Did you know that UK households waste £2.2billion a year by heating homes or rooms unnecessarily? Combine that with the reality that heating accounts for 37% of UK emissions, it’s clear we need to reduce or adjust the way we heat our homes.
Our tip tips are designed to help you reduce heating consumption to save money and energy.
TIP 1: DON’T HEAT EMPTY ROOMS
Manage your heating room by room
It’s always worth turning the radiator thermostat or TRV down in empty or little used rooms and turning them up again when the room is in use. That way your radiators aren’t working at full capacity and you will start reducing your heating bills.
Buy Smart TRVs
Smart TRVs, such as Radbot, automatically reduce the temperature when a room is empty, so you don’t have to.They will also warm the room when you’re in it, or in advance of when you’re likely to be home, which takes the pressure off having to remember to adjust your TRVs manually or turn the heating off if you prefer to leave it on.
TIP 2: REDUCE THE TEMPERATURE ON YOUR THERMOSTAT
The rule of thumb is that for every degree you increase the thermostat temperature, you will be paying an additional £85- £90 per year, but for every degree you reduce the thermostat temperature you could save 10%.
19°C is the magic number
As 21st Century householders, we are more inclined to have a thermostat set to higher temperatures. One survey found that some people were setting it to between 25°C and 30°C!
Nobody wants to be cold, but we also don’t need to be sitting at home in t-shirts in the middle of winter either.
Ultimately, we need to re-set our thinking; of course, we all want our homes to be at a comfortable temperature and reduce emissions at the same time. As part of its bid to reach zero carbon by 2050, the Government recommends setting the thermostat to 19°C.
The good news is that when we asked people if they’d be happy to set their thermostat to 19°C, 85% said they would. Why not join us!
TIP 3: INSULATE YOUR HOME
Carry out a draught audit
Check and test every room in your home for draughts. Most common places are around front doors, letter boxes, windows, fireplaces and floorboards.
Put draught solutions in place
If you can feel cold air, then it will need draught-proofing, which can be done cheaply and easily with foam strips around door or window frames. If you’re passionate about having exposed wooden floorboards, then using filler in the gaps. You can also buy chimney balloons, which help reduce cold air coming down the flue.
By minimising draughts you will have a warmer home and means you can also reduce your thermostat temperature.
TIP 4: MAKE SURE YOUR BOILER IS WORKING AT ITS BEST
A poorly functioning boiler can really have an impact on your heating bills. Even if you’ve draught-proofed your home and re-set your thermostat temp, an inefficient boiler will still have to work twice as hard.
Book a service
If it’s been a while since a Gas Safe Engineer has been near your boiler, then it may be worth getting them in for a service to make sure it’s running well. There are also some jobs you can do yourself, our Guide to Saving Energy, Reducing Carbon and Lowering your Heating Bills explains more.
Get an upgrade
This may seem like an expensive option, but the good news is that you will see an almost immediate return on your investment. An old boiler will simply add to your heating bills and pump out more carbon, so it’s worth the investment.
TIP5: SHOW YOUR RADIATORS SOME LOVE
They work so hard to keep you warm but get little recognition, so why not show them a little TLC. Did you know that there are over a billion radiators in the UK and across Europe? That’s a lot of heating, and a lot of carbon emissions if they’re not working properly.
Make sure your radiators are all working at full capacity. If a radiator has patches or areas that are cool or cold to the touch, there may be an airlock, which means they need bleeding or may need a powerflush, especially if it’s an old system that may have become dirty over time.
If you have some radiators that are hotter than others, or are completely cold, then you may have a load balancing issue, which can easily be solved with a smart TRV, such as Radbot. Our heating guide gives you more information on how to manage this problem.
Radiate with style
Finally, if you have radiators that are old and starting to become ineffective, then it’s probably time for an upgrade. New radiators are smaller but more efficient and are even becoming stylised focal points in a room; add a smart TRV into the mix and you are really starting to reduce your footprint and your heating bill.
Here’s to more climate-friendly, cost-effective heating!