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Winter Chills: Improving The Efficiency Of Your Central Heating

Winter Chills: Improving The Efficiency Of Your Central Heating

Boilers are important at the best of times, but they’re indispensable when winter comes around. Aside from the more obvious advice, like wrapping up warm even when indoors, we’ve collected some of the best tips on how to get the best out of your boiler for the remainder of the winter season.

Keeping Your Boiler Working

Looking after your boiler is key to good central heating

Maintenance is crucial – even small defects can stack up, or evolve into bigger problems, either causing increasing inefficiency or (in the worst cases) meaning that you have to shell out hundreds to get it properly repaired. For example, dirty or blocked filters often mean that the boiler has to overcompensate in order to produce a steady amount of heat, in turn leading to greater energy expenditure.

When setting the temperature and schedule for your heating system, for maximum efficiency it’s advisable to set it to the coolest settings first and work your way up, rather than the other way around. Your minimum preferred temperature should become apparent pretty quickly, and doing it this way round means that you’re not using any more energy than you absolutely have to at any one time.

Planning Ahead

Using a thermostat to control central heating

A thermostat is also vital, especially in the winter months. Far from an unnecessary luxury, it’s a vital component of your heating system – and available from as little as £10. There’s no way to operate your central heating system that comes even close in providing the same level of control and efficiency. It allows you to maintain a steady temperature throughout the house, rather than each room independently, which can lead to unnecessary energy expenditure.

Using your thermostat, setting a consistent heating schedule will allow you to make significant savings, having next to no knock-on effect in your daily life. Heating the house when no one is home is both expensive and pointless, so it’s best to set the boiler’s schedule as early as you can for maximum savings. Generally, setting it to start heating twenty minutes before you come home is a good marker, as it means the house will already be warm by the time you arrive. On a similar note, you can set it to switch itself off at almost the moment you leave each morning, to avoid even a fragment of wasted energy.

Protecting Your Boiler Protects You

Protecting your boiler while away

Here’s a particularly counter-intuitive tip  if you’re going away for the winter, it’s actually wise to leave the heating on. Not entirely, obviously, but sending the occasional small pulse of heat around the house when you’re away will prevent the pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes aren’t an easy problem to repair, and they’re often very expensive to fix. Not only that, but your central heating system will be compromised until they are, which means that you’ll be freezing along with them while you wait for them to be repaired.

Perhaps the most important tip to saving energy throughout winter is to get your boiler serviced. The relatively high expense may seem off-putting, but money spent now could mean a lot more money saved later. Boilers account for around 55% of what we spend on energy bills annually, so it’s crucial to make sure it’s in full working order. Getting a full service not only fixes any minor defects or budding problems, but also future-proofs it for the rest of the winter, pre-empting many of the boiler issues that winter typically bring.

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