1. General tricks that will save you money
Let's start with a few general, useful tricks. Most often, these are the mistakes that people make and on which they lose precious heat and get a bigger bill. If you reduce the temperature in your home by just one degree, you can achieve up to 13% energy savings on a monthly basis. And you won't freeze.
- If you leave home for the whole day, leave the heating at 15-16 °C (60 °F)
- Do not heat unused rooms
- If you want to ventilate the house and let in fresh air, turn off the heating
- If you wear a long-sleeved T-shirt, you will be more comfortable even with a degree or two lower in temperature
- If you want to reduce the temperature, do it on the thermostat or valve, not by opening the window
2. Do a regular maintenance service
Whatever heating method you use, regular maintenance service is the most important thing. Whether it's a boiler, chimney or inverter air conditioner, it's important to have it serviced before the heating season. Due to possible high demand, it's ideal to do it during the summer months instead of waiting for the colder days to arrive.
You won't be able to do some things on your own. Gas boiler service, chimney cleaning and similar tasks are best left to authorized professionals. Although you will have to spend some money on this, you will have a double benefit:
- Greater safety, which should encourage you to do regular maintenance
- More efficient heating
Those who use air conditioning for heating will have to maintain it the same way as in the summer season. Wash or change the filter twice during the heating season and you've already done a lot.
3. Regulate the heat
Heat regulation may be one of the simplest tricks for reducing your heating bill, yet many people still make mistakes in this regard. It is not necessary for your heating system to be set to the maximum throughout the day.
If you have a thermostat, the temperature in the room will be regulated automatically. Of course, after you set the desired temperature. And think. Do you really need those 78°F / 26°C degrees in the living room?
In the following table, find the recommended temperatures for certain parts of your household.
|Room||Recommended temperature °F / °C|
|Living room||68-71.6 °F / 20-22 °C|
|Bedroom||64.4-68 °F / 18-20 °C|
|Kitchen||62.6-68 °F / 17-20 °C|
|Bathroom||73.4-75.2 °F / 23-24 °C|
|Night time||62.6-64.4 °F / 17-18 °C|
Take into account that the desired temperature will depend on your preferences, but by reducing the temperature even by just 1 degree, you can save a lot of money. However, don't bring yourself to the level of saving that you need three blankets to keep you warm during the night.
Play around with the temperature a bit and check which is the lowest point where you still feel comfortable. It will be a good indicator of the ideal temperature in your home.
4. Clean your wood stove
If you use wood stoves for heating, they need to be cleaned well before the heating season itself, but also from time to time. The most important thing is to remove all the soot and dirt left in the stove. Even a small layer of soot of only a few millimeters can significantly reduce the heating quality and increase wood consumption.
During the heating season, you do not have to remove all the ash from the stove. It is good to leave a small layer at the bottom, which will serve as a heat insulator, but also facilitate future ignition.
A lot will depend on the wood you use for heating. Whenever you can, use hard wood for firewood. The most popular are oak, beech, birch and hornbeam. Hard firewood burns more cleanly than soft wood and requires less cleaning. More importantly, hardwoods have a higher heating value per square meter. In layman's terms, hardwood heats a larger area better.
5. Vent the radiators
Before the heating starts, don't forget to vent the radiators. If you open the radiator valve all the way and your radiator is still lukewarm, it's time to bleed the radiator. In this case, the radiator is filled with air, which prevents water from reaching the top of the radiator and automatically increases energy consumption.
Make sure you also periodically clean the radiators.
How to vent a radiator?
You can do this simple job yourself, and you need:
- Radiator Bleed Key (or pliers / square wrench if you don't have a key)
- Water container
- Towel or cloth
Turn on your central heating system, after 15 minutes, turn it down and close all the radiators. Start by venting the lowest located radiator and open the ventil with the key.
Using a radiator bleed key, pliers or a square wrench, turn the vent valve located at the end of the radiator. Wrap the valve with a cloth or towel so that water does not drip on the floor. The moment the air stops coming out and the water starts leaking, you can close the valve again.
The water container is needed when water starts leaking from the radiator and you still haven't closed the valve. Collect the water in a container and then pour it out and you've done the whole job without a big mess.
Dress appropriately for the weather, set the temperature to a reasonable limit, make yourself hot tea or coffee and enjoy the warmth of your home with your loved ones. And finally, pay less for heating.
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