The majority of your monthly energy bills are most likely affected by your heating and hot water usage, unless you’re running a small supermarket in your garage. Especially during the colder months (which can be many in the UK), heating water and your home uses the most energy. If you are looking for ways to be more energy efficient, be it for the environment or your bank account, you should try to focus your efforts on your heating efficiency.
Where to Start?
To be able to make your heating system more efficient, you have to understand which type of system you have and how it works. There are many different kinds of heating and water heating systems installed in homes around the UK. The most popular is a central heating system made up of radiators and a central boiler that heats both the home and the water. The other options include standalone heaters or storage heaters for warmth and a separate boiler for hot water, or a boiler that heats water and heats the home via warm air that is pumped into rooms through vents.
Next you have to understand how your system is powered, by mains gas, electricity, oil, biomass, liquid petroleum gas or by another type of fuel. If your home is not on the grid and doesn’t receive mains gas, which tends to be the cheapest way to run a heater and has the lowest carbon emissions, you need to research the next best option for powering your heating system.
Ways to Make Your Heating System More Energy Efficient
There are many ways you can use less energy and make your heating system more energy efficient. These include:
- Turn down your thermostat. Even turning it down by just one degree can decrease your energy bills by up to 10%.
- Add thermostats to every radiator, so you can control the heat level in every room and prevent waste in rooms not being used.
- Make sure your boiler is maintained and less that 10 years old. If yours is an older model, it should probably be replaced as newer models are much more energy efficient.
- If your radiators are out of date, look into replacing these too as again, newer models are more energy efficient.
- Ensure your home is insulated properly. Heat can easily be lost through the walls, so make sure your walls and loft are insulated effectively. Draught proof your windows and doors, and make sure they glass and frames are insulating.
- Ensure your boiler is only heating the amount of water that is needed, at the right times. If it is heating too much, it can waste energy as this water cools down when not in use only to be heated again when needed.
- Look into installing a district heating design network that decreases pollution and increases efficiency.
- Find out if it is possible to control your system remotely, so you have more options for switching it on and off. Therefore you can turn it on just before you come home rather than it switching on at the same time everyday.