The home heating system of your choice is one of the most important components of your property and is relied upon almost every day, no matter the time of year. Not only does a fully-functioning, effective heating system help to keep you cosy during the Winter months, but also contributes towards lower energy bills.
How Does Home Heating Work?
The type of home heating system that you use often depends on the age of your property and of course, your personal preferences. Those who live in older homes or on coastal locations are likely to have a fireplace, which is the most traditional form of home heating. Although it is an organic alternative to using gas, electricity and oil to heat your home, opting to relax in front of an open fire each evening does require considerably more work. Both coal and logs can be used to fuel an open fire, as well as stoves, and are great if you hope to become a little more environmentally friendly.
The second and most popular form of keeping your home super cosy is central heating. Central heating can in fact prove to be cheaper than its alternatives, only if you spend time shopping around and finding the best deal to suit your requirements – which is something that we’ll give you some handy, expert tips on later in the article! There are a few key controls on your central heating system which allows you to find the perfect temperature, along with the option to set up a timer. The timer can, for example, warm up your home ready for when you wake up in the morning, making those cold mornings just that little bit more manageable. The ability to control the temperature of your home is one of the biggest advantages of opting for central heating over an open fire.
Why Switch Energy Provider?
According to Statista, a huge 95% of homeowners in the UK use a central heating system to heat their home, which means that it is not uncommon for some to fall into the trap of getting comfortable with a provider and end up paying a fortune. There are a few key signs that suggest you need to consider switching energy providers and track down a new, cost-effective residential gas plan.
If you have been a homeowner for many years, yet have never switched energy provider or do not remember the last time that you did, it is more than likely that you would be able to find a considerably lower deal elsewhere. While loyalty and comfortability are usually some of the most influential factors that put you off switching, it will be worth it when you notice a huge drop in your energy bills. If you have been with the same provider for years, then not only will you begin to turn a blind eye on the rising tariffs, but you’ll also surprise yourself with how cheap you can get the same service for elsewhere.
The energy industry is incredibly competitive, which means that new companies will work hard to try to win you over, and your current supplier will give you discounts to try to persuade you to stay with them. If you’ve been with the same energy provider for a long period of time, it’s likely that you do not pay much attention to your bill when it arrives. Switching provider will allow you to take more control over your energy plan and force you to evaluate different companies.
How Do You Choose The Best Provider?
If you are switching energy provider, or are new homeowner, taking out a gas plan will require a lot of research. You need to understand what you want out of your provider, how much you are willing to spend and your key requirements.
Always ensure that you spend time comparing suppliers and tariffs, as it is ever so important not to jump straight into the best deal that you come across. If you have ever had to compare something such as car insurance policies, then you will notice that comparing energy suppliers is very similar. Most popular comparison sites such as MoneySupermarket and uSwitch allow you to view hundreds of different providers in just a few minutes. All you will need to do is submit key details about yourself such as where you live, how many people live in your house and what type of fuel you use, and you will be given tonnes of different options to filter through.
As one of the fastest growing energy providers in the UK, we also provide all website users with a ‘get a quote’ tool to allow them to find the cheapest quote to suit their requirements. All we need to know is your current address along with the type of energy you want and how much energy you plan to use. You could find yourself the perfect tariff in as little as 60 seconds!
When you’re faced with a huge list of energy supplier options, it can become somewhat overwhelming and tricky to know where to start. Begin with considering whether the supplier is able to give you the support you need. If they have a high standard of customer service, this will generally mean that that will be able to help you efficiently, should you ever have any questions or issues that need resolving. Also, take time to thoroughly read through their terms and conditions. Although terms and conditions are usually a document which you’ll skim read, it is vital to ensure that you make yourself aware of the key details. Ask yourself questions such as, do they charge for call-outs? Do you have to pay a fee for cancelling? Will your tariff increase if you make a late payment? If these are all additional costs that you would not feel comfortable paying for, then they may not be the best provider for you.
