How To Pay Less To Heat Your Home.
It will hopefully come as no surprise that the price of gas and electric is on the rise and come October just as we all need to start heating our homes, the prices are set to rise by a further 78%. I have written this article to try and help you make your central heating system as efficient as possible.
Keep It Clean
Wet central heating systems heated by gas boilers work by circulating the system water through a heat exchanger in the boiler and the flames from the gas being burnt, transfer heat into the water as it passes through. For A central heating system to work well the water in the system needs to be able to circulate freely at the correct rate. If your central heating system has any debris or corrosion in it then it will effect the flow of water and the transfer of heat. If you notice your boiler comes on and goes off a lot then you may have a circulation issue and its best to get this looked at or your boiler may 'short cycle' which is very inefficient. Check your radiators get hot from top to bottom and over the entire surface to ensure they are working correctly.
Turn It Down
To heat the rooms in your house, your boiler burns gas to heat the water in the radiators which then transfers to the air, the warmer you want your rooms to be, the more energy is required, therefore if you have your rooms or house cooler, you will use less energy. Turning down your room thermostat by 1 degree could save you a significant amount of money and finding the coolest temperature for your home before you feel uncomfortable is good way to make sure you're not using more energy than you need. The average house hold are comfortable with a room temperature between 18 and 21 degrees centigrade although elderly or infirm people may need it a bit warmer.
How Hot Should Your Radiators Be?
When radiators are sized we use a specific design temperature to work out the output of the radiator and size it to the heat loss of the room. Until recently the radiators have been sized using a flow temperature of around 70 degrees but this would give the required output for the room if it was -1 outside (in the south of England) and if its warmer outside then the flow temperature can be reduced using less energy. Try turning down the boiler thermostat a few degrees and provided your rooms are still getting warm then again you could save some energy and money.
Shut That Door!
Making sure doors and windows are closed properly is probably obvious and will stop the heat from escaping to the outside but stopping a breeze and blocking up gaps can also help. If you notice condensation between the panes of glass in your double glazing then the unit has 'blown' which will reduce its insulation value and needs to be repaired as well as perished seals or defective mechanisms. Contact a double glazing company for information on repairs or replacement.
By far the most cost effective way of keeping your house warm is by.... keeping your house warm! Don't let the heat from your house escape, make sure you have as much insulation as possible in the loft, walls and floors of your property and you will definitely see and feel the benefit. You can have the best heating system in the world but if your house is full of holes and poorly insulated then it wont stay warm. Check to see if you are eligible for any grants or help for low cost or free insulation.
Replace Your Boiler.....!
I know... I finally said it! you knew I was going to didn't you. I bet there are people reading this now thinking "there's nothing wrong with my boiler, its worked fine for 30 years and I've never had it serviced", well you're right, there's probably nothing wrong with your boiler, however boilers have come on a very long way in the last 10 years and if your boiler is more than 10 years old then its efficiency has probably dropped off over the years. If your boiler was fitted pre 2005 its likely you have a standard efficiency non - condensing boiler, which means the flue gas temperature of your boiler could be 200 degrees centigrade and all that heat is being wasted. A modern condensing boiler will often have a flue gas temperature as low as 40 degrees centigrade meaning all that extra heat is finding its way into your radiators rather than disappearing off in to the world.
Smart controls are not just smart because you can connect them to your phone. There is a huge range of smart heating controls on the market and lots of them used correctly and installed to match you system, could save you a lot of money. Using various features such as 'load compensation' or 'optimisation' or even weather compensation, your smart controls can adjust settings and even tell your boiler how to heat your house in the most efficient way.
Its An Annual Service
Most boiler manufacturers recommend their boilers are serviced every 12 months. A boiler service is a good cost effective way of getting a trained gas engineer to look at your boiler and heating system to ensure its continued safe and efficient function. While the engineer is on site they may have some good recommendations or suggest making some changes to make your system more efficient and save you some money.
That's A Wrap
Although this list is not exhaustive, and there are other ways to improve your energy consumption, it does give some good starting points and will hopefully save some of you some energy and money during this winter. If you need any help or would like us to take a look at your system then please contact the office and we will be more than happy to help. Happy heating!