The cost of heating and hot water is one of the biggest that most households face and with energy pricing rising, many of us are looking for ways to keep this expense under control. Often, the easiest way to keep a lid on the costs being generated by your boiler is simple common sense – it doesn’t take a genius to see the direct link between using less heating and hot water and reducing your bills. However, particularly in winter, this can be difficult to do so below are a few clever tips on how to keep boiler costs down without freezing while you do it.
Don’t waste money on empty rooms. If there are some rooms in your home that aren’t regularly in use turn the radiators down in those rooms – empty spaces take a lot more heating and there’s no point expending that energy on making a room warm if there’s no one in it.
Insulate your home properly. Escaping heat is another way in which your boiler costs can begin to escalate because a colder home that doesn’t retain heat will need more boiler time to make it warm. Make sure you have adequate insulation – there is financial help available to install insulation and many energy companies will do this for free so it’s worth making enquiries if you know that your home doesn’t have the right level of insulation.
Take care of the draughts. As well as the insulation, it’s surprising how much heat can be lost through simple draughts. Windows, doors, letterboxes, loft hatches, electrical fittings, pipe work that goes from the inside out and ceiling to wall joints are all prime spots for draughts to work their way in and through which heat can escape. Most can be blocked with draught excluders, heavy curtains, self-adhesive insulation strips, flexible fillers or brush strips, none of which are expensive. Just make sure that you don’t block a feature that is providing ventilation.
Turn the thermostat down. This doesn’t mean that you need to sit shivering in your home throughout the winter but many of us tend to crank the heating up to the point where we’re able to walk around wearing shorts. Instead of doing this, put on an extra layer and turn the thermostat down slightly. You should still be perfectly comfortable but you won’t be wasting money on heating that you don’t really need to be warm.
Keep your heating on all the time. This sounds like an odd tip given that you’re trying to reduce boiler costs. There is a large amount of expert evidence that suggests that rather than running heating for two hours in the morning and six in the evening, as many of us do, it’s much more economical to keep the heating on a 24 hour setting but at a lower boiler setting. This requires the boiler to be turned right down to minimum and all thermostatic radiator valves to be on max. The thermostat temperature should be somewhere between 19C and 20C during the day, and down to 16C at night, depending on how energy efficient your home is.