What’s the most economical way to use central heating?

To get the longest lifespan out of your boiler — while also saving money on your bills — you’ll want to ensure you are using your heating system in the most economical and efficient way possible. The majority of money that you spend on bills will go towards providing heating and hot water to your home, especially during the winter, so it pays to know how to best use your boiler. Below we will explain the most economical way to use your central heating.

Use your timer effectively

Some people think that the cheapest way to heat the home is to leave the heating on low constantly, however this is a myth, as outlined by Money Saving Expert. Instead, the most efficient thing to do is to only heat your home when someone is in it.
Use the timer to set the heating to come on half an hour before you wake up and half an hour before you are due to return home from work. This will ensure your home is warm without wasting energy. Equally, set your heating to turn off half an hour before you leave home or go to bed using your timer. For more information on how to do this, read our boiler timer guide.

Know the recommended central heating temperature

A lot of people have their central heating temperature set higher than it needs to be. You should always aim to be at the lowest comfortable temperature (which is typically between 18°C and 21°C). Try turning your heating down by 1°C every day to find your optimal temperature. Setting the thermostat to just one degree lower could save you £80 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Set the hot water temperature

Boilers let you set the temperature of the hot water in your taps and radiators. This can be done using either a dial or a digital display. Play around with various temperatures to see what works best for you. You’d be surprised by how low you can turn them before noticing a big difference. The ideal temperature is down to your own personal preference, but the lower it is, the less energy you will be using.

Don’t heat every room the same

There are likely rooms in your home that get used infrequently, and there’s no point heating these rooms if no one is using them. There are different schools of thought on what is best to do. Some people turn the radiators in underused rooms off completely, while others turn all their heating valves down to a low level and turn them up in particular rooms as required. Whichever method your decide to go for, you will save more money compared to simply leaving your heating on at full power constantly.

Are there any other ways to save money on energy bills?

Following the above tips is a great way to save money on your bills every year, but upgrade your central heating system and home can help you save even more.

Upgrade your boiler

An older boiler will not work as well as it used to, so upgrading to a newer model could be a good way to increase efficiency. Combi boilers are usually the cheapest and most efficient ones to get, running at around 90% efficiency, and they work well in modern family homes. If your boiler is more than 10 years old, upgrading to a newer model could save you hundreds of pounds each year. Answer a few questions here at All England Gas to find a new boiler.

Upgrade your radiators

It’s not just old boilers that can be energy inefficient, your radiators could also be costing you money each year. Radiator designs have improved over the years, and newer models are much better at retaining heat, keeping your home warmer for longer. This can be done by a plumber or engineer, but you may try and fit a radiator yourself.

Upgrade your thermostat

If you are currently using an analogue thermostat, it could be worth upgrading to a digital or smart alternative. This allows you to have complete control over your heating, reducing how much work your boiler has to do to keep your home warm.

Insulate your home

Insulating your home is the best way to keep it warm, preventing heat from escaping, meaning you need to use your boiler less. There are many different things you can do to achieve this. Loft insulation is a cheap and easy fix that can save you a huge amount, and it’s something you can do yourself without too much trouble. Other options include wall insulation and upgrading your windows to double or triple glazing, although these upgrades will require professional assistance.

Another quick win you can do yourself is draught proofing your doors and windows, as any gaps around the edges can let your precious heat leak outside. Expanding foam is a cheap fix and it can be bought in any local DIY store. Another choice is to install thicker curtains, as they can act as another insulation layer by closing them when the mercury drops.

Get your boiler serviced regularly

To run at maximum efficiency, your boiler should be serviced annually. This will allow a professional to assess it for any problems, while also cleaning any necessary internal components. This can help to find problems before they have a chance of getting worse, so it’s always recommended to get regular servicing. If your boiler is over ten years old, then it is likely time to upgrade it and find a new boiler.

Using less energy and saving money on your bills doesn’t mean you have to be left in the cold. Follow the tips above and you’ll be able to keep your house toasty warm without breaking the bank.

Get the most out of your boiler and ensure it lasts as long as possible by following our boiler maintenance checklist. And, be sure to protect your heating system with annual boiler cover from All England Gas.

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