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Heating bills through the roof? Cut costs with our top energy saving tips and tricks.
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We’ve all experienced that moment of dread when an unexpectedly high energy bill drops onto our doormat. For many of us, inefficient and poorly maintained heating systems will be to blame, with the Energy Saving Trust reporting that our boilers alone may account for more than 60% of monthly energy charges.

Although it can be difficult to reduce energy bills while maintaining a comfortable living environment, today we’ll be sharing our top cost cutting tips and tricks to save you money, reduce your energy consumption, cut your emissions and keep your home running efficiently all year round.

1. Heat your home only when you need to

Is it cheaper to leave the heating on low all day and night? The short answer is no. No matter how well insulated your home is, heat will dissipate throughout the day. In short, if you leave the heating on all day, you’re losing energy all day too. If you have a gas, oil or LPG central heating system, this is also true of your hot water boiler – only turn it on when required.

2. Take full advantage of room thermostats

Thermostats prevent your home from becoming uncomfortably warm by detecting air temperature and adjusting your heating accordingly to a level set by you. This means you’re not paying for your home to resemble a Mediterranean climate. Just remember not to block in thermostats with furniture or curtains as they’ll need a free flow of air to detect an accurate temperature reading. According to leading heating manufacturers Vaillant, turning down your heating by just a degree or two below your average setting could mean you save up to 10% on your bill each month.

3. Choose central heating over expensive gas fires

It’s often cheaper to heat your entire home using your central heating than to pay through the roof to use portable gas or electric heaters which will heat only a small portion of the same space. At the very least, if you’re considering purchasing one of these, run a test and note your meter readings to compare just how much energy you’re using on a given day. This will allow you to make an informed decision and find the most efficient solution for your needs.

4. Have your boiler serviced regularly

In addition to making sure your boiler runs at peak safety and efficiency, regular boiler services means you’ll catch any small faults before they escalate into serious problems. Emergency call outs, repairs and boiler replacement costs could set you back thousands. At My Boiler Expert, you can book a standard one-off boiler service (recommended annually) for a standard charge of £69.30, including VAT.

5. Fit an insulation jacket to your hot water tank

A typical cylinder jacket costs around £15 and you don’t need an engineer to install it. Jackets of at least 75mm in thickness can prevent heat loss by up to 75% through the tank walls and is are one of the most inexpensive ways to save. Insulating your tank means water will stay hotter for longer and less energy (and therefore cost) is involved to heat it back up again. Installing thermal insulation around exposed hot water pipes can have a similar effect, and if you’re looking to go that extra step, radiator reflector panels are another low cost insulation option.

6. Make sure to choose the best type of boiler for your usage

Although a regular boiler is generally more efficient than a combi when it comes to producing hot water, some heat will be lost through the hot water cylinder, so a combi could be more efficient overall. However, costs are largely dependent upon how you use your heating system. For large families with a high consumption of hot water, a regular boiler would be better placed, with a combi suiting smaller households. Combi boilers also take up less space in your home so can be ideal for those living in an apartment or small terrace. If you’re interested in solar water heating systems, bear in mind that most combis aren’t yet compatible with this system.

7. Invest in an upgrade and cut costs in the long run

With boilers becoming more energy efficient all the time, if you haven’t replaced your boiler in the last 10 years it may be time to consider a newer model. Although the initial upfront charges can be costly, in the long run this could save you hundreds every year depending on the age and energy rating of your product. Those listed as G are less than 70% energy efficient, and compared with an A-rated boiler with set heating controls, you could save about £340 a year, not to mention significantly reducing your carbon footprint by 1,500kg.

8. Take out a boiler cover plan to protect you against unforeseen breakdowns

Cover plans offer varying levels of security should your boiler break down or fall into disrepair. At My Boiler Expert, our standard cover plans start from as little as £11 per month or just 36p per day. These include boiler servicing and priority same day call-outs so you’ll never be left in a muddle. Choose our Gold cover plan and we’ll throw in additional ancillary controls, timers and thermostats as well as parts and labour. Our Gas Safe qualified engineers are on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year should you require assistance.

9. Install a Nest smart home system and control your heating on the go

Nest smart home is a streamlined energy saving control system that learns from your behaviour. It gets to know the temperature you enjoy when you’re at home and turns it down when you’re not. It can even account for how draughty your home is and makes sure only to use the minimal energy required for your needs. Nest allows full remote control from your computer, tablet or smartphone app – if your plans should change, it allows you to adjust your heating or hot water accordingly. At My Boiler Expert, our very own specialist engineer Dave is qualified to fit Nest home systems – why not give him a call and get started?

10. Get to grips with your thermostatic radiator valves

Thermostatic radiator valves work by sensing air temperature adjacent to your radiator and varying the flow of hot water accordingly. Although adjustable, normally at increments of between 1 and 5 which represent the air temperature at which the radiator will be turn off, there is little proportional control. Setting 1 usually reflects an air temperature of 15℃ whereas the set point for 5 is 25℃. If you want the room to heat faster, increase the central heating water temperature on your boiler, but if you’d like the room to get warmer in general it’s a better idea to use the radiator valves. Just don’t forget to adjust all radiators when increasing water temperature or you may undo all your hard energy saving work.

So, we’ve shared our top tips! Now we’d love to hear from you – why not get in touch and tell us which of the above have saved you the most money?

Do you have any to add?

And don’t forget, if we can be of any help, our Gas Safe certified engineers are on hand any time of the day and night, year round.

Just give us a call on 0333 271 3060.