There is no escaping the fact that energy bills are on the increase, and for many of us, the cost of heating our homes is becoming an increasing concern. If you’re looking for simple energy saving tips for your home, here’s our guide to maximise the energy efficiency of your home heating system to improve performance and reduce running costs.
Book an annual service
Prioritising an annual boiler service is essential for the ongoing consistent performance of your heating system. If neglected, your boiler can develop faults that will undermine the performance of the appliance and waste more energy (and money) than is necessary. Having a heating engineer look at the inner workings of your boiler each year will pick up any wear and tear, avoiding a potential costly issue further down the line. They can also help you optimise your heating system’s performance and controls to further reduce your energy bills.
Get smart with your heating controls
Consider getting smart domestic heating controls and thermostats, which can further save energy consumption in your home. They give homeowners much more control over their boiler performance and enable more reactive decision-making when it comes to programming the system’s day to day timings. The technology learns your daily routine to automatically turn your heating and hot water on and off so you’re only using it when you need it – and you can also control your heating system from any location with an app on your smart device.
Innovative smart systems, such as our own Alpha Connect Wi-Fi thermostat, can be set up to be controlled wirelessly via a mobile phone or tablet, and can be programmed while at home or on the go.
Give your radiators some TLC
Bleeding radiators helps to release air that has become trapped inside, which improves the overall efficiency of your heating system. All you need is a bleed key, which you can pick up at your local DIY or hardware store. Remember to switch your boiler off to avoid being scalded by hot water, then simply use the key to open the bleed valve, found at the top of the radiator, with a quarter turn in an anti-clockwise direction. You should hear a hissing sound as the air leaves the system, and when water begins to appear, simply close the valve with a clockwise turn. You may find it useful to have a towel to hand in case any water leaks out.
If you have thermostatic radiator valves, turn them down or off in rooms that are not regularly used so you’re not paying for heat you don’t need – and keep furniture away from radiators to allow rooms to heat quickly, reducing the amount of time you’ll need to keep your heating on.
Boost your home’s insulation
Check that your home is retaining as much heat as possible. The key to minimising heat loss is good insulation. Typically, one third of heat lost in an uninsulated house is through the walls, and a further 25% through the roof. Equally, if windows are only single-glazed, your property will be losing precious heat there too.
Investing in professionally installed loft insultation and cavity wall insulation will make a big difference to your home, saving you money on energy bills and preventing damp, to create a warmer, healthier living environment for your family.
However, if your budget can’t stretch to this right now, there are some simple energy saving ideas you can try at home:
Close curtains at night to create a further protective layer of insulation
Check for unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out around your home, and block them up if you’re able to
Draught-proof areas such as door and window frames, letterboxes and loft hatches
If you have a fireplace that you don’t use, fit a cap over the chimney or block the chimney with a specialist inflatable pillow
Fill draughty gaps in floorboards and skirting using a flexible silicone-based filler
Lag your pipes for maximum heat retention and to prevent them freezing
Don’t be afraid to seek help and advice
Finally, if you are struggling to pay your heating bills, there is support out there. Speak to your energy provider to see if they can arrange a more manageable payment plan for you. Alternatively, Citizens Advice has useful guidance for anyone looking for energy saving ideas and help with paying their energy bills.