Oil heater in bedroom

Heating by oil? 5 top tips to combat the price rise

Heating costs are already one of the single biggest regular expenses for homeowners - and the recent increases in energy prices are a huge concern for many homeowners - including those who rely on oil-fired heating. Read on for some top tips from our experts to help reduce unnecessary fuel consumption and keep your bills a little lower.

1. Keep your radiators on

It may sound counter-intuitive, but leading boiler manufacturer Viessmann, specialists in energy efficient heating, advise homeowners against turning radiators completely off during colder seasons, as this can actually reduce the overall efficiency of your heating. Instead, it is far better to leave them at a very low temperature to avoid using extra energy to heat a home that is cold.

2. Use adequate insulation

One of the biggest causes of heat loss, especially in older, rural homes is also one of the most often overlooked - your heating pipes. These pipes carry hot heating water all around your house, and given the distance the water travels, heat loss can be significant if adequate measures are not taken to prevent it.

A modest investment in insulating your central heating pipes can result in the water reaching the radiators at 2-4°C hotter, which over time adds up to a significant increase in efficiency - and that equals less energy use. You may even be able to reduce the water temperature setting on your oil boiler for even greater savings.

3. Get used to a lower temperature

You’ve likely heard it before but it deserves reiterating. Lower temperatures = less energy = more savings. Reducing the temperature of your home by as little as 1°C can result in energy savings as high as 6%, which will make your oil last considerably longer. In most cases, you won’t even feel the difference - except in your finances, which is where it matters most. Imagine what going down a degree or two more can achieve.

While different temperatures are sometimes desirable for different rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms, it is generally agreed that a temperature of between 18°C - 21°C is the optimum temperature for the home, not just when it comes to saving energy, but also for general health. If you can adapt to the lower end of this range, you can really start to save. Smart devices can help with this by making it possible to optimise temperatures in different parts of your home by setting ‘zones’.

4. Keep your radiators clear

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth remembering that radiators work by radiating heat into the air in the room. They cannot do this efficiently if there is not enough air circulation - and that’s why keeping your radiators clean and clear is another key to reducing bills. Curtains, sofas and other soft furnishings are all common culprits that can have a big impact on efficiency.

Even dirty radiators with a lot of dust build up can result in unneccessary fuel consumption, as they are having to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. Taking the time to clean them regularly can actually save you money.

5. Prevent draughts

Having a drafty home is like having a hole in your wallet - you are literally allowing money to vanish before your eyes. Draughts can quickly eat into your oil reserves and can even affect performance if you have have a new generation, energy saving boiler. Make sure that window seals are intact and preventing any airflow. You can detect any air currents with the back of your hand when it is cooler at night.

Even the slightest of draughts can cause a radiator to work much harder than it needs to, as it is constantly trying to heat up this stream of cold air. If you do have poorly sealed windows, consider replacing the seals and adjusting the latches if they have become loose. Getting a specialist to have a look may save you both time and money in the long run. Using thermal blinds and/or curtains can also have a big impact, while upgrading to modern double or triple glazing can also help reduce energy wastage.

Concerned by the energy price rise? Speak to our boiler experts today to learn more about how you can keep your bills as low as possible. Call D. R. Plumbing & Heating today on Wrexham 01978 291 923 or Mold 01352 620 125.

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