With the cost of living crisis becoming more and more of a problem for everyone in the UK, We have put together a free guide on how you can reduce your gas bill. Gas bills contribute to around 60% of your household energy costs, here are some useful tips to reduce your bills! Some of the following can be costly, but in the long run, can help you save £100s, if not; £1000s!
Update your boiler and heating controls
You could save up to £840 a year on your gas bill when you upgrade your boiler from a G-rated boiler to an A-rated boiler. You could also save an extra £311 a year by upgrading your heating controls to a HIVE Smart Heating System.
Hot water and Heating water temperatures
Find yourself adding cold water to your bath or kitchen sink when washing up? Ask yourself this question, Why are you heating water up to such a high temperature, to only cool it down anyways? If you have a combi-boiler, find the dial that has a tap icon and turn it down to about half way and run the tap, adjust until you can safely put your hand under the hot tap, beware; hot water needs to be at a minimum of 55°C, ideally 60°C due to legionnaires.
If you have a hot water storage cylinder, find the cylinder stat on the side of the tank, about a third of the way up from the bottom, you may need to use a flat head screwdriver (or a butter knife) to adjust the temperature. Again, ensure the temperature is NOT set lower than 55°C.
You can also adjust the temperature of your heating water, this will not adjust the temperature of your room, but will adjust the temperature of the water running through your heating system. We recommend that you turn the heating dial down to the ‘E’ which means Economical Setting. This is the most Economical setting (Cost effective setting) for your boiler!
Cleanse your heating system
A power-flush to your central heating can dramatically reduce your heating bills. If your radiators are suffering from cold spots, they could benefit from a cleanse (Your bank account would benefit too!).
Are some of your radiators around the property not heating at all? You may have a blockage of sludge in the heating pipework.
Are your radiators heating up at different speeds? Some taking much longer than others to heat up?
Your heating system may need the flow of water from the boiler balancing around each radiator. You should find a Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV) and a Lockshield Valve on each radiator, the TRV controls the temperature in the room and the lockshield controls the flow of water through each radiator.
If you’re finding that a specific radiator is taking a longer time to heat up compared to others, take a spanner and turn the locksheild valve head clockwise to open the valve more. Start with half a turn clockwise until the flow of water increases. Also try to slow the flow of water to the quicker heating radiators, by turning the locksheild anti-clockwise on the radiators that are heating quicker. Usually, the radiators that are heating quicker, are the ones closest to the boiler, so the locksheilds should ideally be open one full turn. Heading away from the boiler, they must be open one full turn (plus a bit more for each radiator further down the line). Eg: Radiator 1 – 1 full turn, Radiator 2 – 1.25 turns, Radiator 3 – 1.5 turns, Radiator 4 – 1.75 turns, Radiator 5 – 2 full turns. This is just a basic example and will not work on all systems, it will vary on size of the system (How many radiators), pipework sizing (pipework maybe bigger OR smaller under floorboards and in walls), and actual size of the radiator maybe a factor too!
Programme or time your heating
Do you need your heating on at 6 in the morning, everyday, if you don’t wake up until 8am? Is your heating timed to come on an hour before you get home from work, but sometimes you get stuck in traffic or you go shopping on the way home, and you’re not home for another hour after you’re normally due home? Turn those timers OFF! Again, you could benefit from a HIVE Smart Heating System; you can control your home from your phone, when you’re away from home!
Turn off your heating and hot water when you’re away from home for long periods too, I.E – when you’re on holiday!
If you have a hot water storage cylinder, programme the hot water boost to come on once in the morning, instead of morning and evening, and insulate the cylinder to prevent heat loss; by using a cylinder jacket!
Zone your heating
According to Water Regulations 1999, If a heating system covers more than 150 square metres, it should be ‘Zoned’. This is basically by the use of Zone valves. This regulation doesn’t mean that if its less than 150 square metres you shouldn’t have zones. You could use zone valves to control the heating on each floor. Do you find yourself turning the heating on when you get home from work, just to sit in the from room watching TV and in the kitchen cooking, not bothering going upstairs? You’re waste energy on heating upstairs when its not in use! This is where zones come in handy…
Set your Thermostatic radiator Valves correctly
Ever noticed the numbers on TRVs and wondered what they were for? Most people believe it controls the temperature of the radiator.
In actual fact, it controls the room temperature.
5- 30°C – This can differentiate between different manufacturers, but as a guide, this should be followed. Generally, each room should be around 18-22°C to feel comfortable. You should set TRVs to number 3-4. This enables the Thermostatic Radiator Valve to shut off when the desired temperature is reached, and open when the temperature drops again. If there are rooms that aren’t used at all, turn them down to 1 or off – why heat rooms that aren’t being used?
Turn room thermostats down
With the cost of Gas prices recently, you could save £100s just by turning your room stat down from the usual 22°C to 21°C! I would recommend that room stats should be set at 18-20°C MAX! If that temperature of the rooms isn’t warm enough, you’re not wearing enough. If you’re wearing enough, and still feeling cold, do some housework, there’s always plenty to do!
Lag/Insulate heating pipes
The temperature difference between the flow and return on your boiler should be no more than 10°C. The lower the temperature difference, the more cost effective your heating system is! To reduce the temperature difference, you can insulate the pipework around your home, this will prevent loss of heat throughout the pipework. Any pipes that are under uninsulated floors and outdoors must be insulated to prevent heat loss.
Insulate the loft
Heat rises. Insulating the loft in your home will keep the warm air in the property. If your loft doesn’t have insulation, all the warm air your heating is producing, is just being drawn out of the property through the roof. You may as well throw your money out of the window!
Once you’ve finished cooking in the oven and turned it off, leave the oven door open, the heat will disperse into the room, heating the room up!
Freebee TIP x2!
Not gas related… But your kettle contributes massively to your energy bills. Remember Boris Johnson telling everyone to buy a new kettle, to save £10 on your electricity bills?
If you find yourself boiling the kettle 3-4 times a day, buy yourself a flask, boil the kettle once, and store the hot water in the flask, which will last all day for your cups of teas!