Heating tips for keeping toasty on the cheap

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After a weirdly mild December we’ve now been plunged into the depths of winter and with the coldest months of the year ahead of us, one of the main concerns will be keeping warm at home without breaking the bank on extortionate energy bills.

There are tons of energy saving myths out there – but which are fact and which are fiction? Here’s our guide to keeping heating costs as low as comfortably possible.

Get your settings right

It’s pretty obvious that the less your boiler has to work, the less energy it’ll use – however, the best settings for your home will depend on your setup.

In all the below cases, make sure your boiler is on 15-30 minutes before you need the house hot and that it’s turned off 15-30 minutes before you leave

If you have a room thermostat

You should make sure all your radiators are on in the rooms you want heated and that your boiler is set to full blast. You should then set your thermostat to between 18 and 21oC depending on what you’re comfortable with. Bear in mind that turning your heating down by 1 degree could cut between 5-10% off your gas bill.

Your room thermostat will monitor the temperature in the room and automatically switch your boiler on and off to keep the temperature stable. Having your boiler set to max will mean the target temperature is reached as quickly as possible, meaning it can switch off sooner.

If you have radiator thermostats

Rather than controlling the boiler directly, radiator thermostats control the flow of water into radiators, affecting the energy output of the radiator itself.

You should set your boiler to full and then adjust the radiators in each room to a level you feel comfortable with. This works particularly well if you have rooms of varying sizes, or rooms that you rarely use.

If rooms are hardly ever used, it’s best not to turn the radiator off all the way, as this can cause damp. Instead, keep it at the lowest setting possible.

If you have neither room nor radiator thermostats

Then you should set your boiler to a level you’re comfortable with for your whole house. The lower the setting, the less energy you’ll use.

Get these energy efficient accessories

Sometimes, to save money in the long run, you’ll have to invest a little first. These accessories may make all the difference in keeping your heating costs down.

Radiator panels

Radiator panels are metallic reflectors that bounce heat back from behind radiators into the centre of the room.

They’re useful if you have any radiators attached to an external wall. They’re also easy to install and only cost a few pounds each.

Radiator shelves

If your house has very high ceilings then the heat from your radiators could be dissipating upwards and never reaching the centre of the room.

Fitting a shelf about 15cm above your radiator will direct heat into the centre of the room, helping to warm it more efficiently.

Thermal curtains and blinds

Windows and doors are two of the biggest sources of heat loss from your home, with glazed patio doors and bay windows being the biggest culprits.

Regular curtains will help keep out the draught, but you can buy special thermal curtains and blinds that have a special layer of insulating fabric that could reduce heat loss by as much as 51%.

Sort out those draughts

According to British Gas you can lose as much as 15% of your heat through doors and floors, 35% through walls and 25% through the roof. Making your home as airtight as possible (whilst still letting some oxygen in, of course!) could cut a great deal off your energy bill.

These quick fixes could really make the difference:

  • If you don’t have double glazing, you can buy a special kind of window protector called “glazing film” that can help prevent heat loss and exclude draughts
  • If you have gaps around window or door frames you can buy special foam strips to plug up the holes
  • You can make your own draught excluders by stuffing old jumpers with cloth or rice and tying off the ends
  • Make sure you have letterbox and keyhole covers on all your doors
  • Use sealant to fill gaps in floorboards or under your skirting boards

Disclaimer: Information within this blog post has been sourced from http://www.britishgas.co.uk/help-and-advice/save-energy-save-money/Energy-saving-tips/heating-my-home-efficiently.html. The content of this blog is for information purposes only, we do not accept any liability for the information published on this website.