10 Christmas heating tips…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… It’s time to deck the halls, indulge in too many mince pies and start dreaming of a white Christmas.
But whilst we’re happy for it to be cold outside, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a cosy home to return to.
Is there anything better than snuggling up in your new slippers to watch old films with loved ones under your Christmas tree?!
But what if your nights aren’t so cosy?
Christmas is an expensive time of year anyway – the Bank of England says we spend an additional £750 more per house in December.
But given that we’re only just emerging from a pandemic; and energy prices are sky-rocketing; you might not be feeling so merry and bright. You might be worrying about the additional bill you might be left with in January.
But don’t get your tinsel in a tangle, we’re here to offer some tips that can help you to keep your home warm and snug this Christmas, without breaking the bank.
We’ve included lots of tips here, and chances are, your to-do list is as long as the big man’s himself – but you don’t have to do all of these. Hopefully there are one or two things you can implement.
Christmas heating tip 1: Check that you’ve had your boiler serviced
Nobody wants their heating and hot water to go off over Christmas, so it’s a good idea to check that you’re up to date with your annual service before the festivities get under way.
It’s vital to have your boiler serviced annually by a Gas Safe engineer to keep you and your family safe from all the dangers associated with gas.
But not only that – regular boiler maintenance will help you to avoid breakdowns when you need your boiler most.
Research by Which? Found that around two thirds of boilers that are serviced every year never need a repair.
This number drops dramatically as you increase the time between services, so spending a bit on a boiler service could potentially save you a much bigger repair bill.
Christmas heating tip 2: Consider whether you need a boiler replacement
Depending on when you’re reading this, you might not have time for a boiler replacement before the big day itself.
But as well as writing New Year’s Resolutions for January, you might want to pencil in this investment for your home. You might like to read our related blogs: Your options with a boiler replacement and How to choose an energy efficient boiler.
There are lots of benefits of investing in an efficient new boiler, such as:
- A warmer, more comfortable home;
- More control of your heating with greater smart control options;
- Reduced energy bills;
- Reduced carbon footprint;
- Peace of mind with a long guarantee;
- Reduced repair costs;
- Quieter operation;
- More space – if switching from a conventional or system boiler to a combi boiler;
- Instant hot water on demand (if switching to a combi boiler);
- Meet high demands for hot water (if switching from a combi boiler to a conventional or system boiler;
- A stylish new boiler that you don’t need to hide away;
- Make your home more attractive to buyers.
For tailored advice, and to find the right size of boiler for your home, contact us today.
Christmas heating tip 3: Plan ahead and set timers
Using a timer is a great way to optimise your heating without having to actively think about it – which is particularly useful when you’re busy with Christmas parties!
A timer allows you to control when your heating and hot water comes on and when it goes off. This is handy because you can schedule your heating around your Christmas schedule.
If you’re out at a party, then you can programme the heating to switch off during that time. And if you have guests over Christmas, you can set your radiators to come on about 20 minutes before you expect they’ll wake up, so they’re nice and comfortable, whilst minimising your energy bill.
Christmas heating tip 4: Invest in a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat lets you manage your home’s heating schedule from the palm of your hand, through a tablet or smartphone.
This means that you can control your heating from your bed; the Himalayas; or the office Christmas party.
Depending on what make and model you opt for, you can choose from features such as:
- multi-room control;
- hot water control;
- weather compensation;
- draught detection;
- holiday mode;
- feedback on your heating patterns.
Smart thermostats can detect when nobody is at home; learn your daily schedules; know when windows are opened; or the sun is shining; and adjust the heating accordingly.
All of this means that you only heat when and where it’s necessary.
Whether you’ll save money will depend on your lifestyle and how you currently control your heating, but they’ll certainly make heating your home more convenient!
Manufacturers make bold claims about the energy savings that you could make. For example, Tado claims you can save up to 31% on your energy bills with their smart thermostat. But this will only really be accurate for people who had no heating controls to start with.
