Five small changes that will help you reduce your heating bills

Five small changes that will help you reduce your heating bills

You can save money and reduce your carbon footprint with a few easy steps

Photograph: Getty Images

Tue, 04 Jan, 2022 – 08:11

Switching on the central heating can cause arguments in a household. Opinions often vary on when to turn on the heating, with environmental concerns, the cost factor and the fact that some people wear warmer clothes than others all adding to the debate.

Teg Dosanjh of Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, which recently commissioned research on how heating issues can be a source of friction in households, said: “It’s not about when to turn on the heating, it’s about how you can control your energy when you do.”

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) in the UK has suggested five small changes that can reduce heating bills, and cut down your carbon footprint:

Turn the thermostat down slightly 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to turn the heating down a lot to make a big difference to your bills – the EST says if you turn down your main thermostat by just one degree, you can save around 10% on your energy bill. But it’s important not to go overboard on turning it down. Laura McGadie from the EST stresses: “Make sure your home is warm enough during cold weather. Cold homes can damage your health.”

Shut the curtains 

Closing your curtains at dusk, which tends to be around the same time as the heating goes on, will help stop heat escaping through the windows. The thicker the curtains, the better.

Check for draughts 

Feel around your windows and doors to make sure there are no draughts, and seal any holes or use draught excluders where possible. Draught-proofing windows and doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can save around £20 a year on energy bills, says the EST.

Get the timing right 

As many people continue to work from home, take advantage of what would have been your commute time and set your heating to come on half an hour later. If you have a timer on your central heating, set it to come on only when required and, if possible, install a smart meter which the EST says is estimated to help reduce a household’s electricity use by 2.8% and gas use by 2%.

Layer up 

As the temperature outside drops, dig out your cosy jumpers and slippers and wrap up warm to stop you needing to crank up the heating.

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