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How to be cost-effective with your heating

Written by Nigel Simpkins

If you’re becoming increasingly alarmed at your energy bills, heating your home is normally the biggest culprit. There are many ways you can reduce your costs – apply as many as possible and you should see bills drop over time. But first, make sure you know which advice is factual, and which is fiction…

The myths

There are numerous myths you may be told by someone who swears they’re gospel. One is the idea that it’s cheaper to have your heating on low all day, rather than switching it on high when you need it. It’s not, and using a thermostat is far more efficient.

Another myth is that a smart meter will save you money. All it actually does is measure your usage (as its predecessor did), but you can use it to help you become more efficient because it tells you where the most energy is being used.

Finally, there’s the idea that painting your radiator black will make your room warmer. The colour of your radiator actually makes little difference.

Save yourself money

There are several ways to do this – the first is to set thermostats on each radiator. That way you can control which rooms need to be warm, and which don’t.

If you use electric heaters, the best advice is to use gas instead, as electricity is the most expensive way to heat your home. 

You should also bleed your radiators regularly to ensure there isn’t air inside. They’re most efficient when full of water.

Make your house eco-friendly

Achieve this and you’ll find you’ll also save money, as it’ll make your house more heat-efficient.

There will always be some heat that leaks from your home, but if you insulate your house well, you’ll minimise this. Hot air rises, so make sure your loft is insulated to around 270mm thick. Getting cavity wall insulation will also make a huge difference, if you don’t have this already.

Finally, if you can feel a draught, fix it. The biggest wafts tend to be under doors and through cracks near windows, and they can normally be fixed quite easily and cheaply.

If your heating bills are too high, there’s always something you can do to get them down again. Whether that’s just being a bit more careful, making your house better insulated, or adopting a more efficient heating system, you’ll notice the difference once you get it sorted.