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We all want to save money on our heating bills, but not at the cost of reduced comfort or expensive quick-fixes. Winter is the most costly season of the year, so make sure you increase your system’s efficiency in time for the coldest months ahead. By following these simple tips and tricks, you can save those pennies and stay warm all year round.

#1 Control your thermostat efficiently

An excessive heating bill can be easily rectified with the ‘stepdown’ challenge. By turning your heating down by just 1°C, you can save up to 10% on your heating bill. The typical heating range is between 18- 21°C… so why don’t you see how low you can go?

It is also important to avoid classic thermostat ‘faux pas’. Contrary to popular belief, turning up your thermostat does NOT heat up your room quicker. This method will only send your energy bills skyrocketing. Another big no-no is to leave your heating permanently on at a low temperature. It’s much more cost-effective to turn your heating on and off as and when you need it.

#2 Radiator Valves

Why heat the guest bedroom when there is only you in the house? For less frequented rooms, use thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to control the flow of hot water to the radiators.

TRVs regulate the temperature of the room and can be adjusted to reduce the cost of heating your home. This allows you to set a low running temperature for vacant rooms whilst maintaining a warm temperature in living room or dining room.

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#3 Central Heating Water Treatment

To boost the efficiency of your heating and to prevent a costly boiler breakdown, clean your heating system with the correct water treatment chemicals. Water treatment chemicals will extend your boiler’s life span beyond the expected 12-15 years and can save you up to 15% on your gas bills.

Over time, air ingress allows corrosion, ferrous metal sludge and limescale to build up in the heating system. Without the right water treatment, this damaging debris will clog your boiler’s tiny waterways and force your boiler to work harder to heat your home. Read more here to see if your system needs treatment.

A 360 degree approach is best applied to central heating water treatment. Ask your installer to carry out an effective powerflush to cleanse the entire system and install a boiler filter to safeguard your heating from any future debris build-up.

#4 Invest in a smart thermostat

Smart thermostats can save you up to £150 a year on your heating bill. They connect to your home’s internet and give you the luxury of controlling your heating from your smartphone, tablet or desktop. Designed to stop you spending more than you have to, smart thermostats provide energy usage reports so you can use the data to optimise your consumption. Within two years, you are more than likely to make your money back on your purchase.

Smart thermostats are also perfect for maximising parental control - allowing you to see if your children are cranking up the heating when you are away! The Hive Active Heating thermostat incorporates Holiday Mode, geolocation features and frost protection technology. The Nest Learning Thermostat even detects when no-one is home and will switch off the heating accordingly.

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#5 Check radiator efficiency

The efficiency of your heating greatly depends on your radiator output.  Too large a radiator will increase bills unnecessarily; whilst too small a radiator will constantly be running at maximum. Use PlumbNation’s BTU Calculator to ensure your room is being heated comfortably and cheaply.

#6 Upgrade to an A- rated boiler

Is your boiler nearing the end of its lifespan? Consider investing in an A-rated condensing boiler. The cost of a new boiler may put you off, but it is the fraction of the price for running an inefficient system. An A-rated condensing boiler can save you up £310 extra a year on heating costs. Over 10-15 years, this can save you £3,100 - £4,650 extra in heating costs.

For homeowners who are happy with their existing boiler, adding a cylinder thermostat will reduce the cost of your heating bill. Set it to 60°C, and when the hot water cylinder has reached the required temperature your boiler will rest and less energy is used.

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There you have it – cheaper heating bills in 6 easy steps!