To find out more, read our blog: Does smart heating save money?
Christmas heating tip 5: Only heat the rooms you need with thermostatic radiator valves
It’s a waste of energy (and money) to heat a whole house when you know that you’re only going to be using certain rooms. But there’s a solution to this – thermostatic radiator valves.
Thermostatic radiator valves or ‘TRVs’ are nifty little devices that fit on the side of your radiator and allow you to control how much heat your radiator emits, and therefore the temperature of your room.
They also allow you to switch a radiator off completely. This is great because you can set lesser used rooms to a lower temperature than your main sitting room, and you won’t waste money heating an empty guest bedroom. But if you do end up with a house guest, it’s easy enough to turn it back on.
Another option is to invest in some smart radiator valves that give you precise control of every radiator in your home straight from your smartphone.
Christmas heating tip 6: Bleed your radiators
On the subject of radiators… when was the last time you bled them?
According to the Energy Saving Trust, less than 30% of people bleed their radiators, resulting in potential cold spots in your home.
Your radiators are just as important as your boiler in keeping you toasty and warm. But when pockets of air get trapped inside them, the hot water can’t circulate properly so it takes longer to heat your home.
If you’ve noticed that your radiators are cold, or have cold spots; or are making funny noises; this might indicate that air is trapped inside them, and needs to be released.
To bleed a radiator, make sure your boiler is turned off and all the radiators are completely cold. Locate the radiator bleed valve and using either a radiator bleed screw or the tip of a screwdriver, turn it until water begins to drip out. Keep a cloth to hand so that you can catch any water. Once water starts coming out, tighten the valve back up again.
If after bleeding your radiators, they still feel cool, ask your engineer about power flushing.
Christmas heating tip 7: Tackle those draughts
A report by the Energy Saving Trust found that although 65% of people put on a jumper to stay warm indoors, only 15% draught-proof their homes.
This is a mistake because all those little holes around your house are letting cold air in and letting your warm air out.
Heat loss makes a big difference to the warmth of your home and your energy bills. So, you need to get them covered up!
Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money in your home.
It can be as simple as using heavy curtains to block draughts from windows; sealing cracks in walls and floors (with gaffer tape if need be!) ; or using draught-excluders or rolled up towels at the bottom of draughty doors.
The Energy Saving Trust say you can save about £25 per year just by draught-proofing windows and doors.
By reducing your draughts, you’ll feel warmer, so you may even be able to turn your thermostat down to save even more energy.
Check out our related blog: How to reduce heat loss at home for more tips.
Christmas heating tip 8: Make your rooms heating-friendly
As well as tackling draughts, you should take a look at your rooms and prime them for optimum heating.
You need to check that you’re not obstructing your radiator with furniture or the Christmas tree. And while you might have extra guests over the Christmas period, don’t put the extra washing on your radiators to dry – use a clothes airer instead.
Christmas heating tip 9: Turn the heating down by one degree
If you’ve read our blog: 7 Central heating myths debunked, you’ll know that 52% of people mistakenly believe that cranking up their thermostat will heat their home quicker.
This is a common misunderstanding. Turning your thermostat up will heat your home at the same speed, but you’ll just heat it past your desired temperature, wasting energy and money in the process.
Although it might seem odd to suggest you turn your thermostat down in the middle of winter, if it’s just one degree you shouldn’t notice the difference. But you will on your heating bill!
According to The Energy Saving Trust, adjusting the temperature by just one degree could save you as much as £80 a year. So, turn it down by a degree and put your Christmas jumpers and socks to use!
Tip 10: Invest in your Christmas best
We love Christmas jumpers, and since you only get to wear them for 31 days, why not follow the old-school solution to saving money on your heating and “Put a jumper on!”
We hope that you’ve found this article useful, and you can save some money this festive season.
Merry Christmas from The Heating People!