Heating Tips

Energy prices are rising! So how can we save money. Well using less energy, can help you save some money. But a small change to your habits at home, can make a real difference to your energy costs. Energy prices will start to hit everyone hard as we move into winter, in particular the most vulnerable households such as the elderly. Many of which will be looking to save money whenever and wherever they can. Here are some tips I have researched and sourced: How to trim your heating and water costs: - Turn the central heating thermostat down by just one degree centigrade. It can save up to £30 a year.

- Make sure curtains or furniture do not prevent heat circulating from radiators. - Turn the hot water tank thermostat to 60 degrees centigrade. This is hot enough for most and stops unnecessary heating. How to cut your electricity bill:

- Turning off electrical appliances at the wall rather than leaving them on standby could save £40 a year on bills. - Invest in a home energy meter that will help tailor your consumption. How to make long-term savings: - Energy-saving bulbs can reduce lighting bills by £5 to £10 a year. Costs can be recovered in 6 months. - Insulating the hot water tank can save £10 a year. Costs can be recovered in 1-2 years. Loft insulation can cut heating bills by as much as £80 to £100 a year. Costs can be recovered in 2-6 years. INSULATION

Roofs and hollow walls that have not been insulated let out too much heat, which wastes cash all year. Most homes can be insulated for up to £350. It may be worth insulating your curtains too – you can add extra padding to existing ones or if they need replacing, do so with thick, insulated curtains. GO GREEN When a trusted appliance breaks down beyond repair it can be a huge FINANCIAL pain. But unless you are happy to forgo showers or cooking forever, sooner or later you will need to replace it and with some savvy shopping, your new piece of equipment could save you money in the long-run. If your old boiler or cooker was installed years ago, it’s likely modern technology will have improved to make them more efficient. Boilers can account for as much as 60% of your annual energy bills so one that uses less energy will save you a small fortune over its lifetime. An old gas boiler replaced with an A-rated high-efficiency condensation boiler will not only cut harmful emissions – but could save as much as £300 per year. TURN DOWN THE TEMPERATURE When it’s freezing this may seem an impossible thought – but turning down the thermostat by just one degree can lead to savings of more than £40 every year, or 10% of your annual bill. Another way to cut heating bills is to close curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping. It is also worth moving furniture away from radiators as they can absorb the heat and prevent the radiators doing their job. As the sun begins to make a more regular appearance in between the rain, it’s worth remembering the sun is the best – and cheapest - heater of all. So if it shines through a particular window leave the door to that room open so the heat can go through the house. Any spare rooms which are not used regularly should have their radiators turned off completely. ALUMNIUM FOIL BEHIND RADIATORS

For all the heat a radiator emits from its front, a substantial amount is lost from the wall-facing side. One way to tackle this is to stick foil onto the wall behind the radiator with tape so it reflects heat back into the room so it’s not absorbed into the wall. Ensure the foil is shiny-side up and as close to the radiator as possible. DIY stores sell specialist radiator foil which could cost as much as £20 – but good quality Supermarket foil from the kitchen drawer will work just as well. CLING FILM Aluminium foil behind your radiators is not the only way your kitchen contents can help you cut costs. Cling film on your windows can also save cash. Single-glazed windows act as poor thermal insulators and can also let in more draughts – costing you as much as £135 per year. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that if all windows were double-glazed, £700 million would be saved collectively in fuel bills. Replacing old windows with double-glazing can cost thousands so a DIY alternative is to stick the clear film on to single-glazed window frames, so it forms a second pane creating an extra barrier and eliminating draughts. CHECK FOR DRAUGHTS If you notice an uncomfortable draught coming from your windows or doors, do not just make a mental note to never sit next to it. As much as it reveals cold wind coming in, remember it also suggest warm air going out. Typically, poor ventilation and draughts can account for up to 20% of heat-loss. Insulating tape can be bought for just a few pounds but once every draught is sealed up the difference is noticeable. The same goes for doors, internal or external. Towels are an unsightly but practical method to keep the warmth in. if you’re prepared to pay out to save long-term, stylish draught excluders can be bought for as little as £6. GRANTS Although many of the recommendations to reduce bills will save you money over years, the initial outlay could be too much to take on. But Government programmes to help households on certain benefits improve their heating and energy efficiency could take the major financial hit and make improvements much cheaper, if not free. In England the scheme is known as Warm Front, in Northern Ireland it is Warm Homes, in Scotland it is the Energy Assistance Package and in Wales it is NEST. Qualifying households can get improvements worth up to £3,500, or £6,000 if oil central heating and other alternative technologies are recommended. Go to www.direct.gov.uk/warmfront for more information, while www.energysavingtrust.org.uk is another great source of information for details of grants.

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