Spring has sprung for many it means two things – the Easter holidays are officially here and you’re allowed endless amounts of chocolate without any judgement.
Well at least from us!
But while Easter can be enjoyable for many, for others it can be worrying as when you’re at home more, the higher the energy and electrify bills.
As of April 1, the energy price cap rose and for 22 million people across the UK, it mean the beginning of higher bills – some as much as an extra £100 a month.
However whilst spring brings with it more warmth than winter, it can be tempting to exile the heating as soon as the sun starts making an appearance – but one expert says you shouldn’t do this.
Expert, Daniel Nezhad from UK Radiators insists on following a few simple tips in order to maintain an efficient heating system and ultimately, save money on your energy bills all year round.
So what can people in the UK do to help lower the cost of their heating bills this spring?
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Try not to turn your boiler off
The idea of simply turning your boiler off to avoid the heating coming on sounds like a good idea however, by doing this you’ll also shut off your hot water, so it isn’t advised. Although boilers need to be left on, you can tweak the settings on your thermostat/control panel to only provide hot water and not heating. This way, you will still get hot water throughout the house, but your radiators won’t come on.
The downside to switching your system to hot water only is that you still want toasty dry towels for your showers and baths throughout the year and if you have a central heating towel rail, you’ll have no choice but to put your heating on. We would recommend that you use the warmer spring months to convert your central heating towel rail to a dual fuel one – you can do this by purchasing a dual fuel conversion kit.
Dual fuel systems pay for themselves over time as you’re making your home more efficient in terms of heating. Central heating is the most cost effective heating solution in the winter months, but in the warmer months, you don’t want to have to turn the central heating on every day just to dry your towels in the bathroom. Running your boiler for one radiator/towel rail is a significant use of energy as the boiler is burning in excess of what it needs to produce heat for just one room. Dual fuel gives you the best of central heating benefits in the winter and then the flexibility and single/individual control in the summer.
Reduce the temperature of your heating
As the days begin to warm up – which they eventually will in Scotland – it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of time that your heating is on for especially when you’re not at home.
You may still want to have it on in the evenings as they can still feel chilly but consider turning the actual temperature of the heating down to ensure no heat is wasted. The lower end of 18 degrees is a good temperature to not risk getting too hot as the weather fluctuates. You’ll also save yourself money by having it lower and having to turn it up occasionally as opposed to having it higher and not bothering to turn it down when it gets too warm.
You can also turn down the TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves) on your radiators. Take advantage of the heat streaming through from the sun during the day and have a little bit of heat from your radiators in the evening. If you don’t need this, you can simply turn the TRV all the way down to frost protection mode (essentially, off).
Spring clean your system
Our homes are usually ready for a deep clean come Springtime – dusty skirting boards we see you – but what many may not know is that your heating system is ready too.
Dusty, dirty radiators don’t just look unkempt, they can also drastically affect the efficiency of your heating. Aside from the dust clogging up the fins, other problems such as rust and general grime can severely impact how well your radiators work and look. Cleaning up your radiators could also save you money on those rare occasions you need to use your heating as the weather warms up.
Make use of the sunlight
South and south-west facing rooms are in for a real treat as the sunnier days become more frequent. The brighter mornings and longer evenings mean not only a reduced use of lighting but also some reduced use of your heating as the sunlight streams in and keeps rooms warm.
Keep your curtains and blinds open in the sunniest rooms to invite as much light and warmth in as possible. An added bonus is that you can also start to dry your clothes outside if you’re blessed with the space, which will help to prevent damp build-up and will therefore chase away some of the chill.
It also means you’re not putting damp clothes on cold radiators and so will prevent external damage to your radiators such as corrosion and rust.
Fire up your boiler once in a while as you head into summer
If your boiler will be dormant for a while, it’s best to fire it up now and again to ensure it continues to work. Just like with the battery in your car (it goes flat if you don’t run the engine for a little while regularly), if you don’t run your heating occasionally, you could find that your central heating won’t turn on when you come to use it in the autumn.
This can be avoided by simply switching on your heating once a month and waiting until your radiators begin to get warm. Doing this once a month throughout the summer will prevent the pump and diverter valve, which direct water around the heating system, from seizing up.