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Plumbing Heating Direct

Top 10 Tips for Saving Energy

1. Install a High Efficiency Boiler

All plumbers have been instructed that all new boilers installed in England and Wales since April 2005 must be of high efficiency (condensing or combination boilers), which are up to 35% more efficient than traditional boilers and will substantially reduce your energy used for water heating. If your boiler is over 10 years old, you might want to think about installing a new boiler (click here for quote?) . The cost savings on energy bills will pay off the cost of the new boilers quickly and you will benefit from future savings, as new boilers have life span of at least 15 years.

You can check out the seasonal efficiency of any boiler on the SEDBUK web site http://www.boilers.org.uk/

2. Insulate Wall Cavities

Filling the cavity in your wall is an excellent way to achieve not only savings on your heating bills but also significantly improve the in-house climate by spreading the domestic heating more evenly as around 50% of heat lost from un–insulated houses is through the walls.

Installing cavity wall insulation will reduce your heating bills by about 15%, as well as reduce the stress on your boiler (further increasing the boiler’s life).

3. Insulate your Loft

It is estimated that around 15% of the loss of your heating escapes through an un-insulated roof. Insulating your loft is a simple task that can be even done as a DIY activity, and can make a big difference to your heating bills. Loft insulation blankets are laid on top of the ceiling (effectively the loft’s floor), and trap the heat inside your home.

4. Reduce Draughts and Wasted Heat

Little gaps around doors and windows lose a surprising amount of heat and filling t can make a big difference as  they are the cause of around  20% of heat loss in a typical home. By filling gaps and reducing the amount of cold air penetrating into the home, you can reduce the heat loss, reduce the heating bills and increase the life expectancy of your boiler.

Installing draught proofing materials is a simple DIY task, with the majority of the sealant materials having self-adhesive side. Fitting brushes to doors and letterboxes is also relatively simple and effective benefits are substantial.

5. Insulate Hot Water Tanks and Pipes

It is very easy and simple to insulate your hot water cylinder, and can save you around £20 per year by fitting a ‘jacket’ that is approved by British Standard around your hot water cylinder, you will reduce heat loss from your cylinder by over 75%. If you already have a jacket around your cylinder, check that it is at least 75mm thick, and if it not, it would be worth getting a new thick jacket.

Insulate hot (and cold) water pipes with quality pipe insulation wrap or strips of fibreglass taped around the pipes. Close fitting pipe sleeves manufactured from polyethylene or neoprene are the most popular means of insulation and must be secured, seam–down, to the pipe with acrylic tape every couple of feet.

Insulating the hot water pipes raises the temperature of the water, which means you can lower your water temperature setting to save energy — with the additional benefit that your hot water will come through more quickly so you’ll be saving water as well.

6. Install Double Glazing

Double glazing is a tried and tested solution for reducing heat loss, with millions of households already benefiting from it. It is estimated that double glazing will cut your heating bill by around £90 per year.

7. Room Thermostat

For most houses the temperature setting is controlled by a room thermostat which determines how much to run the boiler to reach the right ambiance temperature.

By reducing the preset on your room thermostat by 1c degree, which would make a barely noticeable difference to the ambient temperature, you could save approximately 10% of your heating bills and reduce the wear and tear of the boiler.

Similarly, you should ask yourself whether the hot water coming out of your hot water cylinder is at the right temperature or maybe it is too hot. You could save energy by ensuring that the temperature inside the hot water cylinder is set to be not more than 60c
(140F). Fit new central heating controls

The best kind of heating controls comprise of an electronic timer, programmable thermostat, separate thermostat for hot water.

Seven day timers can provide the most efficiency as programmed schedules can be varied according to whether it’s a weekday or a weekend, and varying patterns can be used on a daily basis.

Some timers include a thermostat, which should be installed in the living room, rather than by the boiler or in halls where the temperature may not be constant.

By reducing the level of your thermostat you can save up to 10% on your heating, and if you install a programmable one, you can plan the times you want the heating turned on and off so that the system doesn’t operate as often, for example when you are only using one room in the house, or during the night.

Heating controls will pay for themselves in less than five years. The more control, the greater the savings on energy and money - as much as 17% on the average heating bill. Ask your installer to ensure your new heating controls, and high efficiency condensing boiler, carry the Energy Saving Recommended logo.

8. Fit Thermostatic Valves to your radiators

So that all rooms are the required temperature. Turn off or turn down radiators in rooms not used for long periods.

Set the heating to come on about 15 minutes before you normally get up and go off around half an hour before you normally go to bed. Good home insulation speeds system warm up and slows cool down.

9. Energy Saving Recommendation Endorsement

When planning to purchase a new appliance, whether it is a new boiler, new fridge freezer or a new light bulb, always ensure you check if it s approved and endorsed by the energy savings logo.

Energy savings recommended appliances are the most efficient in their category and could save you a substantial amount of money in energy related costs.

10. Use your Common Sense

By applying some simple common sense, you can make a major improvement to your heating output

Here are some straight forward steps which should become your second nature to ensure you save energy and reduce the risk of climate change:

Close The Curtains At Night In All Rooms

Not just the rooms you are using - make sure curtains are not hanging over radiators. Open them again in the morning to get the heating effect of the sun into rooms. In north facing rooms leave the curtains closed all day if the room is not in use.

Don't Leave Windows And Doors Open Unnecessarily

How often has a window been left open and forgotten? Shut outside doors properly to reduce draughts, also shut doors to unheated or cooler areas of the house.

Keep Furniture Away From Radiators

To improve air circulation. Don't hang towels and clothes over radiators. Make sure the area under radiators is completely clear.

Use A Shower Or Only Fill The Bath WIth As Much Water As You Need

The means less hot water is used. Beware of power showers which can use a lot of water.

Don't Empty Hot Baths Until The Water Has Cooled Down

Emptying a hot bath is putting heat down the drain.

Turn The Central Heating System Off At Night

Run The Hot Tap Until The Water Runs Hot Don't Turn On The Cold Tap At The Same Time

There isn't much point cooling down water that isn't hot enough yet and it saves on water heating. Also saves water.

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