It might be tempting to turn the heating up when your home is feeling a little chilly, but if you want to keep your heating bills down, then there are other solutions that can avoid this extra expense.
Whether you’re on an electric or gas heating system, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can make use of that will lower your bills without meaning that you lose control over your home’s temperature.
If your last heating bill was a shock, here are some simple ways to reduce your outgoings, just in time for your next bill.
1. Foil and Radiators
One of the first things that you should do is place some aluminium foil behind all of the radiators in your home. This helps them to work much more efficiently, and you’ll lose less heat to the walls.
Top Tip: There are specialist radiator foils available to buy, but kitchen foil from your local supermarket will work just as well.
2. Thick Curtains
If you want to keep your heat inside your rooms, then thicker curtains will help. When you’re not losing the heat to the outside, then you’ll be able to keep your radiator temperature down on a permanent basis.
Top Tip: You could even invest in some extra thick thermal curtains for even more control over your heating.
3. Insulation is King
If there’s one thing that you should prioritise in your home, it’s insulation. From the attic to the windows, the more that you can avoid avenues for escaping heat, the lower your bills will be.
Top Tip: Look for draught excluders for each room and find draughts more easily by walking around your property with a lit candle. If you find gaps, then find ways to fill them.
4. Set a Timer
The heating timer is one of your most useful tools for keeping a tighter rein on your bills. There’s little point in leaving the heating on at home when there’s nobody there to benefit from it.
Make sure that you keep it updated for changes in schedule or when the clocks change so that you’re not tempted to turn your heating on unnecessarily.
Top Tip: Smart heating controls such as Hive make it easier to keep control of your heating schedule even while on the move.
5. Close the Doors
Make it a habit to keep all of your doors closed at home. From the living room to the bathroom, open doors create empty spaces for heat to escape into, and if there’s nobody in those rooms, then you’re literally burning money for no reason.
6. Lower the Temperature
There’s no need to make yourself uncomfortable, but by lowering the temperature on your thermostat by just one degree, you could save you up to 10% on your annual bill. Wrap up warm and add an extra layer if you get cold.
7. Make sure you are not on a pre-pay meter
Pre-pay gas and electricity meters can be significantly more expensive than paying by direct debit. So, if you are on a pre-pay meter, you could save on average £226 per year on moving to a non pre-pay meter.
8. Avoid Radiator Drying
It’s very tempting to throw freshly washed clothes onto the radiator in order to get them to dry faster. This is a very common mistake, and it’s obviously going to make your heating work harder to less overall effect.
Instead, spend some money on an air dryer, and don’t forget to dry your clothes outside on those warmer days.
9. Check your Benefits
If you’re in receipt of any state benefits, then you might be entitled to the government’s Affordable Warmth scheme. This is money that you can then use to add insulation or draught-proofing to your home.
Top Tip: Not everyone will be able to apply for this scheme, so check for eligibility.
10. Rearrange your Furniture
If you’ve got a sofa resting up against the radiators in your living room, then they’re going to be absorbing a lot of heat. That’s heat that should be in the room, so it’s always a good idea to have a room rearrangement.
Top Tip: Move furniture away from the radiators so that the heat is able to circulate more easily.
11. Service your Boiler
You should do this annually. Your boiler will work hard all year, and that means that it will inevitably lose efficiency. It’s not just about having a basic safety check. It’s about ensuring that your boiler is working as well as it can be.
While your boiler is being serviced, you may want to consider upgrading to more efficient central heating pumps. A good pump will keep hot water circulating through your home more efficiently, thus saving valuable energy.
12. Get Glazing
If you can justify the expense, then having double or triple glazing installed in the windows of your home will be a big help when it comes to controlling and managing your overall temperature.
13. Dress Accordingly
You don’t have sit on the sofa in full coat, hat, and scarf, but it’s always a good idea to dress more appropriately for the season. Just because you can lounge around in mid-winter in your t-shirt and shorts, it doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.
Top Tip: Dress weather appropriate and you won’t need to turn the heating up, and that means that your bills will naturally drop.
14. Use Fans
Don’t think that fans are only worth using in the middle of summer. They’re also very useful in the middle of winter too. That’s because by having a fan in a well-heated room, you will help the warmth to spread and circulate.
Top Tip: Keep the spin low and angle the fan up so that the whole room is able to feel the benefit.
Dry air is much more difficult to keep warm. Moist air retains heat much more effectively, meaning that rooms will keep their heat for much longer.
16. Warm the Bed
You don’t want to sleep in the cold, but you don’t need to have your heating on full blast either. As long as your bedroom is warm enough when you’re climbing into bed, you don’t even need your heating on all night.
You could even make use of a hot water bottle in order to get your bed warmer. Wear layers to bed, too, to make sure you’re warm enough and don’t need to rely on the heating through the night.
Your heating bill is always going to be an unavoidable expense. However, with some frugal thinking and a little bit of home preparation and planning, you could be feeling the benefits in your bank balance without worrying about the chill in your home.