Every year around this time, the temperature seems to fall and although we fight the urge to put the heating on with the memory of summer still fresh in our minds, we all get to a point where we are just too cold to hold off any longer.
However, before you turn on your heating system it is worth thinking about the rise in costs that goes hand in hand with the fall in temperature. Could you make your home more energy efficient? If the answer is yes, now is the time to do this.
Here are some top tips from Archway to help you make your home more energy efficient, and ultimately save money:
Make sure your boiler works
First and foremost, make sure your boiler works! Over half of our energy costs are attributed to the boiler in our home. Make sure that it works safely and efficiently by getting a service. The outlay now could save you money in the future, especially if your boiler breaks down in the winter and you are faced with emergency call out charges. Once you have had a service, set your timer so that you aren’t using the heating when you don’t need to. For example, you don’t need to have your heating come on too early in the morning or going off at night when you are already in bed. Also, make sure that it is not set to come on if you work during the day.
Insulate against draughts
One of the main culprits when it comes to wasting money on energy is draughts. You could save over £100 a year by doing finding gaps at your doors, windows and walls which can all be blocked. So take the time to go around your home and find any draughts. Window draughts are simple to fix, just get some draught-proofing strips, and you can buy keyhole and letterbox covers to further insulate your home.
Check your loft insulation
We all know that heat rises, but many people don’t think to check that their loft is insulated properly, as this is where heat is most likely to escape from. You could lose a quarter of your heat through your loft. If you have minimal insulation, you could cut your heating bills by increasing the insulation up to 270mm.
Curtains and blinds
Curtains are the simplest way to keep heat in. Make sure your curtains are a good heavy weight and if possible lined. This will help to keep your energy costs down.
One of the ways that heat can escape is to have original floorboards. These were never designed to be the primary floor covering, so make sure you use rugs or even better have a wooden floor fitted over ply or underlay. This will eliminate gaps and keep your home warm.
Check your radiators
Make sure you bleed your radiators to ensure that they are all warm when they need to be, but you can also instal radiator reflector panels which maximise their efficiency. They are installed behind your radiator and stop heat escaping through the external walls.
Do you need all of your radiators on?
You might have rooms that are used occasionally, or bedrooms which are only used by guests. If this is the case, you don’t need these to be operating while you have your heating on. Instead, install an individual radiator thermostat.
Check your thermostat
Make sure you aren’t setting your thermostat too high. Remember, once your heating gets to a certain temperature the heating will switch off, so don’t fall into the trap of being too hot and then too cold. A comfortable temperature is 18 – 20 degrees, not 25!
Simple but effective, make sure you wear warm clothing and thermals. You don’t need to walk around in a coat and scarf, but wear appropriately warm clothing to ensure that you don’t feel the need to have your heating too high.