As the weather starts to get colder, we’re all looking for easy ways to cut energy bills this winter. While your first thought may be to turn down the thermostat, there are some other simple changes you can make to your radiators this fall to save money.
We all know it’s better for our wallets (and the planet) to turn down our heating when you can, but there are also some inexpensive changes you can make to your radiators to make them more energy efficient in the long run. will be . Plus, most of them don’t require you to hire a professional either.
“With energy bills rising, it’s no surprise that people are taking energy and cost-saving measures instead,” explains Toolstation’s Greg Richardson. “By investing time and money in these measures now, many will be better prepared for what promises to be a challenging autumn and winter.”
If you’re hoping to save on your gas bill this winter (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), these experts share their advice on how to make your radiators more energy efficient. And you’ll be happy to hear, with these heating hacks you won’t have to shiver in your living room under piles of throws this winter.
Lilith is an expert in following news and trends in the interior world. She is committed to helping readers make the best choices in their home by writing best practices and guides. For this article, she spoke to heating experts to learn how best to save on your energy bill.
1. Have your heating system serviced
A surefire way to reduce heating costs is to have your heating system serviced by a professional. Depending on the type of heating system you have, your gas supplier will likely come by annually to service your boiler, but it’s not the only piece of equipment involved in heating your home. It is important to consider the wider heating system of your home, including your pipes and heaters themselves.
Your radiators can become a serious problem if they are not maintained on a regular basis. “Cold spots in radiators can be an indication of a build-up of sludge, which affects heating efficiency and costs you money in the long run by using more fuel than you need,” explains Simon Morris, marketing manager. The Radiator Company (opens in new tab).
A heating engineer can simply flush your radiators to remove any deposits. The process simply involves rinsing fresh water through the unit to remove all debris from the unit, and it can be done in minutes.
2. Check the flow temperature of your boiler
We do not all understand the ins and outs of our boiler, especially as they are becoming more and more modern. However, if there is one thing that you need to work on in your modern home, it is the flow rate of your boiler.
The flow rate is measured by the rate at which your boiler can heat the water supplied to your various hot water outlets. In layman’s terms, the higher the supply temperature, the more expensive your bill will be. (Note this only applies to combi boilers.)
This is not the same as turning your thermostat down and it shouldn’t compromise the heat in your home. What it will do, however, is save you money. “The temperature usually doesn’t have to be more than 130 degrees Fahrenheit,” Toolstation’s Greg says (opens in new tab). “For every 10 degrees you lower your flow rate, it can save 6-8% on your bills.”
3. Bleed your radiators
Most of us know this nifty trick, but for those who don’t, venting your radiators can really make a huge difference to your home’s energy efficiency as air bubbles can get into your radiators over time. preventing water flow. within them.
A clear indication that your radiators need bleeding is that certain areas feel cold, especially the top. If there are mysterious noises coming from your pipes, especially if you have the heating on, it could be a sign of trapped air.
To bleed your radiators yourself, you need a radiator key. (In some cases, a flat head screwdriver may also work.) First, turn off your heating and make sure your radiators are cold. Next, protect your carpet or floor with a cloth and place a bowl or pitcher under your vent to catch any overflow, then slowly open the vent at the top of your radiator. You should feel and hear the trapped air escape.
Once the airflow stops, close the vent and turn your radiators back on. You should immediately notice a difference in the amount of heat your radiators give off.
4. Install thermostatic radiator valves
Even with the best smart thermostat, many of us often waste energy heating rooms we don’t use. If your radiators aren’t already installed with thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), it’s worth the investment to install this clever little gadget.
TRVs are valves that regulate the temperature of your radiator, meaning you can control the heating in a separate room without adjusting the thermostat. Many heaters are already installed with TRVs, but you can buy one for as little as $15 (or even less, like this one from Amazon (opens in new tab)).
As Greg explains, “With energy costs rising, quick, easy, and inexpensive additions to your home that can save you money are very helpful. Thermostatic radiator valves are just that, enabling households to manually adjust the radiators in each room of their home – reducing the amount of energy each room needs and thus lowering your overall energy consumption.”
If you use certain rooms much more than others, this little set can help you lower the temperature in rooms you don’t use that often. “When you’re not using a room, you can manually turn off the radiator and save money,” Greg adds.
5. Consider switching to aluminum radiators
Most radiators are traditionally made of steel and although it is a fantastic heat conductor, modern radiators have now been developed from even more efficient metal conductors.
If you’re able to install new radiators throughout your home, it’s worth considering aluminum heaters when it comes to ways to make your home warmer. “They are the best option for energy efficiency, as they heat up steel in just over half the time and use 50% less water,” explains Simon. Aluminum is also a much lighter metal than steel, making it much easier to install and remove your radiators if necessary.