SPRING may be around the corner, but many of us plan on keeping the heating on for at least a few more weeks.
With energy bills still eye-wateringly expensive, it’s important to only use your radiators when you really need them, to help keep a lid on costs.
In fact, there are optimal times to turn your heating on and off each day to stay warm and still save cash.
Jordan Chance, a heating expert from PlumbNation, told The Sun: “Heating needs differ for every household, but I’d suggest programming your heating to come on half an hour before you alarm goes off in the morning.
"This gives your radiators ample time to warm up and spread the heat, before you start moving about.”
For those heading out to work, or out for the day, Jordan recommends shutting your heating off 30 minutes before you leave.
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“This allows a substantial buffer period in which you will be comfortably warm before the heat dissipates and escapes your home,” said Jordan.
“For optimal comfort upon returning, heating should be turned on 30 minutes before you plan to be back at your house or flat.
"This is key to getting rooms such as the kitchen and living room warmed up sufficiently.”
Given that you won’t make the most of your radiators being on at night, the money-saving whizz recommends you apply the 30-minute guideline once again.
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“Shut your heating off half an hour before you plan to turn in for the night,” he said.
“This will provide a comfortable buffer period in which you are cosy before settling down in bed.
"If you feel you absolutely need to have the heating on during the night, I’d suggest turning it down.
"Your body’s temperature fluctuates during the night, and overheating can disrupt your sleep pattern.”
Cost of keeping your heating on
Jordan is keen to point out that leaving your heating on low all day does not reduce your heating bills.
“Having the heating on only as and when you need it is the best way to save energy,” he said.
“Using a thermostat with a timer offers a simple and speedy solution to controlling your heating effectively.”
Recent figures from CheckaTrade showed the average cost of running your heating per hour is 11.51p.
For someone with a 25 kW boiler, this could mean a cost of £2.76 an hour.
If you kept it on for 24 hours, this would cost you £66.24.
You can soon slash this figure by turning your heating off.
For those working from home, Jordan suggests savings can be made by only heating the room you use during working hours.
“The same 30-minute timeframes apply,” he said.
“But instead of turning on the entire home heating system, look to isolate the heating so it is on in just one room.
"This can mean big savings on heating bills.”
Households are currently paying an average of £2,500 a year for their gas and electricity under the price cap.
However, energy bills are set to rise by £500 to £3,000 a year for the typical household from April 1.
Some consumers are also being hit by unexpected price rises now.
This is because the energy price guarantee is only a cap on unit rates.
This means that if you use more energy, you could find yourself paying more than the average household.
If you don't have a timer
If your central heating system doesn’t have a timer or any form of control to manage the energy output to different rooms, Jordan recommends investing in thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs).
“With these valves installed, you can manually adjust the energy output in different rooms in your house,” he said.
“This is a great way to prevent heat from being wasted in rooms which are not in use.”
At Wickes, you can pick up TRVs from around £16, while at Screwfix, some cost from just a tenner.
Experts claim that using TRVs correctly could potentially half your bill.
Jordan is a big fan of smart heating controls.
“Homes with these systems have greater accuracy in thermostat-to-boiler communication, preventing energy from being wasted, and saving you money,” he said.
“A great benefit is the fact you can control your heating from virtually anywhere.”
This can be helpful if, say, you have accidentally left your heating on, or if you didn’t predict a cold snap before you left for a day out.
Jordan added: “A smart thermostat will allow you to use your heating efficiently.
"Smart controls learn from your habits and build a schedule which works perfectly for your household, ensuring your boiler is operating as efficiently as possible.”
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PlumbNation has a heating calculator which enables you to measure the ideal amount of heat units for each room in your home while the heating is on.
This can be a helpful way to ensure you are not overspending on your monthly energy bill.
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