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How to keep your house warm in winter

  • 5 min read

Written by Domestic & General

While the lifespan of the average boiler is 12 years, it’s important to maintain it regularly to ensure maximum longevity. If your boiler and central heating system are working efficiently you’ll use less fuel and will benefit from lower heating bills.
Heating and hot water account for 62% of a household's energy bills on average, according to the Energy Saving Trust. With a gas bill for a large home topping £1,600, it's easy to see how small improvements to your heating efficiency can lead to serious pounds and pence saved.
So from checking your thermostats to insulating your roof, here are our top tips to make the cold snap more bearable.

Check your thermostats 

Does your thermostat really need to be set to a sweltering 22, 23 or even 25°C? Your thermostat should be set to the lowest comfortable temperature you can manage, which typically ranges between 18 and 21°C. Every 1°C lower you set your thermostat to saves you up to £80 on your annual heating bill (says Energy Saving Trust).

Getting a smart meter can also show you in real-time the result of the changes you make, like how much energy you are saving by turning down your thermostat. While having a smart meter alone won’t save you money, it will show you in pounds and pence how much energy you’re using. 

Draught proof your home

Draught proofing is a relatively cheap and easy job that pays for itself. Plugging all the gaps in your doors and windows stops all the warm air escaping outside, and blocks the cold outside air from inviting itself in.

Radiators, electric panel heaters and convection heaters all work by creating a convection current in a room. As hot air rises, it circles around to the other side of the room, cools and sinks and travels back along the floor to the heater to be reheated again. Closing doors will make sure this current remains within the designated space.

Insulate your pipes

Pipe insulation is another task you can do yourself, as long as your pipes are accessible. Pipe insulation consists of a foam tube that covers the exposed pipes between your hot water cylinder and boiler, reducing the amount of heat lost and, therefore, keeping your water hotter for longer. Pipe insulation is extremely cheap and you can order it online after measuring up your pipes.

Clear your radiators

Your radiators are the foot soldiers of your central heating system and it’s vital to keep them in good health. After years of dutiful service, it’s totally normal for them to get clogged up with dirt, sludge, rust and debris, rendering them less effective at heating up. Left unchecked, these bits and bobs can cause blockages, hardcore corrosion, and poor efficiency.

What you can do is a power flush. The ultimate spring clean for your heating system flushes out any sludge or rust that may have built up. 

Get your boiler serviced

To ensure your boiler’s running efficiently, arrange for a Gas Safe engineer to service your boiler once a year. The engineer will be able to test and clean your boiler, alerting you to any necessary repairs.

By doing so you’ll save money in the long run by spotting faults that could cause major damage and health risks if left untreated.

There are plenty of simple fixes that you can make around your house to keep your appliances working this winter. Check out our dedicated page to help you Be Winter Ready here.