On average, about 60% of UK domestic energy bills are spent on heating. With steep rises in the price of gas and the prospect of a long winter ahead, it makes sense to check up on the performance of your boiler. Older boilers will always be less efficient than more modern ones, but it’s still worth making sure it’s in good working order.
Have the boiler serviced
Boilers should be serviced every 12 months to check they are set up for maximum efficiency. As a rule, the hot water thermostat should be set at between 55°C and 60°C, and turned up during cold weather if necessary. If the boiler doesn’t have modern heating controls and thermostats, ask if they can be installed.
If you live in rented accommodation, remember that it is the responsibility of the landlord to have an annual safety check carried out on the boiler.
Maintain the pipework and cylinders
Making sure that the pipework and radiators are kept clean and free of dust and corrosion can also help improve the performance and lifespan of the boiler. If you have an old hot water cylinder, top up the insulation to around 8cm to stop it losing heat. More modern cylinders have industry standard insulation built in.
Install room thermostats
By installing a thermostat which turns the heating off once the room reaches an optimal temperature, you will save a significant amount on your energy bills. Position the thermostat in an area where there is a free flow of air, and it is not artificially influenced by soft furnishings or other items.
Use a programming system
Most modern boilers have programmable settings, to allow you to control what hours the heat is on and off. Some can now even be integrated with smart devices which enable you to control the heating, lighting, and hot water remotely, so they are only on when they are needed.
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