How Can You Maintain Your Home Heating System?
There is nothing worse than a broken central heating system when you need it the most, meaning it is vital to carry out basic maintenance tasks to ensure to keep the risk of an issue to a minimum.
Your radiators are often the best resource to indicate that there is a problem brewing in your central heating and can be detected simply by checking for cold spots. Over time, a build-up of air becomes trapped in the radiator, which prevents heated water from being able to circulate, therefore making them feel cold. In this case, you will need to bleed your radiator. Bleeding your radiator is relatively simple, however, does require some extra care until you get the hang of the process. Before beginning, always ensure that both your central heating and hot water is switched off, then wait until you can feel that the radiators are completely cold. As water will leak out of the radiator while bleeding, it is important to cover the surface underneath to prevent damaged flooring. To carry out the job, you will need to purchase a radiator key, which can be picked up for as little as a few pounds from retailers such as Screwfix and B&Q. Use your key to slightly unscrew the top of the radiator and allow the excess water to be released. For a full guide on how to bleed a radiator, take a look at 24/7 Home Rescue.
If you have a gas boiler, then it is also important to keep an eye out on the pilot light, which when fully functioning, should remain a strong blue colour. Many are unaware of how dangerous a change in pilot light colour can be and do not consider that it is a prominent sign that your boiler is potentially releasing carbon monoxide into your home. This means that if you detect an orange or yellow flame, it is strongly recommended to enlist the help of a Gas Safe engineer to take a closer look.
The potentially fatal problem of a faulty boiler leads us on to the importance of ensuring that your home is fitted with a carbon monoxide detector. There are little signs of a carbon monoxide leak, and the gas is commonly both colourless and odourless, which means that an adequate detector is required to keep you and your family safe from poisoning. It is your choice whether you opt for a detector which is fit for both smoke and carbon monoxide or purchase two seperate ones.
What Are The Best Ways To Save On Energy Bills?
There are four more key ways, aside from switching energy providers, that can help to save money on your energy bills, some proving to be more beneficial than others, these are:
1. Full Insulation Of Both The Walls And Loft
To achieve maximum results, it is recommended to ensure that your loft, cavity walls and solid walls are all insulated, as it is thought to save you over £200 in energy bills. As heat rises up, insulating your loft stops any heat from being lost through the roof and along with the accompaniment of wall insulation, ensures that it only circulates around the home.
2. Purchasing Energy-Efficient Appliances
Appliances such as washing machines, tumble dryers and fridges are all used on a daily basis, which means that together, they amount to a huge rise in energy bills. The older the appliance, the more energy consumption it will require, which means that you may want to consider replacing it. Almost every necessity in the home now comes in an energy efficient alternative, which together could save you hundreds annually.
3. Boiler Replacement
As mentioned previously, 95% of homeowners in the UK utilise a central heating system to keep their property warm, which means that up to half of your annual bills go on heating. The latest boilers come alongside a programmer and room thermostat, which allows you to have full control over your heating. It means you can alter the heating to meet your requirements and only turn on when it is needed the most. Ultimately, there will be no energy wasted on heating that you do not necessarily need.
4. Switch To LED Light Bulbs
The lighting in your home is often not considered to be a huge factor that contributes towards your energy bills, however, can save you up to £200 a year if you switch. Not only are LED light bulbs incredibly more eco-friendly, but they are also the most energy-efficient alternative to lighting your home. LED lightbulbs cost less than £5 to initially buy and cost only around £1.56 to run annually, compared to the considerably more expensive £9.66 that you will have to pay a year for a traditional light bulb.
Take Control Of Your Heating & Save Money!
We hope that our article has helped to give some helpful information into how important it is to ensure that you, not only have the correct home heating to suit your requirements, but also utilise the energy-efficient alternatives to your advantage. If you have found it useful, then why not share these tips with your friends and family on social media?