The Cost-of-Living Crisis Guide to Saving Money on Your Heating Bills this Winter
Unless you have had no contact with anyone, you will be aware that Britons are facing a cost-of-living crisis with surging energy prices primed to skyrocket this winter. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done about said prices and a lot of people are going to struggle to pay for their energy bills this winter. This is why there has been a growing interest in energy efficiency; it allows you to get the most out of your money, in addition to being better for the planet and limiting your reliance on fossil fuels. So, how can you make your home more energy efficient? Read on to find out.
Ensure That Your Home is Properly Insulated
First things first, you will need to ensure that your home is properly insulated. Keeping the heat in and minimising the heat loss is the first step to making your home more energy efficient. Houses, especially older houses, tend to let a lot of heat escape which means that your heating system will be working harder and, therefore, you will be spending more money simply trying to heat the property. This is why you should take the time to ensure that your home is properly insulated. If you live in a new build property, then your home should be pretty well insulated as part of the building regulations. However, older builds will need to be checked, are your walls and your roof well insulated?
If they aren’t, this will need rectifying. Depending on your DIY expertise, you might be able to carry out this work yourself, or you might need to have somebody do it for you. After you have had your home properly insulated, you might want to consider investing in new windows. Older windows let a lot of heat out, and while most new builds are built with double glazing, triple glazing is even more effective. It will definitely be an investment if you choose to have your windows replaced. However, in doing so, you will save money on your energy bills.
Choose an Energy Efficient Boiler
Your home’s boiler and, by extension, the central heating system could also be driving your energy bills up. Unless you have bought a new build and you are the first people to have lived there, you are likely to have inherited the previous occupant’s boiler. Older boilers are simply not as energy efficient as newer boilers because they don’t benefit from the newest technologies. Simply put, they tend to take more power and energy to run and therefore, they can drive up your energy bills. Technology continues to advance, and in the last few years, the number of energy-efficient appliances across the board has increased.
There are three forms of boiler: conventional, system and combi boilers. Conventional boilers are often seen as more antiquated; system boilers lack a tank which can make them better for smaller spaces. Finally, combi boilers are one of the more modern and popular options; FMB has more information on combi boilers. Installing a newer boiler that has a better energy efficiency rating not only allows you to save money on your energy bills but also means that the parts and repair work will likely be cheaper should your boiler break down because they will be easier to find. The newer boilers are also often designed to pair with smart home systems, which allow you a better degree of control over the heating. You can obviously turn it on and off as you please, set it to a certain temperature, and, depending on your heating system, you may also be able to heat specific rooms.
Get Into the Habit of Wearing Warm Clothing
If you want to save money on your energy bills this winter, you will also need to start relying less on your heating or turning it down. You can do this by starting to wear warmer clothing at home. Before you think about turning the heating on, think about whether you are dressed warmly or not. Thick socks, jogging bottoms, jumpers and dressing gowns can all help you to preserve your body heat and help you to lessen your reliance on heating. You can also use blankets and duvets to keep warm. Obviously, dressing warmly is not always going to work, especially if it is too cold outside, but it can definitely help.
Utilise Timers and Presets
Unless you work from home, you are likely to be out of the house for most of the day. You can use this to your advantage. Most central heating systems allow users to set a programme or fill in presets of when they want the heating to come on and go off. This can be a great tool to have at your disposal. You can put some thought into when you want the heating to come on; for the most part, you won’t need to heat the house while you are in bed, and there is actually evidence to say that you sleep better in a cooler room. You might want the heating to come on half an hour before you get up so that the house can have started to heat through before you get up.
You can then set it to go off before or as you leave for work. It can then be left off all day, and you set it to come on next just before you come home from work for an hour or two. After that, it really becomes a question of personal preference. You arguably do not need the heating on all evening; a few hours should do. You can also adjust your presets to change the temperature that you want your home to reach. Lowering this slightly can mean that your boiler doesn’t have to work as hard to meet the right temperature.
Lastly, it is worth considering the radiators within your home. Without any intervention, every time your heating comes on, it will be heating all of the radiators within your home. This requires your boiler to work at its maximum, which can be more costly. Think about where you spend the most time in your home. Any rooms that you don’t spend too much time in can have the radiators turned off or down, which can save power and, therefore, money. You might have radiators in your hallway which don’t necessarily need to be turned on, or maybe you spend all of your time at home either in your bedroom or your lounge, in which case you will want these areas to have the radiators on full, and the doors closed to keep the heat in, the other radiators in the home become surplus to need and can be turned off or down as you desire.
The Bottom Line
Truthfully, most people are likely to struggle somewhat this winter when it comes to paying their energy bills. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done to bring the bills down in line with where they have been in previous years, but there are a few things that you can do to keep costs as low as possible.