How I’m Cutting Down Boiler Costs This Energy Saving Week

 heating thermostatIt’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: 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? 

New Boiler 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.

Take Control

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.

Hive Interactive HeatingHowever 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! 

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Disclaimer: I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I may have been paid expenses, and have been supplied with a product sample for this review, but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.

This is a Netmum’s sponsored review.To find out more click the button:

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Magic Moments 20/10/14

Magic moments Link Up BadgeHappy Monday! 

Firstly I need to say a massive thank you to Ellie at The Mummy Diary for hosting last weeks link up in my absence, I am sure that she looked after you all fantastically!

I was hoping to get the write up of our trip done last week so I could share it but I have been super busy last week and then had an epic laptop malfunction on Friday followed by an unusable laptop till about 2 hours ago (I am typing this Monday 4.38am) so needless to say it wasn’t very magical…………  but when I got it booted up and working it certainly was!! 

So let lots more magic roll and why not link up what has been magic for you …..

Feel free to tweet me your links throughout the week several times if you would like and I will happily retweet you every time you do .. (please don’t tweet me every post you write this week .. just the Magic Moments one you linked up) 

Don’t forget there is a Magic Moments page on Google+ to, so if you are on G+ feel free to pop over and add your link and visit … also I have just created a Magic Moments collaborative Pintrest board too which you are more than welcome to pin your post onto too! Feel free to email me directly  ( ) so I can make sure I am following and that I can add you to the board too.

If you are new to Magic Moments you can find more information over HERE.

Don’t forget that linkys only work when people take the time to visit and share with others. With such a large crowd linking in please don’t think you have to comment on every one. I know many of you don’t have time for this and it’s unrealistic, however please visit as many as you can manage to share some love and build community spirit.

If you would like to join in  I would love it if you would pop on the Magic Moments badge or a link back to me  as it also helps others to see where you are linking up and they may decided to pop over and link up too! Remember the more people who take part and link up, the more people who are likely to visit, but this is only a polite request not a prerequisite

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#52LittleThings Week 43 – Take An Autumn Walk

52LT-Week-43I am taking part in the #52LittleThings challenge with AXA PPP healthcare to make small changes in my lifestyle, one week at a time to become a healthier and happier person. 

This week its such a really lovely one, Take an Autumn walk, this is something I really enjoyed last year but with some ill-health floating round at the moment when a chance arose I took it! 

Autumn Surprise If you are a regular reader you will know that I returned to play hockey sometime ago, however since being ill I have been advised to not play for a while as I am still having tests. So I have been taking Beth to play instead and  when I got there and found that my friend had her gorgeous little girl there to I offered to keep an eye on both of them. 

Being next to a hockey pitch with 2 toddlers, I was soon running out of ideas fast on what I could do to keep them entertained and I have to say we decided to go look for treasures! …. in Autumn there are so many treasures about.

Autumn Team WorkSo off we set with our bag and our imaginations ready to see what was going to be found, they were both so excited when we found some ‘prickly treasures’

They very swiftly decided that Joshua would be the one to collect the treasures and Lucy would show him where they were and hold the bag open (now that’s clever!) we then discovered some pine cones and some leaves and we had a really heavy bag by the time we were done! 

I was totally honoured to see these little people’s faces as they looked at it all in wonder and started learning about the treasures that Autumn brings. 

All too often these days I am too busy to notice but to take some time out in the fresh air and breathe it in and spend some time with some enthusiastic little folk it was nice to recharge and relax. 
Autumn FindsI now have some other Autumn walks planned with some lists of what we can find  so we can bring back the treasures and make some craft things with them, and do you know what else will make this an epic Autumn …. I can walk myself fitter to as part of an Autumn Fitness Plan .. so I may not be playing hockey for a little while but there is no excuse to keep active.

Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with AXA PPP healthcare’s #52LittleThings and I have been compensated for writing. However all words and thoughts were developed and written by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse

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Silent Sunday 19/10/14

Silent Sunday

                                                          10346308_10154175395310431_4015380282203298267_n  Silent-Sunday

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Banishing Monsters With GoGlow – Giveaway

GoGlow_Monster_AW-01What is it with little ones and the monsters that lurk in their bedrooms?! 

To start with I was sure it was just me that had a child that woke in the night .. those 3am wake up calls and refusals to sleep …. although we haven’t got to the bottom of what are the monsters in this house the children’s specialist lighting brand GoGlow conducted a survey to find the answer.

GoGlow asked 1,000 parents the reasons why their under 5’s were frightened of the dark and 67% said that monsters were on the top of their list! 

So with dark nights here and the Spring and Summer sunshine a long way off its time to look at how to banish those moneter fears! 


If you are hunting for a way to eliminate fears of the dark, children’s sleep expert and founder of Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic, Mandy Gurney has a fun tip to help:

“If your child is afraid of the dark, offer them the reassurance of a night light to have nearby when they need it”

Now the dark nights have set in GoGlow is on hand to help banish any monsters with a lovely lighting range with extra sparkle, its Night Bright range offers a safe and soothing 2-in-1 night light and torch that can be popped down for a night-long glow or lifted up to use as a torch for on the move.
worlds apart competition

For one of my lucky readers they will be able to try and help eliminate any monsters for their little ones as Worlds Apart are very generously giving one winner a Night Bright Light with a choice of either Peppa Pig ot Thomas The Tank engine for their little person. 

Please note: Entrants must have a valid UK address – Full Terms and Conditions can be found on the Rafflecopter widget

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Disclaimer: This prize has been given for the purposes of running a competition, All thoughts and opinions are made independently by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse

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Fisher-Price Imaginext Batcave Review & Giveaway

Fisher-Price Imaginext Batcave ReviewOver here at The Oliver’s Madhouse HQ we have had a very busy 3.5 year old, when the new Fisher-Price Imaginext Batcave arrived for Joshua to put through its paces, little did I know how this Batman Toy  would soon become part of everyday! 

When it arrived we were really impressed with how big it was and also how fantastically well parent ready it was, and by that I mean how little it needed to be ready to play … making for a happy toddler and equally happy parents! 

The playset is packed to the rafters with fab features ideally sized for little fingers … although Daddy did get in on the action on more than one occasion.

You can fire the cannon, reveal secret panels and ride the lift and with extended walkways, open doors and it even comes with a real live launcher and 3 projectiles! … which I must say fire a fantastically impressive way! 

The Batcave comes with a Batman figure, Robin figure, slight suit and a Batcycle! 

The Imaginex Batcave even has a downloadable iPhone app that you can use too.

batcave.jpg We have had a really lovely time road testing the Fisher-Price Imaginext Batcave and it looks like it will remain one of Joshua’s favourite toys. 

I am sure one lucky reader will love the Imaginext Batcave just as much as us as I am able to give one lucky reader one of their very own! 

So what are you waiting for …. Good Luck! 

Please note: UK residents only, full Terms and Conditions can be found on the Rafflecopter widget

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Disclaimer: We received one Fisher Price Imaginext Batcave in order to give an honest review and we were given a second one for the purposes of running a competition, All thoughts and opinions are made independently by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse

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