Are you looking to make your home more energy efficient? There are many heating and energy-saving tips we can use to make our homes run more efficiently. From making small changes around the house all the way through to renovation works, they can all provide big savings in the long run.
You may have highly-efficient appliances, but how you use them can affect their energy efficiency massively. It’s like having an economical hatchback car; if you drive it like you’re in a Grand Prix, you won’t get the best fuel efficiency. Making just a few changes can really help to reduce your carbon footprint. In fact, there are many benefits to be gained from adopting these electric and gas-saving habits. They include lowering energy bills, helping keep ourselves and our families snug and warm in cold weather, and doing our bit to help the environment.
We’ve put together our top 10 energy efficiency tips for your home, including switching light bulbs, exploring weather compensation kits and investing in a new gas combi boiler.
Insulate Your Home
Been feeling the chill recently? Lofts are one of the most common spots in the home for warmth to escape from, with heat rising through our homes and disappearing into the atmosphere. Insulating the loft in your property or thickening existing insulation is a really effective way to retain heat and reduce the number of times you have to reach for the thermostat.
Here’s another renovation tip — many UK homes were built with cavity walls, meaning there is a hollow space in their centre. Filling this space with insulation is another fast and reliable way to successfully reduce the amount of heat that escapes from our homes. How effective this will be will depend on the size of your property , but it could mean big savings on your energy bills.
Keep Your Radiators Happy
When it comes to making your home more energy efficient, you should never forget about your radiators. Start off by giving them a good clean, as any dust that has collected will act as a heat absorber and reduce effectiveness.
Always remember to bleed your radiators if they start to feel cold at the top. You can also use a radiator fan to distribute warm air quicker.
To ensure your radiators work efficiently move your furniture away from them so they can heat your home to their full potential and never place clothing or towels over them to dry. This will enable the warm air from your radiators to circulate through the room more efficiently.
Another way to look after your radiators and heat your home more efficiently is to get smart radiator valves. Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) are devices that provide individual room-by-room heating control. TRVs are an good addition to any heating system, as they allow you to control the heating on a room-by-room basis, so you only heat the areas of your home that you need to and energy usage is reduced.
Engage Eco Mode
Some boilers, including the Ideal Logic and Vogue models, have an eco-setting, designed to use less gas by reducing the flow temperature of the boiler so it’s operating in its most energy efficiency mode more often. You can further increase energy efficiency by turning off the pre-heat feature. If pre-heat is switched on, the boiler will fire the burner every so often, so you have hot water available instantly, all the time. If pre-heat is switched off it will take a little longer to get hot water, but gas consumption is reduced.
Look Into Programmable Heating Controls
Did you know that updating your heating controls can make a big difference to how much energy your home uses? Modern programmable controls have timing functions so you can set your boiler to switch on overnight, for example, to take advantage of cheaper off-peak energy tariffs.
The latest smart central heating technology gives you even more control over your home’s energy consumption.
Our Halo wireless thermostat , for example, means you can control your heating wherever you are using a smartphone app, or using a Google Home or Amazon Alexa smart speaker.
It also includes a geolocation feature to sense where you are, which can automatically turn off the heating to save energy when everyone is out – as well as turning it on again when it detects you’re on the way back home.
For more information on combi boiler thermostats, we have created a guide including everything you need to know about heating controls .
Use Energy-Efficient Lighting
Here’s a true lightbulb moment — switching the lighting you use in your home can lead to big cash savings. According to Which ?, if you replace just one 60W incandescent light bulb with an energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) bulb, it can lower your electric bill by around £7 every year. Replace 10 bulbs and you could be lowering your annual utility bill by £70, so the savings soon add up! Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs can cost a little more to buy than CFL bulbs, but are even more effective for saving energy. LEDs use around 20% less electricity than a CFL bulb and last more than twice as long, so provide even better value for money in the long run.
Invest in a New Boiler
When it comes to ways to make a big reduction in the amount of gas or electricity your home uses, replacing your old boiler with a high-efficiency new model is top of the list. Many new boiler models use much less power to keep your home warm and toasty, meaning investing in one of the most efficient boilers on the market can leave your fuel bills much lower than before.
Want to know more about combi boilers? Check out our full guide on what a combi boiler is .
What about Windows?
There is an abundance of ways to make your home more energy efficient and one of the simplest is to keep curtains or blinds open during the day. This helps the sun heat your home, so you don't have to turn the heating on as often, keeping your energy bills down. When the sun goes in, and it gets colder outside, closing the curtains helps keep the heat in.
Here’s a tip that will give you a clearer vision of how to boost energy efficiency in your home: The Energy Saving Trust recommends making sure your windows are double or triple glazed, looking into installing secondary glazing, or even just getting some heavy new curtains to help keep the heat in. All these ideas will be a big help in lowering your heating bills!
Discover System Filters
Looking for an option that can help improve your central heating system’s performance, making it more cost effective to run and maintain? Black iron oxide is a substance that builds up in condensing boilers, reducing efficiency and causing a lot of energy wastage, but a system filter can help protect your heating system from this problem.
You can get an engineer to fit a system filter to your heating system, but some boilers, including the Ideal Logic Max and Vogue Max models, come with a system filter already fitted, which makes them more efficient and extends their working life.
Look Into Solar Energy
It’s a great feeling when the sun shows its face, but imagine how much better you would feel if you knew it was saving you money, too. Uswitch reports that installing solar panels has become much more affordable in recent years and their efficiency has improved at the same time — solar panels can even generate large amounts of electricity when it’s cloudy outside.
Request an Energy Monitor
For an easy way to keep an eye on the amount of electricity you use at home, an energy monitor could be just what you’re looking for. An energy monitor is a digital display that connects to your smart meter to help you track your energy use and keep on top of your bills. These small devices let you know how much electricity you’re using in real time so you can spot opportunities to keep costs down. What’s more, your energy supplier may provide you with one for free — try contacting them to find out more.
Try a Weather Compensation Kit
Ever wish your boiler could adapt to how cold it is outside all by itself? A weather compensation kit is an impressive tool that does just that. It lets your boiler measure the outside temperature and uses this information to reduce the boiler water flow temperature. This adds up to increased energy efficiency and a consistent temperature throughout your home. If you’re planning on getting a new boiler installed, it’s a good option to investigate.
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