To save money on your heating bills, there are a few simple changes you can make. As with many things in life, preparation is key—and as Jack Frost begins to nip at our toes, woman&home reached out to an expert in the field.
Getting your hands on the best winter coats and the warmest winter leggings to keep cozy is an obvious move as it gets colder outside—but what about inside? During the winter months, the temperatures get lower getting stuck with huge bills is an annual issue.
Jordan Chance, a heating expert from PlumbNation (opens in new tab), shared his invaluable expertise with on how you can save money on your heating bills this winter.
Although there's no official rule regarding when to turn your heating on, it's definitely a sign that winter is here. However, Jordan says there are 10 ways in which you can delay putting your heating on, and when you're forced to put it on—save money on those pesky bills.
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1. Upgrade Your Thermostat
Your thermostat controls your home’s temperature by communicating with your boiler. Thermostats, particularly in older homes with older heating systems, can degrade over time. Such degradation can lead to delays in your boiler switching on, or your home being heated at much higher temperatures than required. Upgrading your thermostat could provide for greater accuracy in thermostat to boiler communication, preventing energy from being wasted, and saving you money.
2. Stop Draughts!
Stopping heat from escaping through unwanted gaps is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money. To draught-proof your home, you need to primarily identify the ‘problem areas’ where draughts are causing issues, these could include doors, windows, chimneys, and floorboards. You can block unwanted gaps by using draught-proofing strips around your windows and doors, or flexible silicone-based filler to fill the gaps in your floorboards.
3. Add an Extra Layer (or two!)
Instead of heating your home to be warm enough to walk around in shorts and a t-shirt, why not turn your thermostat down and put on a jumper? Adding clothing layers will insulate your body and make it easier to regulate your body’s temperature. The more layers you wear, the less the heating will need to be on, reducing your heating bills.
4. Introduce Soft Furnishings
Soft furnishings, such as curtains and rugs, can make all the difference in saving money on your heating. If you have a carpeted home then it will naturally help to boost insulation; however, if you have hard flooring investing in some good quality materials, such as a plush rug, will help to prevent heat from being lost.
5. Turn Your Thermostat Down By 34°F (1°C)
An excessive heating bill can be easily rectified with the ‘step-down’ challenge. By turning your heating down by just 34°F (1°C), you can save up to 10% on your heating bill. It is also important to avoid classic thermostat ‘faux pas’. Contrary to popular belief, turning up your thermostat does NOT heat up your room quicker. This method will only send your energy bills skyrocketing.
6. Clean Your Radiators
If your radiators aren’t in your weekly cleaning routine, then it’s time to add them. A buildup of dust can affect your health, allergies and your heating bill. Layers of dust in your radiator can prevent heat from escaping effectively, meaning your radiators will have to work harder to warm your room.
7. Don’t Dry Your Clothes On Your Radiator
We would recommend that you stop using your radiators to dry your clothes. The clothes that you place over the top of your radiators prevent the heat from escaping and heating your room, meaning that your boiler has to pick up the slack and work at a greater rate - increasing costs. Similarly, the increase in the air’s moisture can create condensation, leading to potential issues with mould and dampness.
8. Check Your Radiator Cover
If you have a radiator cover make sure to check that it is a good conductor of heat. Radiator covers made from materials such as wood are poor conductors and can prevent heat from being dispersed effectively - wasting energy and money. Also, if your radiator cover has a solid top then you may be losing even more heat, as it will be absorbed by the top of the cover.
9. Bleed Your Radiators
Bleeding your radiator is essential in preventing the efficiency of your radiator from decreasing, as a result of air entering your heating system. The quickest way to check if air has entered your heating system is to turn your central heating on and feel your radiator. If the radiator is warm at the bottom but cold at the top this is generally a sign that air is present.
10. Get Your Boiler Serviced
If your boiler is aging and has seen better days, there’s a strong chance it won’t be working as efficiently as it once was. Defective boilers can increase your heating bill massively as they will need to work significantly harder to bring your home up to the desired temperature. We recommend that you get your boiler serviced every 12 months (preferably before the winter season), to ensure that your boiler is running efficiently and safely.
Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.
She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.
Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.
Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.
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