Practical heating tips
Easy and efficient ways to save on your heating bills
In order to create heating comfort in your home without wasting energy and money there are many useful steps you can take. Here are our expert tips on looking after your boiler, using heating economically, insulating your home and changing small, every-day habits in ways that will make big differences to your heating bills.
Look after your boiler and it will look after you
More than half of what you spend annually on energy typically goes on heating so ensure your boiler is always running efficiently by having it regularly serviced. This will help maintain its performance and help prevent it breaking down. It is recommended that services are carried out once a year and always by a Gas Safe registered engineer. And remember that most boiler warranties will be invalid without a regular service.
How to stay in control of your heating
One of the best ways to heat your home economically is to learn how to control the settings of your heating system so it delivers the optimum temperature for your lifestyle and comfort level, while ensuring you only use the energy you need. From simple plug-in mechanical clocks to versatile remote timers there are a range of controls available for today’s high efficiency boilers. The Alpha Climatic remote control, for example, is capable of measuring and maintaining inside temperatures by modulating and limiting the boiler flow temperature depending on the measured room temperature.
In addition, think about what room temperature you normally set and reduce it by just 1ºC – you won’t notice any difference and you can cut heating bills by up to £75 a year in a typical home.
And, of course, do remember that if you have thermostatic radiator valves, to turn them down or off in rooms that aren’t regular used.
Insulate your home to reduce unnecessary heat loss
As well as keeping your boiler serviced and running your heating programmes efficiently, check that you are retaining as much heat as possible. The key to minimising heat loss is good insulation in vulnerable areas such as ceilings and walls.
- Check your wall insulation – Over a third of heat lost in a typical uninsulated house is through the walls. If you have cavity walls, consider having them filled with expanding foam insulation. Solid walls can also be insulated but this is more complex and costly.
- Check the insulation in your loft/roof - Nearly a third of heat lost in a typical uninsulated home escapes through the roof. To prevent this ensure there is at least 120mm of insulation in the loft. For even greater insulation, thicknesses up to 270mm are available for little more outlay.
- Check your windows – If your windows are only single-glazed, consider upgrading to double or even triple glazing to reduce heat loss through the glass. Even just closing your curtains at night helps create a further protective layer of insulation.
- Check unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out – One of the most inexpensive ways to prevent heat loss is 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. You can also fill draughty gaps in floorboards and skirting using a flexible silicone-based filler. And finally, lag your pipes for maximum heat retention and to prevent them freezing.
Change your habits and see the savings
There are plenty of other simple tricks that you can easily do around the house to avoid wasting energy and to reduce your utility costs. Here are just some of things you can do.
- Don’t waste energy on heating the whole house all night
- Avoid leaving appliances on standby as they can consume up to 75% of the energy they use when switched on
- Switch lights off when you leave a room and turn off computers when not in use
- Unplug or turn off chargers even if they are not plugged into a device
- Only boil as much water as you need in your kettle
- Regularly defrost your freezer and check door fridge and freezer door seals
- Don't leave your fridge door open longer than necessary
- Use radiator reflectors to bounce heat back into the room
- Don’t dry clothes on radiators
- Keep furniture away from radiators
- And finally, putting on an extra layer never fails to make a surprisingly big difference!