Advice For Lowering Your Heating Bills This WinterComments Off on Advice For Lowering Your Heating Bills This Winter
Advice For Lowering Your Heating Bills This Winter
On Monday, January 23rd, the National Grid paid households to cut their energy use to deal with “tighter than normal” demand, with its Demand Flexibility Service rewarding anyone who reduced their consumption between the hours of 5pm and 6pm.
Approximately 26 energy companies – including British Gas – took part in the scheme and the opportunity to make money by turning off appliances is obviously appealing, especially in the midst of a cost of living crisis. But with the cold snap the UK is currently experiencing seeing temperatures drop as low as -10 degrees in some areas and with maintaining a warm home essential to health and wellbeing, turning off your heating may not be such a great idea.
So if simply turning your heating off isn’t an option, what are some other ways to save on your heating bills? We take a look.
Turn down your boiler’s flow temperature
The temperature of the water that leaves your boiler to go to your radiators is called the boiler’s flow temperature. If it’s set too high, the boiler will run inefficiently, costing you extra money but if it’s set correctly, you could save between 8 and 12 percent on your gas bills.
To ensure this happens, turn it down to either 65 degrees for a conventional boiler with a hot water cylinder, or 60 degrees if you have a combi boiler with no hot water cylinder. There is a certain amount of trial and error involved with reducing your boiler’s flow temperature as you may find the new setting is too cold, so be prepared that you’ll probably need to adjust the temperature more than once until you find the right temperature for your home.
Whatever you do, however, the Energy Saving Trust recommends you NEVER set your conventional boiler with a hot water cylinder to less than 65 degrees or you run the risk of legionella bacteria growing in the cylinder.
For more information and advice on how to change your boiler’s flow temperature, click here.
One of the simplest ways to conserve heat is by blocking gaps that allow cold air into your home. Draught-proofing around your doors and windows could save you approximately £60 a year.
Heat can escape from your home in pretty much every direction so do whatever you can to block off its routes!
Installing double – or triple – glazing will reduce the rate at which your home loses heat and replacing single-glazed windows with A++ rated double glazing could save you around £235 a year.
Similarly, insulating cavity walls will reduce heat loss and, consequently, heating bills, potentially saving as much as £500 over the year, while insulating your loft could stop more than 25% of your house’s heat escaping through the roof.
Use your curtains wisely
Curtains help with heat retention by restricting air flow between warm and cold areas, preventing warm air from flowing out of your house.
Experts advise drawing your curtains at dusk to reduce heat loss by as much as 17%. As a general rule, the thicker the curtain the better the insulation.
Check radiator settings
Turning all your radiators to full blast will only cost you money as any empty rooms are being warmed to nobody’s benefit. Instead, set radiator dials on a room-by-room basis, with living areas and bedrooms set to higher heats and spare rooms to lower – or even turned all the way down.
Check the thermostat
Ensuring your heating only comes on when temperatures drop below a certain level – and go off again when the desired temperature has been reached – could save more than £150 per year. For many households, setting the thermostat to 18 degrees is the perfect way to keep properties warm but not too hot.
Upgrade your boiler
Not the cheapest solution but worth it in the long term.
If your boiler is an old D-rated model, replacing it with a new A-rated version will make your heating system significantly more efficient and could save the average household around £300 a year.
Leeds Credit Union can help with rising costs
With loans from £250 to £25,000 available, as well as access to several effective savings accounts, we can help ensure the cost of your heating bill doesn’t cause you further financial worries. You can apply for one of our affordable loans here.
In some cases, cost of living help is also available from the government. To find out if you’re eligible, click here. For more information about the different types of help available, click here.