Warm Home Hacks – Energy Saving Trust
Are you looking for ways to stay warm and save money on your energy bills this winter?
With typical energy bills almost doubling since this time last year, the Energy Trust are here to help you stay warm, save energy and save money.*
Join millions of people already using their trusted advice and information. It’s easier than you might think.
Get ready for winter now. Keep scrolling for our warm home hacks or to tour our energy saving house.
*All savings are based on a three-bedroom semi-detached gas heated home in England, Scotland or Wales with a gas price at 10.3p/kWh and electricity price at 34.0p/kWh.
Hack 1 – Keep the heat in
Click to Read more: Hack 1 – Keep the Heat in
Did you know?
Fitting draught-proofing strips to window frames and doors is a relatively quick and easy job that can make a big difference to keeping your house warm and could also save you money in the long run.
Cutting out draughts stops heat escaping and prevents cold air from entering your home. You’ll feel warmer and might even be able to turn your heating down.
You could also save up to £125 a year if you have a professional come in and draught-proof your home, but you can easily fit draught-proofing strips yourself.
If your windows are fairly new, you might not need to do any draught-proofing. It’s also good to remember that if you have trickle vents at the top your windows, keep them open so that it helps to stop condensation and damp.
Rugs and curtains look good, but they can also add warmth and comfort to your home, especially if you’ve got draughty windows or gaps in floorboards.
Choose thick or thermally lined curtains and close them at night, but don’t block your radiators with curtains as the heat won’t get into your room. There are lots of second-hand options available if you’re looking to keep costs down, and this can be a more environmentally friendly choice too. Ideally, the curtains should stop between the edge of the windowsill and above radiators.
And, if you have an open chimney that you don’t use very often, you can buy a removable chimney draught-proofer to keep your room even warmer. This can save you up to £90 a year on your energy bills.
Spend and save
If you have a hot water tank, make sure it’s well insulated. Adding extra insulation to your tank keeps the water warmer for longer, and it’ll cost you less to heat this water up.
Most modern cylinders have factory insulation. However, if you have an older cylinder, it may only have 25mm thick foam insulation. By spending £16 to top this up with an 80mm insulation jacket, a typical home can save £70 each year on energy bills. You can buy these jackets from DIY stores and fit them yourself.
If you rent, talk to your landlord before you put extra insulation on your water tank. It should be relatively easy for you to put on the jacket, and they’re easy to take off too.
Hack 2 – Make better use of your boiler
Click to Read more: Hack 2 – better use of your boiler
Did you know?
It’s better to turn your gas boiler off and on when you need it or just use it to heat the rooms you’re in rather than having it on low all the time. If you leave the house for a few hours, turn your heating off. Re-heating your home is cheaper than keeping the heating on low all day when you’re not there.
There’s an exception to this rule though. If you have a heat pump, it’s more efficient to leave it running continuously at a low level.
Turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree could typically save you £145 a year on energy bills. Your room thermostat should be set to the lowest comfortable temperature, which for most people is between 18°C and 21°C.
Spend and save
Installing and using a full set of heating controls means that you can just warm the rooms you’re in when you need it.
If you don’t have any controls, installing and correctly using a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves saves you £180 per year. It typically costs £580 to install a full set of controls, with payback in four years.
Hack 3 – Take Care of your heating
Click to Read more: Hack 3 – take care of your heating
Did you know?
Less than 30% of people regularly bleed their radiators. Not bleeding radiators leads to cold spots due to trapped air.
Bleeding a radiator is simple. All you need is a radiator bleed key (available from most DIY shops), an old towel and something to collect any water in.
- Turn your heating off for a few hours to let the radiators cool down.
- Lay out the old towel under the pipes, place a bowl or jug under the bleed valve and open the valve slowly with your radiator key. Be careful not to open it too far, a quarter or half turn is usually enough.
- As air escapes, you’ll hear a hissing sound.
- Once that sound stops or water begins to pour out, close the valve.
Make sure you check the pressure of your heating system afterwards. There is usually a pressure gauge on a pipe close to the boiler. You can increase the pressure if it’s too low by using the filling valve/tap connected to your boiler until the pressure is back in the ‘green’. This is usually somewhere between 1.0 and 1.5 bar. If you’re unsure, there should be instructions in your boiler’s manual.
To keep your rooms as warm as possible, don’t block radiators with furniture, otherwise it makes your heating system less effective. Move sofas and other heavy furniture away from radiators and remove radiator covers.
Look after your boiler and it will look after you. Get your boiler routinely serviced. It costs around £90 and it’s money well spent. If a boiler is not maintained, it can become less efficient. A build-up of sludge can make it harder for the boiler to heat the whole house.
If you rent, remember it’s the landlord’s responsibility to arrange an annual gas safety check for all gas appliances, including the boiler, by a gas safe engineer. If you’re worried that your boiler isn’t working as it should, or that it could benefit from a service, contact your landlord.
More money saving tips
Save an extra £564 on your energy bills with some more simple actions today.