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Controlling your heating bill

The recent cold snap has seen us turning those thermostats up and keeping the heating on for longer. 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 – although 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 up to a whopping £300 on their heating and hot water bills. Remember, saving energy doesn't mean a colder home – it just means controlling energy use better and improving the way your existing heating system works.

Paul Harmer, Technical Director for the CIPHE commented, “You also need to get to know what type of heating system you have and the overall efficiencies of your home. If you have a well insulated home and have a condensing boiler it could be that leaving your heating on a low setting, instead of turning it off completely, may actually save you energy."

If you need to talk to a heating engineer, you can find one via our online search tool.