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Energy-saving tricks to allow you to afford your heating


With heavy snow blanketing many of the country, there isn’t any doubt that the primary really cold snap of winter is finally here.

However the cold weather is terrible news for households that can’t afford to heat their homes the best way they’d like.

Only one in five (18 per cent) of us are putting central heating on as much as we want to, in keeping with research by survey firm YouGov last week. Even worse, 15 per cent of individuals cannot afford to heat their properties in any respect.

There are a couple of ways to lower your expenses on energy bills and warmth your own home for less – but separating fact from fiction might be tricky.

Staying warm: Because the cold weather bites, many are nervous about the price of their heating but there are methods to lower your expenses on it

There are many ‘energy-saving suggestions’ that will not prevent anything in any respect, and will just find yourself costing you time and cash.

Fortunately That is Money has done the legwork and uncovered what works – and what doesn’t.

Money-saving energy suggestions that work


A few of the very best energy-saving advice might sound like something your grandparents would have said, like blocking out draughts where possible.

But that’s because that advice has stood the test of time – and the test of generations living in colder, draughtier properties than we do today.

Draught-proof gaps around windows, doors and floorboards by fitting foam strips, plastic seals or brushes.

Seal gaps between floors and skirting boards with an easy sealant bought from any DIY store for a couple of kilos. This small outlay could prevent £30 a 12 months in energy bill savings and make your own home feel much warmer.

Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: ‘As temperatures plummet, many households might be trying to lower your expenses across the home quickly and simply.

‘Draught-proofing is a fast and cost-effective approach to keep your own home warm while saving money in your bills.

‘Seals between the door and the frame will help prevent heat escaping, and it is best to also block any gaps around your windows and your loft hatch. Draught excluders placed at the underside of the door of any room you might be in can even keep the chilliness out.’

Reduce the flow rate in your boiler

An easy tweak to your combination boiler settings could prevent greater than £100 a 12 months.

Boilers have a flow temperature – the extent they heat radiators to. These work more efficiently if the temperature is about to 60C.

Nonetheless, boiler flow temperatures are sometimes set much higher than that, in keeping with research from charity Nesta.

Lowering the flow rate in your boiler from 80C to 60C saves nine per cent of total gas use, or £112 for a median home.

Settings are likely to vary from boiler to boiler so it’s price digging out the manual to search out out easy methods to reset yours.

It is best to also be sure that your boiler is recurrently serviced and consider boiler insurance, with only one fifth of home insurance policies covering boilers. 

Fit special thermostatic radiator valves

Your radiators can have little numbered dials attached – use them. These are called thermostatic radiator valves they usually set the warmth each radiator gives out.

Setting them to the extent you wish them can prevent energy, and subsequently money, as you possibly can control which rooms are being heated and by how much.

The price saving is dependent upon how you employ these valves – but some energy firms claim these can cut energy use by as much as 40 per cent. It’s price noting that modern thermostatic valves are a considerable improvement on older ones – and should you get them fitted, learn easy methods to use them properly. 

Only use appliances after they’re full

Gallizzi said: ‘Big household appliances comparable to washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers are a few of the biggest energy guzzlers.

‘To be sure that you might be using them efficiently, only run them after they are full to chop down the variety of washes. It is usually really helpful that you just wash your clothes at 30C.’

Insulate your property

When you can afford to, upgrading or installing insulation can really help lower your expenses. Nonetheless, this does include an upfront cost – which could cancel out any cost savings for some time.

Gallizzi said: ‘Improving your own home’s insulation is an even bigger and longer-term job that may prevent money in your bills.

‘Home insulation has improved drastically over time, but hundreds of thousands of British homes don’t meet today’s standards.

‘When you are considering taking place this route, it’s price talking to an authority to see how your own home’s energy efficiency might be improved.’

> Ask an Expert: Is it cheaper to make use of an electrical heater to warm the room I’m working in, or put the central heating on? 

Paint it black: Rumours that painting a radiator black can make it much more efficient are overblown - although it can make a marginal saving

Paint it black: Rumours that painting a radiator black could make it way more efficient are overblown – although it will possibly make a marginal saving

Money-saving energy myths to be wary of

Leaving the heating on low all day saves money

There’s an urban myth that leaving the central heating on a lower temperature all day works out cheaper than blasting it at higher levels for shorter periods.

Nonetheless, experts on the Energy Saving Trust say that is unfaithful, and it’s more practical to make use of shorter bursts of warmth.

Putting foil behind radiators saves energy

It is a really old tip – and there’s a small grain of truth to it. The thought is that putting reflective foil behind a radiator bounces heat back into the room, fairly than it disappearing through a wall.

That does work in theory. But should you use standard kitchen tin foil, it will oxidise over time – making it almost useless at saving any heat.

Buying skilled radiator reflective foil is more practical. This costs around £8 for a four-metre roll at stores like B&Q and Screwfix.

Painting radiators black helps lower your expenses

The rising cost of energy has led to this ‘tip’ being shared widely on social media. The speculation is that black items retain heat higher, so painting radiators this color makes them more practical.

Nonetheless, that is unlikely to do much. When you painted your radiator matte black it could be about 1 per cent more practical than a white one.

So no have to repaint your radiators unless you actually just like the look.

It’s cheaper to make use of energy at night

This might be true – nevertheless it all is dependent upon the sort of tariff you might have.

When you are on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff it’ll be cheaper since you may pay less on your energy at night.

But for most individuals on standard eenergy tariffs, comparable to widespread energy price cap tariffs, running appliances at night doesn’t make any difference to the price or the quantity of energy used.

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