Lots of us have been reigning in our spending during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, there has been a 34% decrease in the amount of people installing, servicing and repairing their boilers over the past year. But what many homeowners don’t know is that getting a new boiler can save you up to £305 on your annual heating bill, and making sure an older one is in good health is essential for keeping your home safe.
Here are the 5 most effective ways that you can make your home more fuel efficient, plus some crucial information on why it’s important to maintain your boiler.
1. Invest in your boiler
Whether you upgrade to a more energy efficient model or book a regular service to keep it fuel efficient, there’s lots of things you can do to make sure your boiler isn’t adding unnecessary costs to your heating bill.
Benefits of getting a new boiler
- Save money: A new boiler with a Class A energy efficiency label could save you up to £305 annually (depending on the size of your home) according to Uswitch.
- Reduce your carbon footprint: Newer boilers are better for the environment, as they are legally required to have an 88% energy efficiency rating.
- Get more control: Many modern boilers are compatible with smart heating controls, which allow you to customise your heating habits at the touch of a button.
You can upgrade to a biomass boiler for at least two thirds less than it’d normally cost, through the government’s Green Homes Grant.
Benefits of servicing your boiler
- Improved health and safety of your home: Every year, there are hundreds of hospitalisations due to carbon monoxide poisoning. This can be caused if your boiler isn’t combusting fuel safely. Any faults should be spotted during a service.
- Maintains your warranty or business insurance policy: If you don’t get your boiler serviced regularly, many providers will void your warranty or business insurance policy. Check with your provider to see how often you need to get yours done.
- Extends the lifespan of your boiler: The more often you get yours serviced, the quicker a gas and heating engineer can spot any potential problems before they become more expensive to fix – or, outright unfixable.
2. Get a smart thermostat
Smart thermostats help you track your energy use and manage your heating – even when you’re not at home! Most models give you feedback on your heating usage and point out areas where you can improve.
They also have special features that make sure you’re not using up unnecessary energy. An example is multi-room control, which allows you to heat different rooms individually. Read more about how smart thermostats can save you money.
3. Insulate cavity walls
Did you know that one third of heat loss is through uninsulated walls? If you have cavity walls, which are made up of two walls with a gap between them (a cavity), then install wall insulation to keep heat from escaping through them. So, you won’t need to keep your heating on for as long as you usually would.
Cavity wall insulation is now even cheaper to install in your home, as it’s covered by a voucher worth up to £5,000 that you can get through the Green Homes Grant.
4. Upgrade to energy efficient windows
If you haven’t already, then upgrade your windows to double or triple-glazed ones. Each pane of glass is separated by a gap filled with insulating air. This reduces the amount of heat that leaves your home. Plus, all new uPVC, timber or aluminium windows must have a Window Energy rating of C or above (A++ windows are the most energy-efficient).
If you have single glazed windows in your home, then you can replace them with double or triple glazing, or add secondary glazing to them, through the Green Homes Grant.
5. Install roof or loft insulation
With 25% of heat in your home escaping through your roof if it’s uninsulated, it’s an important place to look at if you want to save money on your heating bill. Roof/loft insulation traps the heat that rises from the lower levels of your house. This is particularly essential for making a loft conversion warm and cosy!