How To Save Money On Central Heating Costs
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Are you looking to save money on central heating costs? This article looks at ways you can reduce your heating bills and improve heat efficiency.
Heating and hot water costs
Heating and hot water account for around 55% of each household's energy bills. This is according to the Energy Saving Trust in April 2020. From April 2022, the average home's energy bill is set to increase by around £693.
This means that every home is set to be paying even more, each year on their heating. Small improvements can be made to increase your heating efficiency, which can lead to huge amounts of money being saved regularly.
Average UK energy bill
In recent years the average cost of gas and electricity has increased. According to the latest figures released in December of 2021, the cost of an average UK homeowner's energy bills per year is between £1,268 and £1,277.
Since late 2021, the number of energy suppliers has fallen due to the price of gas and the rapid demand across the globe. The current guidance from market experts is to completely avoid switching suppliers until gas prices become more stable.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the cost of gas, now is a better time than ever to think about ways that you can save money within your home.
One of the best ways to do this is to look at how our homes are heated and the tricks we can use in order to lower our energy consumption. Below is a guide to ten ways that you can save money while still keeping your home nice and warm.
Tips for Reducing Your Heating Costs
Insulation is the key to keeping your bills down consistently. Without insulation, heat can easily make its way out of your home.
This can be done through single glazed windows or loft cavities. This loss of heat will mean that your boiler has to work harder in order to keep your home warm, this, in turn, will bring up your heating bills.
Ensuring that your home is properly insulated will mean that all the heat produced by your system will stay within your walls.
There are various different kinds of insulation, and insulation can be installed in various locations around your home. Insulating your roof and loft is an absolute must. Cavity walls, the floor, and solid walls will also be a huge help.
Older boilers are often very temperamental, and generally unreliable. You will find that older boilers are less energy-efficient too.
As a boiler gets older, it will slowly lose its efficiency, and it will become more expensive to run. The older a boiler becomes, the most fuel it will need to consume in order to create heat.
Older boilers are also potentially dangerous, there can be a higher risk of carbon monoxide exposure or leaks.
If you have been using the same boiler for a long period of time, over eight years, then you should consider replacing it. This massively helps with lowering your energy bills, as well as improving your environmental impact and ensuring that your heating system is as safe as possible.
Double or triple glazing
Most properties lose heat through their windows, but this doesn't need to be the case. Double and triple glazing can keep your home not only warmer but quieter too. They are a huge help if you are looking to reduce your energy bills.
Double glazed windows have two sheets of glass with a slim gap in between. This gap is capable of trapping the heat inside. This makes your home more energy-efficient and comfortable.
Triple glazed windows have three layers of glass, so you may think that this is clearly the better option, though this isn't always the case. Sometimes double glazed will make more sense for your property.
If you do not have a huge budget to spend on making your home more energy-efficient, then there are cheaper options to consider. One of the simplest ways to keep your property warm is through the use of heavy and thick curtains.
Search out curtains that are stitched together with thermal lining. If this is not a viable option for you, then perhaps just line your current curtains with cheap fabric. Putting up thick curtains in every room of your home will help your property to hold onto heat and stop the warmth from being lost through the windows.
Drawing your curtains when it starts to get darker during the evenings will also help to keep the heat in when cold nights begin to set in.
One of the most efficient and cheapest ways to save energy and money is through draught-proofing your property. If there are any, even small, gaps around your home's windows, floors, and doors, then cold air will rush through, and any heat will easily be able to escape.
In order to effectively draught-proof your home, you should block up any unwanted holes that can let cold air into your home. This way, the warm air produced in your home will stay within your walls. You will then use less energy to keep your home heated.
Insulate the pipes
If you haven't already, then we would highly recommend looking into having the pipes around your home insulated. This will greatly reduce the amount of heat lost throughout your property, as well as keep your hot water warmer for longer. This will save you money in the long run.
Slipping insulation around any full exposed pipes is a very easy task, as long as the pipes are accessible. This is a heating cost reduction tip that can easily be done yourself.
Whether you are a homeowner or a landlord who is providing a home to multiple tenants, it is a great idea to use a programmable thermostat for your property.
This piece of tech allows you to set on and off times for your boiler and select different temperatures within your home for different times of the day. This means that your property will be heated up when it needs to be, and you can turn the heating off when you don't need it and save money that way.
Insulate your hot water tank
This is similar to pipe insulation. A hot water tank jacket can be placed onto an uninsulated tank in order to save energy and money.
Any hot water tank jackets you look at should be around 80mm thick. These shouldn't be too expensive, so are a great way to reduce the amount of heat lost throughout your property without breaking the bank.
Keep the doors open
There have been arguments over whether you should keep your home's doors open or closed for years and years. It is widely believed that keeping doors open helps airflow and is highly important for your property.
Ensure that your internal doors are all completely open throughout your property, and this will keep the warm air moving throughout. If your doors are closed, then the airflow process of heating your home becomes much slower. This then means that you have to use more energy in order to make heat circulate.
In certain scenarios, you may want to keep the warmth contained. But usually, you will be better off allowing the heat to flow freely around your home.
A cheap and fairly easy way to stop heat from escaping through your floor is through the use of floor coverings.
This could be a nice warming carpet or a big rug within a room that has wooden/linoleum floors. These options won't make as much of a difference as floor insulation, but they are still a great way to keep your property warm.
Should you leave the heating on all the time?
If you are currently watching your heating bills rising, then you might be wondering how long you should have your heating turned on. Would it be cheaper to have your heating constantly on low all the time? Should I alternate between on and off? Or will that be more expensive?
If you want to save money on your energy bills, then, unfortunately, it isn't just as simple as turning your heating on and off, although that can be part of it.
When it comes to saving money on your energy, the debate around whether you should switch your heating off or leave it on has been discussed widely for a long time. Though recently, money-saving experts have stated that leaving your heating on all day on a low setting is not actually cheaper.
When thinking about this topic, it is much easier to think about it all in terms of energy loss. When your heating is on all day long, your home is constantly losing energy. Energy is lost through windows, attics, doors, and more. If you only heat your home when it is completely necessary, then you are losing a much smaller amount of energy.
So, if you are looking to be more energy efficient within your home, then it is recommended that you only turn on your heating system when you need it.
Is your boiler doing its job?
How old is your current boiler? If it is over ten years old, then it is highly likely that your boiler is running less efficiently than you would want. It will certainly be less efficient than one of its modern counterparts, because of this you will be spending far more money than necessary on heating your home.
Are you currently using a condensing boiler? Condensing boilers are incredibly efficient, but other standard boilers will rarely push over the 80% efficiency mark. This can make a significant boost to your energy bills each month.
If your boiler has not been serviced in over a year, then we would highly recommend scheduling an annual boiler service. These checks can ensure that your boiler runs at its maximum efficiency for longer.
Do you possess boiler cover? No matter if you have your boiler checked once a year and regularly do maintenance checks yourself, if the boiler breaks down, then you could be left with zero heating and zero hot water.
This can be an absolute disaster, especially if it happens during the colder months of the year. Looking at boiler cover and care plans can save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.
If you require Central Heating services in Southampton and the surrounding areas, contact our specialist heating engineer today. Follow the link to find heating experts near you.