Top tips for saving energy and money
Spiralling energy costs have hit the headlines in recent months, with the price for wholesale gas set to increase again in 2022. Keeping costs down and staying warm in the winter months can be a big worry for many people. Here at Liverpool Heating, we’re keen to help. So, we’ve put together a short guide to using your gas boiler and central heating system efficiently, so you can heat your home over the winter without breaking the bank.
Tip 1: Think twice about leaving your heating on all the time
This is a hotly-debated topic amongst energy saving experts! Some say that leaving your boiler on a low setting 24 hours a day is more energy efficient than using a timer, as the boiler doesn’t need to keep heating the radiators up from a cold start. However, many people can save money by using their central heating at set times during the day, when it’s most needed. Modern homes are well-insulated, which helps to reduce heat loss during the times when the heating isn’t switched on.
It’s all about what’s right for the individual. For example, if everyone you live with is out most of the day at school or work, it makes sense just to have the central heating on first thing in the morning and again in the evening. On the other hand, if some people are at home all day, or are unwell, you may need to have the heating on most or all of the time. If so, it’s recommended that the boiler setting is turned to minimum and the radiator valves turned up to the max. This may help to reduce your energy use and costs.
Tip 2: Replace your boiler and heating controls
Whether or not you need a new boiler, you can improve energy efficiency in your home by upgrading the controls. Installing a modern thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) could make a significant difference to your energy bills. There are a wide range of controls available, so you’ll need to consider which are right for your heating system and household needs.
The simplest option is a timer that just turns your heating on and off at the same times each day. At the other end of the scale are sophisticated systems such as the Worcester Bosch EasyControl, which react to changes in the outdoor temperature and can be controlled remotely using a smartphone app. These offer the highest potential savings and reductions in carbon output, but even basic modern controls should make some difference.
Tip 3: Get the most from your controls
Understanding how to use your boiler and heating controls efficiently will help you make maximum savings on your energy use and bills.
Here are some key pointers:
- Set the heat control on the actual boiler correctly. If this is set too high, the boiler may not go into its most efficient condensing mode, leaving your heating system to operate inefficiently, which wastes money, can wear components out sooner and is harmful to the atmosphere.
If you have a programmer fitted, set your heating and hot water settings to come on at times to suit your lifestyle. For example, if you like a lie-in at weekends, you can programme the central heating to switch on later than in the week.
If you have a smart programmer, use it remotely to temporarily override your normal settings and turn the heating on and off if you’re going to be at home earlier or later than expected.
Turn your thermostat down and consider its location. Thermostats are often located in a colder area, such as a hallway, where you don’t spend much time. This means that other rooms in the home may be overheated whilst the colder area takes longer to reach the required temperature. Try reducing your thermostat to 18o and then turn up by one degree each day until you find a comfortable level.
If you have TRVs fitted, use them to heat each room individually according to your requirements. Spare bedrooms may only need minimal heating, or the radiators can be turned off altogether. For rooms that are used frequently, turn the TRVs to a low level and, as with general thermostats, gradually increase the heat until you find the right temperature.
Help your radiators work efficiently by moving away furniture, curtains or clutter that stop heat circulating properly. And don’t dry clothes on radiators, as this makes your boiler work harder. Use a clothes horse and open a window slightly to prevent condensation. Discover our smart control options: Smart Heating Controls
Tip 4: Bleed your radiators
When air bubbles build up in your central heating system, hot water can’t circulate properly so your radiators won’t get as hot as they should and will heat unevenly. This can lead to issues such as mould, damp and condensation as well as putting extra strain on your boiler and pump. If a radiator is cool at the top and hot at the bottom, or isn’t heating up at all, it probably needs bleeding.
Bleeding your radiators is a simple job you can do yourself. All you need is a radiator key, which you can pick up at any hardware or DIY store. Make sure you have some old cloths or towels and a bowl handy to collect any water that escapes. If you need any help with bleeding your radiators, or they’re still heating unevenly afterwards, please contact Liverpool Heating and we’ll be pleased to help.
Tip 5: Book a system flush
Over time, sludge, rust or other debris can build up in your radiators. If left untreated, this can damage your boiler or heating system pump as well as stopping your radiators from working properly. Signs your central heating may need flushing include excessive noise from the boiler or pump, frequent boiler cut-outs that require a reset, cold or leaky radiators, and discoloured water appearing when radiators are bled.
Boiler repairs and pump replacements are expensive, so if you spot any of these issues, the team here at Liverpool Heating to check if your central heating system needs flushing. A system flush will remove any contaminants and clean the system, so you can heat your home more efficiently in the future. Different types of system flush are available and we will be able to recommend the right service for your needs. Find out more about powerflushing here: What are the advantages of Powerflushing?
Other steps you can take
There are lots of other ways you can use less energy and cut costs – it’s not just about helping your boiler work more efficiently. To find out more, get in touch with Liverpool Heating and see how we can help!