Keeping your home warm whilst keeping your bills down

The cold weather has certainly hit us now but with the rising energy prices, we are all aware about the cost of heating out homes and looking for ways in which we can reduce our usage. Although you want to try and keep your bills as low as possible, it is also important to make sure that you are warm. This is especially true if you are elderly or vulnerable or if you have very young children who cannot regulate their body temperature as much and may not be able to tell you if they are cold.

Try and work out the best time to put the heating on. It may be that you manage throughout the day and only det it to come on in the evening when the temperature drops even more. When you do put it on, be sure to turn off any radiators in rooms that do not need to be heated as this will help same the amount of gas central heating you need to use. You may find that you only need to put the heating on for an hour or so as this could be enough to keep the rooms warm throughout the night. You want to ensure that you retain the heat as much as possible. Closing doors is a great way to keep the heat in. You should also try and close curtains and put curtains across doors that lead to the outside to help reduce the amount of heat wasted.

Are electric fires a good option for your home?

Gas heating prices are going up again and this may mean that you are trying to be extra cautious when it comes to using your central heating If you only need to heat one room, it may seem silly putting the heating system on and heating the entire house.

Electric fires can help to heat a room quickly and don’t have to look old fashioned. There are a number of different types of electric fires now on the market. Historically electric fires were often found in the homes of older people, with the traditional two bars running along the front and often some charcoal effect plastic display. Now you can pick up a number of different types of fires that will complement any home. You can get LED fires which can look great in a modern setting, some of which have LED flames, colour changing backlights as well as the heating function.

If you want something a little more traditional then an electrical wood burning fire may be perfect for you and your home. These fires can look very realistic and to the untrained eye you may not realise at first that the flames are simply a lighting effect.

Finding the best prices for your energy

This year energy companies are set to hike their prices up a lot which may mean that the average family has to fork out another £150-£200 per year. The last 18 months or so have been extremely hard for many people anyway due to Covid so this price increase could not have come at a worse time.

If you have been notified that your prices are set to increase then you may want to start shopping around for a better deal. There are some great comparison sites out there that allow you to put in your usage or your usual spend and see if you could save money by switching.

If you have electricity and gas with the same company then you often get a discount for dual fuel.

If you are on a low income then you may be able to get financial help such as the warm home discount. This will allow you to apply for a discount of around £130 off your electricity bill every year. This can make a big difference and may reduce your monthly direct debits by around £10 a month.

Always contact your supplier before switching to a new provider as they may well be able to offer you a better deal if you choose to stay with them.

Is it time to change your boiler?

If your boiler is older than twelve years old then it is sensible to consider changing it for a more modern one as boiler technology is improving and boilers are becoming more efficient ultimately saving the householder money on their energy bills.

A free energy survey can be carried out by a company specialising in boiler replacement to see if it would be advisable to upgrade the boiler in your home and whether there are other improvements that could be made to your heating and hot water system. If the results of the survey show that savings could be made on your energy bills by changing the boiler many people choose to have a combi boiler installed. This type of boiler heats up the hot water that you need instantly and there is no requirement to have a water cylinder to store hot water. It is an energy efficient way to heat the home and provide hot water whenever it is required. With this type of boiler there is also no need to have a water tank in the loft which frees up storage space.

Replacing a boiler can mean some upheaval in the home but if done at the same time as other home improvements it should not be too disruptive.

Is the heating system in your home struggling to cope?

It is at this time of the year that we rely on the heating system in our homes to keep us warm and cosy but what if you feel that despite having the heating on your home fails to get to a comfortable temperature and you find yourself having to snuggle under layers of blankets to get warm?

There are a few things that you can check yourself before resorting to getting an expert heating engineer into your home. The first thing to check is whether the heating in the home is working correctly. If there are radiators in the house, they should feel warm all over not just in one area. If they are not getting hot all over then they may need bleeding to release trapped air in the system. Another simple solution is to check whether the radiators are fitted with thermostatic radiator valves and that they are set at the temperature required for the room as you may not want bedrooms as warm as other rooms.

Most heating systems have a room thermostat fitted to regulate the temperature for a room. Be aware that if the thermostat is in a hallway the heating will switch off once that room reaches the set temperature so do not set those radiators too high otherwise the heating will switch off before the other rooms are warm.