As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, we find that winter comes around quickly. One of the first things we think about doing when the colder months hit is turning on the heating. We want a warm home for our family to stay safe, well and happy. But as we enter a cost of living crisis, a lot of people are worried about how much they will spend on their heating bill. They don’t want to get into debt trying to afford to pay a high bill. But while prices are rising, there are ways to cut down the cost. Here are the most cost-effective ways to heat your home this winter, so that you can warm up your home in the most efficient way.
What are the main ways to heat your home?
By using a Gas Fired Central Heating System
The most common form of heating in homes across the UK is a gas-fired central heating system. A lot of people have installed this system in their homes in recent years. It’s one of the cheapest systems to heat your home with the prices tending to be a lot cheaper than electricity. While gas prices have risen per unit, it still tends to be one of the most efficient ways to heat your home. The price of gas will differ depending on where you live and how big your home is. If you are in a large, urban city, the price will be a lot higher than in more rural areas of the country.
Also, the price of gas will be different if you are heating a four-bed property compared to a smaller two-bed flat. You will use a lot more gas and the price will ultimately cost you more. Also, the exact gas-fired central heating system you use will change your heating cost. If you have an older model of boiler, it might not be running efficiently. It might be using more energy than necessary and you should consider upgrading to the newest gas-fired central heating system available. A gas-fired central heating system is a lot more efficient and will use the latest technology so that you ensure you only use the heat needed. You can control the exact temperature in your home. With a newer central heating system, it will run more efficiently and will find your cost of gas will be cheaper.
By using a Gas Boiler & Solar Thermal Panels
Another popular way to heat your home is by using a gas boiler with solar thermal panels. This is a great way to save money and use less energy all-round. A lot of people are turning to this method as the sun’s heat warms the water in your home so you are less reliant on using your gas boiler which makes it more cost effective. These solar thermal panels are a large investment but ultimately can be worth it in the long run to save money. They are often an appealing selling feature. And they can save you money during the winter months.
But it’s worth noting that a lot of people find they don’t get enough hot water just by this method. It could only be 40% of hot water through the solar thermal panels, so you do have to use the gas boiler as well to heat your home. But it is a good method to help you save money during the winter months.
By using a Gas Boiler
Another cost effective way to heat your home is a gas boiler. This is controlled by a thermostat and you can alter the heat via your radiators. Gas still remains one of the cheapest methods to heat your home. And a gas boiler ensures your home has the hot water it needs to warm up your radiators and keep you warm in the colder months. It also gives you a supply of hot water that you need for sinks and baths. These are a great way to heat your home and are an efficient way to keep your property warm.
It’s worth noting that gas boilers come in three different types. You can get conventional, regular or traditional boilers. Gas boilers tend to need an annual check and this will pick up any issues which could be causing it to not run as efficiently. The gas boiler engineer can then make changes to ensure your boiler does run better. An average boiler lasts 15 years so if yours is older than this, it could be time to get a new model.
By using a Oil Boiler
Another type of heating system which is used to heat the home is oil. An oil boiler tends to be more common in rural areas. These tend to come with a tank outside which is filled and then this ensures the oil boiler can heat up and provide the home with hot water. Oil prices can vary but it can be an efficient way to heat your home. This depends on the size of your property and how quickly you use the oil. For instance, if you are a larger family with a big home, you are going to use the oil quickly and this will have to be replaced.
Keeping on top of annual checks of your oil boiler is so important. And making sure you top up oil when needed is important to ensure it works more efficiently. After all, if it’s running low, the boiler will have to work harder and it can cause issues with your radiators.
Electric Combi Boiler
While electricity is known to be an expensive way to heat your home, an electric combi boiler is a new, efficient way to heat your property. They are rated A in the UK which is the highest level for heating and hot water. The reason why they are so efficient is they modulate, meaning the boiler can run at a low rate making it a lot more efficient. These are a popular option and a lot of new builds are having these installed.
With the plan being that gas boilers will be replaced after 2025, an electric combi boiler looks set to stay as it’s safe, environmentally friendly and an efficient way to heat your home.
Is it a good idea to leave the heating on low all day?
It’s not always a good idea to leave the heating on low all day. You will lose energy as your boiler works to produce heat. And the temperature can be hard to maintain when doing this, so your boiler will also end up using more energy. It’s a much better idea to control your heating so that it’s only used when necessary. That way, you don’t waste energy unnecessarily and can ensure your energy efficient.
What temperature should I set the thermostat in the home?
We all have personal preferences when it comes to warming our home. Some people like it warmer while others like a slightly lower heat. Depending on your preferences, the average tends to be 70 degrees while you are at home. This should be reduced when you are asleep or not at home. If you can reduce it even just a few degrees a day, you will see a small decrease in your bill.
What should I do about the radiators in rooms I don’t use?
It’s always a good idea to turn off radiators in rooms you don’t use in your house. Not only are they just wasting energy, but they are also causing your bills to skyrocket. Therefore, turn off the radiators in these rooms so that the hot water cannot get to these and you are being more efficient with your heating.
How else can I heat my home more efficiently?
Add Insulation to your walls and floors
You will be shocked to know how much you can lose from your heating from poorly insulated floors and walls. Therefore, if you want to heat your home more efficiently, it’s worth looking at insulating if possible. It can be expensive but it’s worth it for the long-term future of your heating bills.
Upgrade to energy efficient windows
If your home is older, you might not have double or triple glazing in your home. Therefore, you could be losing heat through your windows. Therefore, it’s worth upgrading to more energy efficient windows which are a great investment for both your heating and the value of your property.