The cost of energy is constantly increasing, but there are things that you personally can do at home to save money! Want to know how to save up to 51% of your heating bill? Here’s 11 simple tips!
Look to see if you have a combination boiler or standard boiler. If you have electric heating or oil, check the notes for which tips are applicable.
Condensing Combination boilers
If you have a combination boiler, look for how to set your hot water temperature. Most combination boilers come with hot water preset to 50°C. 50°C might be helpful if you're doing the washing up, but if you have a dishwasher though you don't need water this hot!
The average shower temperature is 38˚C. There's no point in heating hot water to 60˚C then blending it back down to 38°C with cold water. By reducing your hot water by 40˚C you will help to move the boiler further into condensing mode. This could save up to 8% on hot water bills alone.
Keep turning it down until you notice any effect but be aware some mixer taps will miss-behave when you do this so you may need to bump it back up slightly.
For a Worcester
Electric heating, oil, condensing and non condensing boilers
If you have a standard boiler with a hot water cylinder, you'll want to test your hot water thermostat. These stats fall out of sync over time, which means you may think that your hot water is set for 55˚C, but in reality it could be heating up to 70˚C.
To do this, get yourself a temperature sensor like one of these and either test on the hot water pipe out the top of your cylinder. Or wherever the stat is located, usually a third of the way up the cylinder which will be slightly cooler.
Just turn down the stat until your temperature sensor reads between 50˚C and 60˚C. Below 50˚C you have risk of legionella, and above 60˚C will be scolding. If you start running out of hot water, just pump it back up a bit.
This will save up to 15% on your hot water bill because of the reduced heat loss from the cylinder.
Beware of live cables!
All cylinders where you can see the copper
While you're at the hot water cylinder, make sure it’s fully insulated.
Either place duvets, pillows or blankets around it. Or purchase a purpose made one like this. You can even double up on these. Also make sure all the pipework in this area is fully insulated as far as you can.
Look out for the elbows and make sure they are covered, use a mitre tool like the pipe lagger pro to get clean angles and use staples such as these to hold the lagging together. This could save up to 40% on your hot water bill.
All heating systems
You should time your hot water for a couple of periods a day, leaving it permanently heated increases heat loss and boiler cycling. This could save up to 15% on your hot water bill.
If you have a combination boiler, turn off the hot water preheat function, which intermittently heats the boiler when you're not using it to get it to the tap quicker. (search through your boilers user manual)
You can leave it on if you have an advanced boiler and specifically use their advanced controls but you will need to set up the parameters correctly for this. A cooler cylinder will always lose less heat than a hotter one still though. Video out on this soon.
All heating systems
Flow restrictors to shower hoses and aerators to taps, as well as saving water this will vastly conserve hot water. You could literally save up to 35% on hot water here. This is very simple to do, for a shower, simply unwind the hose at either end and wind the flow restrictor back on.
For taps, unwind the end of the tap and wind a new flow restricting aerator on. This reduces flow but the aeration makes the flow rate feel similar.
Condensing boilers only
Here we need to turn down your boiler's flow temperature.
First look for white pipe to check if it's a condensing boiler, if it's a pre 2005 boiler or doesn't have one ‘like this boiler’, don't do this tip.
For a standard boiler with a hot water tank. Look for flow temperature control such as this, you may have to Google your specific boiler's user manual.
Turn your boiler flow temperature down to at least 5°C above your hot water temperature, so a minimum of 55°C.
For a Worcester boiler
Some boilers may not say the flow temperature, so you may need your temperature sensor again. If you notice your home is cold, or the hot water takes too long to heat, just turn the flow temperature back up a couple of degrees.
For a broken down guide check out this excellent PDF from the heating hub.
If you're doing this for a vulnerable person make sure they are warm enough in winter! This should save around 6% on heating,
For a combination boiler, turn your flow temperature down to 40°C. Now this will be hot enough for autumn and spring, but may struggle to keep your home warm in winter.
If you notice your home isn't quite warm enough in winter, and you've given sufficient time for it to warm up, knock up the flow temperature by 5°C. If you're doing this for a vulnerable person make sure they are warm enough in winter!
This should save around 9% on heating. To save up to a further 9%, you can keep adjusting this throughout the year to make sure your boiler is consistently running at the lowest possible flow temperature.
OR you can upgrade your boiler to a weather compensation control. We have a video on that called ‘Must watch before you buy a smart thermostat’.
Importantly, DON'T FIT A HIVE.
By the way, if your boiler is fine with heating your property at 55°C or below, your property is heat pump ready.
If you DON’T have a condensing boiler, i.e. you have oil, electric or a boiler older than 2005 turn down unused rooms at the radiator valve. This could save 20%. For a condensing boiler, this can be more complex as there's more variables at play, we have a video on that called why not to zone your heating.
If you have a non condensing boiler, oil or electric, you only want to heat when you're at home and time it to turn off before you leave. If you have a condensing boiler, this is more complex and is covered in much more detail on our video “is it better to leave the heating on constantly”.
The next one is a simple one we would usually leave out but its desperate times, turn down your room thermostat. Each degree cooler you turn down your room stat you can save 5% on your heating bill. Simply by putting on a jumper could save 10% per year. In addition to this perhaps look at getting your boiler serviced and cleaning your radiators to ensure good airflow.
Don't throw your heat out the window, seal up drafts and insulate. If you have an open chimney, this gives a ‘chimney effect’ and sucks the warm air out of your house, drawing cooler air in. Chimney balloons can be installed here which prevent this or even use a duvet, but make sure you don't use the fire if it's still active!.
Double glazing often comes with air vents to prevent mould, close these up on extremely cold days.
If you have no loft insulation adding 300mm of loft insulation is easy to do yourself and will save a THIRD off your heating bill! Look for any other areas such as draft excluders, letterbox draft excluders, and door seals, even keeping your curtains closed will help.
Modern condensing boilers
If you have a more modern or advanced condensing boiler, search for ‘range rating in the instructions’. The vast majority of boilers are waaay over sized. This means they put too much heat in too quickly and spend less time in condensing mode as well as ‘cycling on and off’ more often.
Go into the menu and reduce your boiler's output as much as possible, but again be aware this will have to be increased to provide enough heat on the coldest day of the year.
Subscribe to Heat Geek and specifically the ‘Reduce your energy bills playlist’ for more tips on saving energy. Here you will see more simple tips and advanced tips, and If you have a quality ‘modulating’ thermostat.
Join Heat Geeks Heating Help for home owners facebook group where fully fledged heat geeks will advise you.
This video How To MAXIMISE Your Heating Efficiency In 3 Simple Steps will show you at a more advanced level how to commission your controls to absolutely maximise the efficiency of your system.
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