If you’re trying to save on your gas & electric bills, or even wanting to delay switching your heating on, these tips will help to make your bills cheaper and ensure you get the most out of your heating. As a nation, we waste so much energy through poor heating choices and by not looking after our radiators, so it's crucial to follow these tips to ensure your home stays cosy but you're also cutting costs and being kinder to the environment in the meantime.
Some of the best ways to keep your house warm and save on energy bills are to invest in draught excluders, avoiding drying clothes on radiators and ensuring you bleed your radiators before switching them on each year.
1. Clean Your Radiator
Radiators become dirty and dusty over time, which not only looks unsightly but can also affect the efficiency of your radiators. Regularly clean your radiator by vacuuming in and around it, then by using a long radiator brush to ensure all the dirt is removed from the inside. The outside can be easily cleared with warm soapy water, which will also ensure that your radiator looks cleaner! This process will help keep your radiator heating up as it should, but also prevent mould and damp from occurring.
2. Stop Draughts & Close Windows
It’s important to keep your rooms free from draughts in the colder months as best you can. Draughts can come from doors, windows, chimneys or even floorboards, meaning that if you have areas where the cold air can creep in, your radiator will have to work even harder to fight the cold air. Invest in some good quality draught excluders, draught-proofing strips or filler to close the gaps where the cold air can get in. This is one of the cheapest and best ways to save energy and money!
3. Get the Right BTU for Your Room
It’s crucial to ensure that you have the right heating product for the size of your room. By opting for a radiator that is too small or not powerful enough to heat the room, it will have to work harder and produce more energy to keep the room at the desired temperature. Check out your BTU requirement with our handy calculator and learn more about what BTUs are and what they mean for you in this blog article.
4. Don’t Turn Your Thermostat Up Too High
Take this example: if you turn your thermostat up really high, such as 30 degrees, in an attempt to get your room hotter more quickly, this won't actually work as the thermostat is a limiter, not an accelerator. This can also cost more money if you forget that you've turned it up super high, as each degree you increase your thermostat by can make a huge difference to the cost. If you want a steady 20 degrees of heat throughout your home, your thermostat will heat your home if it drops below 20 degrees but won't if it’s already above 20 degrees.
Try turning your thermostat down by simply 1 degree - this can save you up to 10% off your heating bill.
5. Bleed Your Radiators
It’s so important to ensure that your radiators are properly looked after before turning them on for the winter months. Bleeding your radiators will ensure all trapped air is removed from your rads which prevents cold spots and slower heating up times. When you bleed radiators, you improve the overall heating performance, and ensure that it takes less energy for your radiators to achieve your desired heat.
Flushing the sludge from radiators is just as important as bleeding and will ensure that your radiators don’t take long to heat up. Cold spots at the bottom of the radiator are a sure sign that your radiators need to be flushed.
6. Introduce Soft Furnishings
Introducing soft furnishings such as carpets instead of wooden floors, or curtains instead of blinds can help to keep the heat into your home, which is especially beneficial for larger rooms that may take longer to heat up. Carpets are 60% more insulative than fibreglass, and famous for their insulative properties. Fabrics also help your rooms to stay warm as textiles will trap heat, ensuring your room holds onto the heat that your radiators produce.
7. Upgrade your Thermostat
Ensuring you have an efficient thermostat will keep your home heating in good check and performing as well as it should be. Some older homes have dated thermostats and heating systems which may not work as efficiently and could cause delays in your boiler turning on and potentially not heat your room to the requirement you set it at. A one-off upgrade of your thermostat will ensure your boiler follows the thermostat’s orders and saves you energy by doing exactly what you ask of it!
8. Avoid Drying Clothes on Your Radiators
The main reason why you should avoid drying clothes on a radiator is because this will waste energy. Simply put, drying jeans, towels or even socks on your radiator will block the heat from escaping, thus limiting your room from being heated efficiently. Drying clothes indoors can also release moisture into the air due to the evaporation of water, which will interact with your room's surfaces & walls. This is likely to cause mould which can be harmful when breathed in.
9. Get a Better Radiator or Invest in Underfloor Heating
If you've tried all of the above methods, and your radiators just aren't simply working as they should, it may be time to invest in a new radiator or heated towel rail. Investing in a good radiator is well worth it, and with many of our products having lengthy guarantees, you won't need to worry about the quality or efficiency.
If you want to reduce carbon emissions further and spend less on your heating, underfloor heating could be the solution for you. Underfloor heating has a more precise setting, allowing you to individually control rooms and set timers to avoid wasting energy. Yes, it can be an expensive one-off purchase, but it’ll last for years and there really is nothing better than cosy, warm toes on a cold morning...
Many people question when the right time is to turn their heating on, so we recommend turning it on around the end of October since this is also when the clocks go back, which just seems to make sense.
By being a little more careful with home heating, opting for good quality radiators and taking regular care of them, you could potentially save lots of money on your heating bills with these 9 easy steps. Take a look at our blog post exploring how warm your house should be to be further enlightened on what the ambient home temperature actually is.