, which control the temperature of a room by changing the flow of hot water to the radiator. In layman’s terms, they look like a knob on your radiator and allow you to control the room’s temperature. Installing them on radiators prevents the heating being on at certain times of the day.
7. Lower the blinds as soon as it gets dark
8. Do not open the windows when the heating is on
This is a simple case of hot air being wasted, so if you want to air a room – do so before the heating is turned on.
9. Install heat pumps
This is another product that can save a considerable amount of energy, by up to 40-60% in the winter months compared to traditional systems. Using a hot water heater with a high efficiency heat pump – instead of old electric water or gas heaters – can save up to 75% compared to traditional systems.
10. Add a Layer
Does the heating really need to be switched on? When it starts getting chilly, why not try putting on a jumper or wrapping up in a blanket? It is so easy to save the pounds if you only put the heating on when you really need to!