With the ongoing energy crisis, homeowners across the UK are looking for ways to reduce their gas heating bills. So, what approaches can you take? In the following mini guide, we’ll provide several practical steps to help you reduce your fuel bills during these difficult times.
1. Insulating Your Hot Water Cylinder
If suitable, you should consider upgrading your hot water cylinder insulation to a British Standard Jacket with a thickness of 80mm. While this would likely only save you between £45 and £70 per year, as one of many measures, energy saving efforts can quickly add up.
Draughts can lead to more rapid heat loss in your home. Thus, draught-proofing is a great way of lowering your energy bills a little more.
Here are some ideas:
- Install draught excluders or use a draught-proofing kit to limit draughts throughout your property.
- Seal floor and skirting board cracks,
- Line your letterbox to prevent a draught getting through.
- Install plastic lining at your windows.
3. Slightly Lower Your Thermostat
Did you know that lowering your thermostat by just a single degree Celsius could save you an additional £80 per year? Of course, we mention slightly lowering your thermostat because you do not want to lower your home’s temperature to a dangerous level.
The Energy Saving Trust recommends that a household should have a temperature of 18°C to 21°C. More specifically, the World Health Organisation or WHO recommends 18°C for healthy people, so long as they are well-dressed. They suggest a temperature of 20°C for those who are young, elderly, or unwell. So, once you keep within the safe limits relevant to your household, you may find there is room to safely lower your thermostat by one degree Celsius.
4. Roof Insulation
While many of the steps discussed in this article can be undertaken DIY, it’s generally best to hire a professional when it comes to roof insulation. Moreover, this is one of the more expensive solutions to reducing your fuel bills as the average cost of loft insulation is around £200 to £300.
But if you can afford it (or want to consider it for some time in the future), roof insulation can pay for itself in just a few years as it can reduce heating bills by approximately £135 a year. This estimate applies to the average three-bedroom house.
5. Inexpensive Ways Of Keeping The Heat In
Aside from draught-proofing, there are more low-cost measures households can take to keep their home warmer, particularly during the winter months.
Here are some ideas:
- Curtains – Open your curtains during the day and let the sunlight in before closing them in the evening time.
- Furniture and radiators – Keep furniture away from your radiator where possible. This is because furniture can absorb heat from radiators, prevent them from warming the room as effectively as they could.
6. Boiler Servicing
It’s recommended that households have their boiler serviced annually. And, of course, if you have concerns about your boiler’s safety or functionality, you should definitely hire a heating engineer to take a look.
But even if your boiler seems to be running smoothly, it really is best to have it serviced once a year regardless. This is because a boiler servicing can spot issues before they become a serious problem. As a result, it could save you a lot of money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs.
And, of course, by preventing issues from worsening in the first place, you can stop your heating suddenly performing at a worse level. In other words, by being proactive, you’ll avoid your heating bills going up even higher due to a problem with your boiler.
7. Central Heating Controls
You should considering have several heating controls installed, namely:
- Room thermostat
- Programmer radiator valve
- Thermostatic radiator valve
These controls would likely enable you to specify what parts of your home you want to heat, set specific temperatures for different rooms at the same time, and limit energy wastage. All in all, having central heating controls installed and using them in an intelligent manner can improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your fuel bills.
8. Small Electric Heater
Depending on your property and the health and wellbeing of those in the household, you may want to use a supplementary electric heater or two.
For instance, if everyone in the home intends to use the living room on a Saturday night, you could set up an electric heater to warm that room while keeping the heating off elsewhere. While electric central heating is more expensive to run than natural gas central heating, it could prove less expensive to use just a small electric heater in one room when appropriate.
Of course, you should proceed with caution. If in any doubt, it’s best to stick with central heating. Also, you’d need to consider whether the bedrooms might be too cold should you take this approach.
9. Purchase A New Boiler On Finance
Last but not least, did you know you could have a new boiler installed, perhaps in the next few weeks and not spend a single penny? It’s entirely possible if you avail of a buy now, pay later offer from a boiler installation company.
Purchasing a boiler on finance means covering the cost of labour and supplies for the new installation over a prolonged time frame (perhaps 12 or 24 months). However, this does usually involve paying interest and not all homeowners will be eligible.
With that being said, it’s certainly worth looking into if your current boiler is old and inefficient as a brand-new boiler could reduce your fuel bills. In fact, depending on the state of your current boiler, a new A+ rated condensing boiler could reduce your heating bills by around 20-30%.