Why a warm winter doesn’t need to burn a hole in your pocket


In Heating, Plumbing, Consumer Advice

Deciding whether to adjust the thermostat and feel the comfort of their central heating filling radiators with hot water, has sadly become an agonising decision for many. For some, the expense of running a heating system is simply - and understandably - too much. So here are some tips from the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering to keep the cold away.

How can I draught-proof my home?

Windows and doors should be a first port of call when trying to keep freezing air out. If a window frame doesn’t seal completely, foam strips can be used stuck to plug the gap. Secondary glazing, for those who have the budget, is also a great way of enhancing a home’s insulation and saving energy in the long run, as is sealing loft hatches.

How can I improve the efficiency of my radiator?

Another way to ensure the heat output of your central heating isn’t wasted is to check your radiators for air pockets. You can do this by placing your hand on each corner to assess whether it’s evenly heated. If there’s a cool spot, it’s likely your radiator needs bleeding. This is a fairly straight-forward process that can boost the temperature of a room, whether you have traditional radiators, vertical radiators or designer radiators. You may wish to conduct this process yourself but calling a plumber for additional support or queries is recommended.

Boilers, radiators and thermostats: get to know your system

Keeping the boiler at 65 degrees is the ideal temperature for heating a house without risking bacteria growth which can develop at lower temperatures. An annual service can keep your boiler running smoothly and extend its life - delaying an expensive replacement by years. Speaking to your heating engineer about Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) – the adjustable dials attached to most modern radiators – is another recommendation. These allow you to heat only the rooms you are using, meaning you don’t pay to needlessly heat empty rooms. Setting your home’s thermostat to one degree lower than normal could save you up to 10% on heating bills. 

The oldest trick in the book: bundle up!

Finally, and arguably the most obvious tip, add another layer. Heating the person instead of the house is a great way to rethink how we keep warm. An extra thick jumper or cosy blanket can make all the difference when it comes to keeping yourself comfortable and reducing heating costs.  

We know it can be difficult to stay warm during the winter months, now perhaps more than ever. Thankfully, there are cost-effective solutions and long-term investments that will help to keep you and your family comfy. Whether it’s draught-proofing windows, bleeding radiators, servicing your boiler, reducing the thermostat temperature or adding another layer of clothing, a few simple steps can keep you warm and comfortable without breaking the bank.

For more on managing your energy and water bills, visit CIPHE.org.uk.