Heating, Save Energy|December 14, 2011 12:31 pm

How to cut heating bills without the expense

A lot of property maintenance, plumbing and heating blogs are guilty of suggesting quite costly solutions to cutting fuels bills, and I’m willing to admit that PGS Online is no exception.

The more expensive options, such as home insulation, new boilers or renewable energy sources all suffer from the same problem – they’re all, well… expensive! With renewable energy sources such as solar panels the up front costs involved makes you (in most cases) not actually see a saving for quite a few years.

These methods of cutting your heating bills do pay off, but often it can take up to 20 years to do so. When you reach the point that the savings have paid for the cost of parts and installation, then you will truly see the savings you’re making.

The majority of people – especially those renting – just want to save now with spending the least amount possible.

This blog post will tell you how.

1. Wrap up warm

If you’re cold in your home then simply wrap up warm. Purchase some thick jumpers and any other thermal wear and wear it around the house. This will either let you run your central heating at a lower temperature or have it on less.

2. Time your heating

I am a firm advocate of timing your central heating around your daily schedule. To do this, you will need either a 24hour or 7 day timer, in either analogue or digital formats. These are widely available from places like Screwfix and aren’t too expensive.

If you work throughout the day then there is no point in turning on your heating at home – as you won’t be there.

Have you boiler’s timer to turn your central on 30minutes prior to you returning from work. Have it heat your home for perhaps 2 hours, then turn off till later at night where it can resume heating your home when you go to bed.

A good 24hr schedule to run by for the average 9-5 worker is the following:

00:00 – 00:30 heating on
00:30 – 03:00 heating off
03:00 – 04:00 heating on
04:00 – 06:30 heating off
06:30 – 07:30 heating on (wake up to a warm home!)
07:30 – 17:00 heating off
17:30 – 19:00 heating on
19:00 – 21:00 heating off
21:00 – 22:00 heating on
22:00 – 23:00 heating off
23:00 – 00:00 heating on

This is based on having your central heating on a medium temperature. Lower temperatures will require you to have longer spells of heating, with higher temperatures shorter spells.

Which leads nicely onto #3…

3. Turn it down

Long blasts of high temperature central heating cost a lot and increase your carbon emissions. It’s best to have the boiler temperature lower to sustain a comfortable temperature in your property.

To initially heat a radiator from cold uses more fuel than sustaining its temperature. So if you’re going to follow the heating schedule above then it’s crucial to not set the temperature too low – as it’ll be ineffective. The aim is to set your boiler’s temperature to a level where the radiators won’t run cold (apart from when you’re at work) and will simply be topped up over the course of the heating period.

Leaving the heating on all the time at a low temperature isn’t recommended as it’ll use a lot of fuel.

4. Dust your radiators

Dust that has settled on radiators actually decreases the efficiency of the radiator as it acts as a sort of insulation, preventing the heat rising into the room.

Cure this by simply running a duster or rag over the radiator – it’ll make it look nicer as well!

5. Get some TRV’s

Thermostatic Radiator Valves are used for extending the control you have over your heating system. These valves are attached to a radiator and let you control the temperature of radiator it’s fitted to. Some are even advanced enough to have a digital temperature read out and be remotely controlled!

Using these Thermostatic Radiator Valves to turn off radiators can be a great way to make your boiler work less to heat your home.

Savings can be made by switching off radiators in rooms that you don’t spend time in, and providing a low heat to rooms that you spend a small amount of time in.

6. Turn it off.

Think you can survive the cold? Well the cheapest option is to literally turn your central heating off! Follow step 1 by wrapping up warm. Be warned though, temperatures tend to drop massively in the early hours of the morning so only potentially attempt this on warmer nights. I wouldn’t really recommend this, but hey – some people can do it!

7. Check your windows and doors

Draughts are one of the main causes for properties losing their heat and purchasing some low cost draught excluders can be extremely effective in sorting this out.

For older non-double glazed windows, checking to see they close properly is important to keeping the heat in. If they don’t then perhaps purchase some low-cost window insulating kits.

Having thick curtains helps keep warmth in as well. Just make sure they fit properly.

 

So there are 7 tips to cutting your fuel bills that are relatively easy to follow. We’ll be posting up more tips over the Winter period to make sure you keep warm and enjoy your home when the nights get a bit more chilly!

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