With the grim news that bills are going to be skyrocketing in the next few months, we’re all looking for ways to save money and tighten our belts. During the summer months, keeping warm isn’t an issue but with Autumn just around the corner, we’re all going to want to turn up the heating, but maybe feel like we can’t afford to. With this in mind, I’m sharing five tips to help you to keep your heating costs as low as possible, this winter:
Replace Your Boiler
For most households, central heating is responsible for more than half of your energy bill each year. So replacing an old, inefficient gas boiler with a modern energy-efficient one could make a big difference to your payments. Upgrading an old G-rated gas boiler to a new A-rated condensing one with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves in a typical three-bed semi-detached house would save £195 a year. If you live in a detached home, you could save £300. Speak to Aren Plumbing and Heating for more information on replacing your boiler.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on energy efficiency improvements, there are cheaper options for you to consider. One of the easiest ways to keep your property warm is with heavy curtains. Find curtains with thermal lining, or line your current ones yourself with cheap fabric. Putting thick curtains up in every room will protect your property from losing heat through the windows. Drawing your curtains at dusk will also help to keep the heat in when the cold nights set in.
Insulate Your Loft
Insulating both your loft and cavity walls can save you as much as £290 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Laying loft insulation to a thickness of 270mm in a typical non-insulated three-bedroom semi could trim £135 a year from energy bills, as less heat will be lost through the roof. Insulating cavity walls can save up to £155 a year in a semi-detached house. Solid-wall insulation, although more expensive to fit, could save you £210 in the same type of house. If you’ve got loft insulation that’s been there a while, you could still save an extra £100 a year by topping it up from 120mm to the recommended 270mm.
An easy and fairly cheap way to stop heat escaping through the floor (and to keep your toes warm!) is with floor coverings. This could be a nice cosy carpet or a rug in rooms that have wooden/linoleum floors. Although this won’t make as much difference as floor insulation, it is still a simple way to keep your property warm. No matter what time of year it is, it’s a good idea to put a plan together that will keep your property warm year-round. Spending a bit of money now could save you in the long run.
Bleed your radiators
Trapped air makes your radiators less effective. Bleeding them means letting the air out, so the warm water can circulate properly. You’ll need a radiator key. If you don’t have one, they usually cost around £1 and you can find them in any DIY shop, but it could be a cheap fix which allows you to heat your home more effectively, saving money in the long run.
8 thoughts on “Five Ways to Save Money on Heating Your Home”
Thanks for the helpful advice!
I want to add a few words about home insulation. If you get your hot water from a hot water storage tank, you also need to insulate it for winter. Insulation with an R-value of at least 24 is preferable. This could reduce heat loss by up to 45% and save you around 10% in water heating costs.
Thanks for the ideas!
I also want to suggest installing a smart thermostat. For every degree you turn down your thermostat this winter, you’ll use up to 3 percent less heating energy. However, please don’t overdo it. If you live in an area with extremely cold temperatures, too low temperatures in your home may cause pipes to freeze. Turn down your thermostat to just 10 degrees when you’re gone at work or sleeping at night, and you can slash your heating bill significantly.
Also remember that any air filter with a MERV rating higher than 13 will restrict airflow, which could make your HVAC system work harder and consume more energy. The best MERV rating for a home is somewhere between 8-10. These filters will capture a large portion of the airborne particles and improve indoor air quality without increasing energy consumption.
To save money on heating, you should also remember to maintain your boiler annually. Such simple tricks as replacing the gaskets, igniter, flame rod, and remedying any signs of poor water quality will improve boiler efficiency and prolong its lifespan.
You made a good point about insulation. However, you didn’t mention pipe insulation. Insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature 2°F–4°F hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver, allowing you to lower your water temperature setting. You also won’t have to wait as long for hot water when you turn on a faucet or showerhead, which helps conserve water.
If you have a furnace instead of boiler, keeping it well maintained is something that will continue to save you money. One of the most common energy drains to find is dirty air filters. It is vital to replace the air filter every few months or sooner. This will keep your system running smoothly and your heating bill reasonable because your HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the house warm.