UK households are expected to see an 80 percent increase in energy costs this winter, and that means you’ll be trying even harder than ever to save money on heating costs. In fact, 23 percent of UK adults say they’ll simply forgo turning the heater on this winter, because they cannot manage the rising costs.
If you’re one of the 70 percent of Brits who say they’re simply going to use the heating less, you’ll still want to do your best to use it as little as possible to keep heating costs down.
Saving money on heating means using as little energy as possible, and doing everything you can to keep heat inside your house and cold draughts out.
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The more draughts you can block, the warmer your home will feel even with the heating at a lower temperature. Draughts most often sneak in around windows and doors.
Use draught-proofing strips around the edges of windows and doors. If you have sash windows, brush strips are better for stopping draughts. Stop the draught coming in from under the door with a draught excluder.
Install a New Thermostat
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You may not be able to afford to install a whole new boiler, even if a new boiler would be more efficient and save you money in the long run. However, upgrading your heating controls is a more affordable way to render your system more efficient. Install a programmer thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves.
Use your new programmer thermostat to programme how you’ll use your heating. You can set the programmer to turn the heating on only during times when you’ll be at home and awake.
You can set the programmer to keep your heating turned down during times when you’ll be away from home, or at night when you’ll be curled up under your duvet and won’t notice a lower temperature in the house. Of course, don’t turn your heating all the way off – you don’t want your pipes to freeze!
A smart thermostat may be your best option, because it allows you to adjust your heating from afar. If you’re going to be late getting in from work, for example, you can open your smart thermostat app and change the time at which the heating comes on.
You’ll save money by not heating an empty house.
Install thermostatic radiator valves on all your radiators and keep them on the lowest setting or entirely off unless you need to turn them up in order to use that room.
Turn Down the Heating
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According to the Home Energy Trust, you can lower your heating bill by as much as 10 percent just by turning your boiler down 1℃. So the further you turn down the heating, the more you can save.
Keep your heating at no lower than 16℃ if you have elderly or mobility-challenged individuals in your household. Set your heating low to begin with, and then turn it up one degree each day until you reach a temperature you’re comfortable at.
Remember, you can put on a jumper, wrap up in an afghan, or make a hot cuppa to warm yourself in a cold house, and it will be cheaper than paying for more heating.
Heat also tends to rise, so you can install ceiling fans to push warm air back down to the floor and make the most of your energy expenditure.
Adjust Your Boiler Settings
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Your boiler doesn’t need to be on the highest setting unless you’re in the coldest part of the winter.
Turning up the boiler too high means it’s wasting energy by heating water hotter than it needs to be, and it may not be able to heat water as efficiently if it’s turned up too high.
Set your boiler to 70℃ so that it condenses as it should.
Flush Your Radiator System
If your radiator system is dirty, your system can’t heat your home efficiently. If your radiators stay cold at the bottom or if some take longer to heat up than others, that’s a sign you might have sludge in your system.
You can check your radiators for sludge by bleeding a little water from the radiator into a glass – if it’s clear, it’s clean, but if it’s dirty at all, there’s sludge. You can flush your own radiator system or hire someone to do it.
If there’s ever been a time to put on a jumper instead of the heating, this winter is it. Using your heating as little as possible may be necessary, but you can still be comfortable in your home.
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