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Upgrade your boiler
Install draught prevention
Install a smart meter
Turn your heating down one degree
Close unused rooms
Use less hot water
7 ways to cut your heating bill this winter
With the cost of living crisis and rising energy prices, how can you cut your heating bill this winter? Here are our top ways to save money this year
Older cavity walls can be retrofitted with insulation foam injected into small holes drilled into the wall. (Image credit: Adobe)
Depending on the age of your property, you may or may not have insulation in your external walls; however, this is relatively easy to have installed. However, with insulation professionals getting booked up before winter, it’s wise to start looking soon.
External walls account for a large proportion of the heat lost from your home – around 35%, and generally, houses built after 1920 are likely to have cavity walls. Walls thicker than 260mm usually indicate that they were constructed with a cavity between two sets of brick. If your house is post-1990, it will probably already have insulation, but if not, installation can be a quick process.
Small holes are drilled through your external walls, and the installer pumps an insulating foam into the cavity. The process can take as little as two hours for an average house and causes no mess or disruption. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save as much as £480 per year on your energy bill for an average-sized detached family home.
2. Upgrade your boiler
Saving: up to £580 per year
New combi boilers are more energy efficient than older models. (Image credit: FMB)
3. Install draught prevention on windows and doors
Saving: up to £50 per year
Window foam tape is an inexpensive way to prevent draughts in older windows. (Image credit: Adobe)
Draught proofing your windows and doors is a simple way to keep the heat in your house. Around 20% of the heat escapes through air leakage around windows and doors.
Adding draught-proofing is a simple, inexpensive task you can do yourself. Which? recommends using window foam tape to seal gaps around your windows, and applying it around the window frame, creating an airtight seal. Carrying out this easy task can save an estimated £25–£50 annually.
Draught excluders are an excellent idea for external doors, are readily available and will prevent more heat from escaping under your front and back doors. You can even hang thick winter curtains over doors and windows to keep your home even warmer, and if your home has a chimney that you don’t plan on using, sealing this up will increase your savings.
If your budget allows, it’s worth investing in double glazing. Double glazed windows are better at preventing warm air from escaping your house and cold air from getting in.
4. Install a smart meter
Smart meters allow you to keep track of your energy usage and how much it costs. (Image credit: Adobe)
A way to track your gas and electricity consumption, smart meters are often installed free of charge by your utility provider. Much more accessible than traditional meters, you can monitor your usage with the touch of a button or via a mobile phone app. While it won’t directly save you money, a smart meter will allow you to control your spending.
5. Turn your heating down by one degree
Saving: around £120 per year
Turning your heating down by just one degree can potentially save over £100 a year on your heating bill. (Image credit: Adobe)
The temperature of most thermostats is around 19–21°C in winter. Turn this down by a degree, and you probably won’t even notice until it comes to paying your heating bill. This is an easy, instant change with potential savings of approximately £120 a year.
6. Close unused rooms
Saving: around £20 per year
Keeping the doors of rooms you’re not using closed can help cut your heating bill. (Image credit: Adobe)
It’s easy to forget when heating our homes, that radiators in less populated rooms are just warming up the empty space and wasting money.
Turning off radiators and keeping doors closed can make a big difference to your yearly heating bill. However, if your property is damp or you’re worried about frozen pipes, turning them to the minimum setting will allow a little warmth through while still saving money. This could potentially be as much as a third off your heating bill, depending on the size of your home.
7. Use less hot water
Saving: up to £250 per year
Taking shorter showers means you will use less hot water and cut your heating bill. (Image credit: Adobe)
Because gas or electricity is used to heat the water for your household, using less will bring you significant savings yearly. By choosing showers over baths, your consumption will be far smaller – a four-minute shower uses about half the water as having a bath.
Simple Energy Advice also suggests fitting a water efficient showerhead. Your shower time can be used more effectively, allowing you to wash quicker, thus using even less water. Overall, this could save you a big £250 annually.
Being sensible with heating your home could see you enjoying big savings, amounting to a considerable sum of between £1,210–£1,500. However, these figures are estimates and savings depend greatly on your household’s energy use. Let’s look at a tally of the potential savings you can make by following the advice in this article: