It’s a well-known fact here on this blog that not only is my husband is very
tight particular about where and how we spend our money it’s also a well documented fact if we can save even a few pence within our grasp then it has to be done.
So when I heard about Netmums and British Gas teaming up this week to spread the word far and wide over here: http://britishgas.netmums.com/on why its important to save money on our energy, I got excited and by that I mean, almost as excited at the prospect of a warm bath and snug home this time last year when we had no boiler for a week …
I can quite honestly it was the most frustrating week of all time. Have you ever lived without a functioning boiler for any amount of time while on antibiotics? top that off with a course of antibiotics rendering me unable to drink …. I have and it was not a pretty nor pleasant sight… (obviously the alcohol would have been for medicinal purposes only you understand)
On having the new boiler in stalled have we noticed anything? … apart from hot water literally on tap we are saving around £25 per month on our bills for a start, after we changed from the old back boiler to a new combi boiler our previously set monthly Direct Debit had to be reduced as we got to the point they were owing us almost!
Having saved so much we have been constantly looking for ways to save and so we have also: turned our washer down to 30, had cavity wall insulation and loft installed, we are using energy-saving light bulbs wherever we can and have even capped off our chimney as it was blowing a gale down into the living room!
Since I am now running short on ideas of how we can make more changes to save yet more money, when I recently got the opportunity to ask an Official British Gas Engineer a question I had a burning question that has always puzzled me:
Is it cheaper to leave heating on all the time at a set temperature or is it cheaper to turn off completely and then just have it to come on a timer?
“The basic answer is, it is almost always cheaper to have it on a timer rather than on constant at a lower temp. With modern boilers (on the correct settings – general recommendations below) you should be able to heat a property from cold to comfortable (18-21°C) in about 25-30 minutes. So you are better working the boiler for this amount of time just before you need the heating rather than running constantly on a room thermostat (which overnight may be bringing the boiler on for up to 20 minutes an hour anyway) & if you do not have a room thermostat it will be considerably more expensive to run the system constantly.
Boiler Thermostat: This controls how hot the water is that goes to your taps/radiators/under floor pipes. The higher this is the hotter these will be, heating the home sooner. Most boilers and water cylinders have a minimum temperature of 40°C and a maximum of 80°C. If you have a room thermostat we recommend the following depending on the boiler type:
- Combination boiler: The thermostat is located on the front of the boiler and should be set as follows depending if you can control your water and heating separately:
- Two Dial – Set at maximum for heating (dial with radiator symbol) in winter and halfway or lower in summer. Halfway or lower for hot water all year.
- Single Dial – Maximum in winter, halfway in summer. Be careful of the temperature of the hot water.
- Back boiler with a fire: The thermostat is located under the fire or at the side of the boiler and should be set as follows;
- Set at maximum in winter and halfway in summer. If your water cylinder has a thermostat this should be set at halfway all year.
- Conventional boiler with separate water cylinder: The thermostat is located on the front of the boiler and cylinder and should be set as follows;
- Set dial at maximum in winter and halfway summer. If your water cylinder has a thermostat this should be set at halfway all year.
If you have a water tank and this does not have a thermostat, you must be careful of the temperature of the hot water when the boiler is turned to maximum
In all cases, when the boiler thermostat is set to maximum, the radiators and pipes will be extremely hot and could cause a burn if touched so be careful.
Room thermostat: If you have one it should be set between 18-21ºC. It is also recommended to be in a well heated room. Every degree above 18ºC will add up to 5-10% to your consumption.
Extra room thermostats: Aside from your main room thermostat, you may have other room thermostats. You should leave your main thermostat around 18-21°C and adjust the temperature in the other rooms as low as 10-15°C if you don’t need them as warm.
No Room thermostat: If you do not have a room thermostat the boiler thermostat controls the temperature of your property, find a position that you find comfortable. The lower this is the less gas it will use but the longer it will take to get warm. Without one your heating will be on constantly until you turn the boiler off rather than turning on and off intermittently depending on the temperature of the house. This will result in you using more gas than if you had a room thermostat so we would recommend getting one.
Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs): Lowering the temperature on your TRVs will slightly reduce your consumption and allow you to control your comfort level. If you have TRVs on the radiators in the same room as the house thermostat, make sure these are turned to maximum to control the room thermostat correctly.
Timer/programmer: If you use radiators for your central heating, we recommend having your timer set to come on about 15 minutes before you need the heating on and go off about 30 minutes before you need it off. If you use under floor heating we recommend having your timer set to come on about 45 minutes before you need the heating on and go off about 15 minutes before you”
So there you have it folks the age-old question has now been answered, however since I have been obviously been working it the wrong way and costing myself more than I need too.
However it seems that Netmums and British Gas are equally as excited to help not only me with some great advice and tips on how to make the most of our energy but also they are very kindly giving one of my readers a Hive Active Heating Kit worth £199 of their very own! Which I have to say I am really rather impressed with, since I fell in love with this product quite some time ago when I wrote about it keeping people warm in winter.
Don’t worry you don’t have to be a customer of British Gas either! however there are some instillation restrictions so please do pop over and read them and don’t forget the full terms and conditions on the Rafflecopter below!
So what are you waiting for Good Luck!
Please note: UK entrants only
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