At this time of year, the prospect of maintaining your heating can be unpleasant. A cold house is horrible, but no-one wants to be out of pocket either. While certain investments are important for long-term energy efficiency, making minor adjustments around the house can help you save money from unexpected places. Here are five top tips for maintaining the heat in your home over winter.
Redirect the heat
A little can go a long way when it comes to optimising your existing heating system. For example, heat from radiators is often lost through walls, but this is relatively easy to remedy. If you cover a sheet of cardboard with tinfoil and place it behind a radiator, it will reflect the heat back into your room. This allows rooms to warm up faster and retain more heat. If you don’t fancy faffing about with tinfoil, you can also buy readymade foil insulation for under £10.
Heat tends to escape from places that we just don’t think about. This includes doors, windows and cracks in the floor. If you’re handy enough with DIY, this can be as easy as installing a brush in your letterbox. You can buy or make your own draught excluder – think sausage dog – designed to help retain the warmth in your home. Self-adhesive rubber seals for doors and windows are also relatively cheap and easy to install.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that DIY draught-proofing your doors, windows and cracks in the floor could save you around £25 per year. However, professional draught-proofing is likely to save more energy because the installer will know exactly where to install the right materials. While this is the more expensive option, it might be the better solution for older homes with single glazing.
Bleed your radiators
If your radiators aren’t heating to the top, then you need to learn how to bleed a radiator. This might sound intimidating, but it’s actually pretty simple. You just need to release the trapped air at the top, which is stopping the hot water from rising. A radiator bleed key will open the little valve at the top. You’ll hear the air hiss and as soon as you see a drip of water, close it up again. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials that can help you to master this tip.
Get your boiler serviced
For optimum efficiency, you should get your boiler serviced annually. While we’re happy to improve the performance of your existing system, new, A-rated boilers can dramatically enhance the efficiency of your central heating. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important that you contact your plumber ASAP. No-one wants to deal with a heating emergency on Christmas Eve.
Control your thermostat
It can be tempting to turn your heating all the way up this time of year. However, it’s more efficient to set your thermostat to one temperature and then use a timer to turn it on and off when you need the heating most. Better yet, adopt technology that allows you to do this remotely. For instance, we regularly install Lyric T-Series Thermostats. These devices allow our customers to create a heating schedule using their smartphone location, meaning that they never return home to a cold house. Sounds good, right?