Money Matters: How to lower your heating bills

With winter in full swing, it’s important for your health and wellbeing to ensure your house is adequately heated. But with the high cost of energy, how can you keep your house warm without breaking the bank? Stephen Porter, Head of Member Experience at Leeds Credit Union, shares some top tips.

The cold weather we’re currently experiencing in the UK has seen temperatures drop as low as -10 degrees in some areas, so naturally most households have had the heating on.

With the cost of living crisis still ongoing, is it possible to keep your heating bills under control while still maintaining a warm home? The answer is yes – and here are a few ways of doing so.

Eliminate draughts

One of the simplest ways to conserve heat is by blocking gaps that allow cold air into your home, so check your doors and windows for draughts and use draught-proof strips to plug any gaps.

Use your curtains

Curtains help with heat retention by restricting air flow between warm and cold areas, preventing warm air from flowing out of your house.

Experts advise drawing your curtains at dusk to reduce heat loss by as much as 17%. As a general rule, the thicker the curtain the better the insulation too.

Check radiator settings

Turning all your radiators to full blast will only cost you money as any empty rooms are being warmed to nobody’s benefit. Instead, set radiator dials on a room-by-room basis, with living areas and bedrooms set to higher heats and spare rooms to lower – or even turned all the way down.

Check the thermostat

Ensuring your heating only comes on when temperatures drop below a certain level – and go off again when the desired temperature has been reached – could save more than £150 per year. For many households, setting the thermostat to 18 degrees is the perfect way to keep properties warm but not too hot.

Turn down your boiler’s flow temperature

The temperature of the water that leaves your boiler to go to your radiators is called the boiler’s flow temperature. If it’s set too high, the boiler will run inefficiently, costing you extra money, so try to set it correctly.

To ensure this happens, turn it down to either 65 degrees for a conventional boiler with hot water cylinder, or 60 degrees if you have a combi boiler with no hot water cylinder.

Whatever you do, however, the Energy Saving Trust recommends you NEVER set your conventional boiler with hot water cylinder to less than 65 degrees or you run the risk of legionella bacteria growing in the cylinder.

Trap heat

Heat can escape from your home in pretty much every direction so do whatever you can to block off its routes!
Installing double – or triple – glazing will reduce the rate at which your home loses heat, as will insulating your cavity walls and your loft/attic.

Leeds Credit Union provides straightforward and affordable financial services to people in Leeds.


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