With autumn fast approaching, homeowners across the UK should start thinking about how best to warm their homes over the colder, darker months. In fact, in the face of the current energy crisis, with heating costs set to skyrocket and money-saving experts such as Martin Lewis making gloomy forecasts about what will happen when temperatures plummet, preparing for autumn and winter has never been more critical.
Here are some top tips from our heating experts to help you and your family keep warm over the forthcoming seasons.
1. Check your boiler to make sure it is working correctly. If it hasn’t had a service this year, now is the time to book an appointment with a Gas Safety registered engineer for a system check-up. Old boilers can be more expensive to run, so if you can afford it, consider upgrading if your current system isn’t working as well as it should and is becoming more problematic to fix.
2. Before it gets too cold, test your radiators to see if they need bleeding. If they aren’t warming up properly or have cold spots, your system could also need cleaning.
3. If you have working chimneys in your property, check they are not blocked. Getting a professional chimney sweep in is always trickier when it comes to winter, so get ahead of the game now.
4. Give your pipes the once over to ensure they are adequately insulated and in good condition. You don’t want them freezing and bursting when the temperature drops.
5. Look at other ways to improve the insulation in your home. This could include your loft, your cavity walls, and your hot water cylinder, if you have one.
6. Check your doors and windows for drafts and seal up any cracks. According to Citizens Advice, blocking any holes where you could get a draught could save you about £30 a year. If needed, also treat your windows/sills with the correct products to stop untreated wood from rotting.
7. Check your roof and gutters to prevent possible leaks and breakages.
8. Turn down your boiler thermostat if you want to save money. Default flow temperature settings are usually too high, and even the smallest decrease could significantly affect your heating bills.
9. Install Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) if you don’t already have them. But don’t crank them up to the max! That will result in large heating bills. Instead, adjust your settings depending on the requirements of each space, with rooms used the most set to a higher temperature, and those you don’t use that much kept to a minimum or switched off.
10. A good hot bath can help to warm you up in the winter. But as showers are more energy efficient, this can be a better way to warm up without excess costs. Even better, if you install a water-saving shower head, you can reduce costs without any impact on the overall showering experience.