The average household spends around £1,254 on their electricity and gas bills every year according to the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets. We all want to be warm and comfortable, but this is no small amount and many of us would welcome the chance to make savings where possible.
Luckily, there are many easy changes you can make to cut down on your heating bills and save money – and don’t worry – you won’t have to sit in a freezing cold house. We might be (finally) enjoying some warmer weather now, but it’s never too early to start thinking about how to save money during the winter, so read on for our top tips.
Use a timer
There’s not much point having the heating on if you’re fast asleep or out at work all day, so if you’re not using a timer for your heating, now’s the time to start. You can programme your timer for a set amount in the morning and the evening, so the heating comes on for an hour as you’re waking up and then again before you come home from work.
Lower your thermostat
Lowering your thermostat by just one degree can save you around £75 a year. It’s very unlikely that you’ll notice a one degree difference, so turn the temperature down for a quick and easy way to save money.
If you’ve been with the same energy supplier for a while, chances are that your original contract has ended. In most cases, your supplier will then roll you on to their standard (usually the most expensive) tariff. Switching to a new supplier could save you hundreds of pounds, so it’s really worth shopping around.
Gather quotes from at least three different suppliers to help you compare prices and find the best deal.
Use a smart meter
Smart meters are the modern way to manage your heating and they help you keep track of your energy use, cut heat waste and save money. Smart meters send readings automatically so you’ll get far more accurate bills with no estimations. Meters are often combined with a smart thermostat, which uses technology to optimise your heating schedule.
Smart thermostats gather information about your habits and adjust the heating accordingly. For example, if you arrive home at a certain time each day, the thermostat can ‘learn’ to turn on the heating ready for your arrival. They can also monitor how long it takes to heat your home, to minimise energy usage and maximise efficiency.
Draught-proof your home
Draught-proofing is one the cheapest ways to reduce heat loss and lower your energy bills. It’s pointless paying for heat if it’s just going to escape through gaps in doors or windows and you’ll be wasting energy that you’re not benefiting from.
Draught-proofing foam and sealant are inexpensive and can be picked up easily from many shops and supermarkets. Add sealant strips to windows and gaps in doors or use expanding foam to fill gaps in floorboards. You can also add fabric ‘sausage’ excluders to seal gaps under doors, or make your own from fabric or tights filled with toy stuffing or foam.
Don’t forget your fireplace either; use a chimney balloon to prevent hot air escaping through your chimney and cold air coming down. If you use an open fire regularly, skip this step, but otherwise it’s worth sealing the gap.
Increase your insulation
Like draught proofing, insulation is another efficient way to reduce heat loss and ensure you’re not wasting money on escaped heat. Around 90% of homes are eligible for free or discounted loft insulation if you’re with one of the ‘big six’ energy suppliers. You can simply answer a few questions online to see if you’re eligible and loft insulation can usually be installed in less than a day.
You may also be negligible for free cavity wall insulation if you receive certain benefits. Most homes built between 1920 and 1990 have a gap between the internal and external walls. Filling this gap helps to prevent heat loss and you could save as much as £500 a year on your energy bills. Cavity wall insulation isn’t suitable for all properties, however, so it’s vital to check that it’s right for your home before going ahead.
You can also increase your insulation with something as simple as the right curtains. Thermal or lined curtains are much thicker, which helps to retain heat. You can purchase ready-made thermal curtains or add a thermal lining to any existing curtains in your home. Draw curtains during the day to make the most of any heat from the sun, then close them as soon as it’s dark to seal in heat.
It’s the oldest trick in the book, but try putting on another layer before cranking up the heating. Wearing an extra jumper or snuggling up under a blanket will help to keep you warm so you don’t need the heating on full blast. Try adding more layers to your home too, especially if you have wooden floorboards. Use rugs to block out draughts and add cosy throws or blankets to sofas and chairs. Look for warm, tactile materials like sheepskin, velvet and wool for the ultimate cosy comfort.
Zone your heating
As well as using timers, you can also zone your heating by setting different temperatures for different rooms. You’ll want to keep rooms cosy if you use them often (for example the living room and bedroom) but there’s no point heating a spare room or the hall if you’re not spending any time there.
Thermostatic radiator valves allow you to control the temperature room by room, so you can turn down the heating in rooms that aren’t used often. Every little helps and the less energy you use, the lower your heating bills will be.
Install double glazing
If you’re looking to make a more permanent investment, consider installing double (or even triple) glazing. Double-glazed windows feature two panes of glass separated by a thin layer of air and they offer much better insulation (compared to single-pane windows).
Double glazing will help to reduce heat loss and they also prevent cold air from coming in. There are additional benefits too, including increased security and a reduction in noise from outside.
Check your boiler
How old is your boiler? If it’s over 10 years old, chances are that it’s not as efficient as it could be. Newer models are often much more energy efficient so you’ll save money in the long run. It’s also important to stay on top of boiler maintenance and make sure you book in for an annual service.
If you’re looking for more efficient boiler performance and lower energy bills, it’s essential to make sure your boiler is serviced every year. It also means that a technician can spot any potential issues, saving you money on costly repairs further down the line.
West London Gas – The central heating specialists in West London
If you’re looking to save money on your heating bills, get in touch with the experts at West London Gas. we’re proud to offer a range of central heating services, including central heating installations, servicing and 24/7 emergency breakdown cover. We’ll make sure that your central heating system is running as efficiently as possible so you can save money on your energy bills.
We also offer boiler installation, servicing and repairs, and we can install intelligent heating controls so you can monitor how much energy you’re using. For more information about our heating services or to get a free no obligation quote, call us today on 02084 343 644 or contact us online.