Spring has arrived for many, that means two things – the Easter holidays are officially here and you’re treated to 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 because when you’re more at home, the higher the energy and electricity bills.
READ MORE – Shoppers flock to B&M for a festive baking kit – some say it’s better than an Easter egg
As of April 1, the energy price cap has risen and for 22million people across the UK that means the start of higher bills – some of as much as an extra £100 a month.
However, with spring bringing more warmth than winter, it can be tempting to exile the heating as soon as the sun starts to show – but one expert says you shouldn’t.
Expert, Daniel Nezhad of British radiators would like to follow a few simple tips to maintain an efficient heating system and, ultimately, save on your energy bills throughout the year.
So what can people across the UK do to help reduce the cost of their heating bills this spring?
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Try not to turn off your boiler
The idea of just turning off your boiler to prevent the heater from turning on seems like a good idea, however, by doing this you will also be cutting off your hot water, so it’s not advised. Although the boilers should remain on, you can change your thermostat/control panel settings to provide hot water only and not heating. This way you will still have hot water throughout the house, but your radiators won’t come on.
The downside of switching your system to hot water only is that you always want dry, warm towels for your showers and baths all year round and if you have a central heating heated towel rail, you will have no choice but to turn on your heating. We recommend using the warmer spring months to convert your central heating towel rail to a dual energy system – you can do this by purchasing a dual energy conversion kit.
Dual-fuel systems pay for themselves over time because you make 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 on the central heating every day just to dry your towels in the bathroom. Running your boiler for a radiator/towel warmer is a big energy hog, as the boiler burns beyond what it needs to produce heat for a single room. Dual fuel gives you the best of central heating benefits in the winter, then flexibility and single/individual control in the summer.
Reduce the temperature of your heating
As the days start to get warmer – which they will eventually do in Scotland – it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of time your heating is on, especially when you’re away from home .
You may still want to turn it on in the evening as they can still be cold, but consider turning down the actual temperature of the heater to ensure no heat is wasted. The lower end of 18 degrees is a good temperature so you don’t risk getting too hot when the weather fluctuates. You’ll also save money by lowering it and having to raise it once in a while instead of having it higher and not bothering to lower it when it gets too hot.
You can also turn down the TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves) on your radiators. Enjoy warmth from the sun during the day and some warmth from your radiators in the evening. If you don’t need it, you can just turn the TRV completely down to freeze protection mode (essentially, off).
Spring cleaning your system
Our homes are usually ready for a deep cleaning in the spring – dusty baseboards, we see you – but what many may not know is that your heating system is also ready.
Dusty and dirty radiators not only look neglected, they can also significantly affect the efficiency of your heating. Besides dust clogging the fins, other issues such as rust and general dirt can have a big impact on the operation and appearance of your radiators. Cleaning your radiators could also save you money on the rare occasions when you need to use your heating when the weather warms up.
Enjoy the sunlight
The south and south-west facing rooms are a real treat as the sunnier days become more frequent. Brighter mornings and longer evenings not only mean less use of lighting, but also less use of your heating as more sunlight enters and keeps rooms warmer.
Keep your curtains and blinds open in the sunniest rooms to invite in as much light and warmth as possible. An added bonus is that you can also start drying your clothes outside if you’re lucky enough to have the space, which will help prevent moisture buildup and therefore chase away some of the cold.
It also means that you don’t put wet clothes on cold radiators and thus will avoid external damage to your radiators such as corrosion and rust.
Turn on your boiler from time to time as summer approaches
If your boiler has been sitting idle for a while, it’s best to turn it back on occasionally to make sure it continues to run. Just like with your car battery (it will discharge if you don’t run the engine regularly for a little while), if you don’t run your heater every once in a while, you might find that your central heating won’t turn on. not turn on when you come to use it in the fall.
This can be avoided by simply turning on your heating once a month and waiting for your radiators to start heating up. 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.