Winter is now very much here, which means the heating is on for longer and those fuel bills are significantly higher than in the summer months. With heating and hot water accounting for over 50% of your fuel bill, there are substantial savings to be made if you can improve the way you heat your property.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to spend thousands on a new heating system to gain massive system efficiencies. However, if you have an old and inefficient boiler it is definitely worth considering.
Heating controls such as a boiler thermostat, room thermostat, timer and/or thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) are key to saving £100’s pounds off your energy bills.
Controls allow you to heat your home when it is occupied and only the parts of your house that are in use. For instance, if your house is normally empty during the day while the family is at work and school, keeping the heating on full blast for your return will mean higher bills. However, if you have a timer, you can set the temperature to drop down while no one is in and bring it back up to your ideal temperature for your arrival home. If you have TRVs fitted to your radiators, you can choose to turn off the heating in unoccupied spaces, such as spare bedrooms.
New ‘smart’ or intelligent controls go a step further. Not only can you pre-programme your heating, but you can talk to it while on the move via a mobile app. These systems can also actively monitor your home for movement, going into a lower temperature ‘sleep’ mode if it considers the property to be empty, or that the occupants are all asleep in bed. Many will also gain information from outside temperatures and weather forecasts, so they can adjust your heating requirements accordingly.
By using standard thermostatic controls effectively, householders could save hundreds of pounds on their heating and hot water bills. Remember, saving energy doesn't have to mean a colder home – it just means controlling energy use better and improving the way your existing heating system works.
But that’s not all you can do. The CIPHE cites regular maintenance as a key component in keeping systems efficient and effective for years to come. Not only does servicing ensure your boiler and wider heating system is working at its peak efficiency, but it also means it’s working safely. Annual servicing also helps to expand the life of your boiler, reduce the risk of an expensive break down and offers a good opportunity to talk to your installer about increasing your heating system’s efficiency.