As one of Cork’s leading home heating oil suppliers, we have the knowledge to offer you guidance on saving on your energy bills. By making some simple changes, you can save money on your home heating which is better for your pocket and the environment too. And of course we have our Monthly Payment Plans to help you budget for the year ahead. These plans ensure you can spread out the cost of your home heating bills. So here are our favourite Top Ten Tips for Saving on Your Energy Bills.
1. SET THE CORRECT TEMPERATURE FOR YOUR HOME
Ideally your main living areas should be kept at 20 degrees Celsius. Temperatures in the hallways and bedrooms should be slightly cooler, between 15-18 degrees Celsius. Is your bedroom too warm at night? This can often lead to a restless sleep and you should allow for a good flow of fresh air during the day. You can reduce your heating bill by 10% by lowering your room temperature by just one degree? So you should adjust your thermostat accordingly.
2. MATCH YOUR HEATING TIMES TO YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE
Everyone’s daily routines are different from home to home. The best way to save on your home heating bills is ensuring that you have a heating schedule that suits your routine. Your heating should really only come on when you need it. It is wasteful to have the heating on when it’s not needed or nobody is home. Interestingly radiators will continue to heat your home for at least 30 minutes after the heating is turned off.
Contrary to popular opinion, turning up the thermostat will not heat your home any quicker. Turning it on 30 minutes before you need it at a lower temperature is preferable. You should use this as a guide when you are setting the times for your own heating schedule. Make sure you make use of the holiday mode on your settings too. This will ensure your heating only comes on for minimum time if needed when you’re away for prolonged periods of time.
3. UPGRADE YOUR HEATING SYSTEM
Initially this may seem like an expensive job. It’s worth noting that there is a grant of €700 available through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). This grant is there to help you finance an upgrade to your heating system. You find out more about it here.
There has been a lot of advancements in technology in recent years. We can now control our home heating system from our smartphones or mobile device. So you can adjust the time and temperature of your heating when you’re out of the house. The bonus of this is that you can always come home to a cosy house. And it’s really easy to program your daily and weekly routines bearing in mind the points we discussed above. By embracing this technology you can be sure you will be saving on your energy bills.
4. ZONE IN ON SAVING ON YOUR ENERGY BILLS
Most home heating systems allow for having different zones in your home. This means that you can just heat the areas of your home that are actually in use. The majority of homes will have each floor in the house as a separate zone for example. Another zone could be listed as the Hot Water. The idea is that you will have different thermostats in each zone.
Positioning these thermostats in the correct room is also very important. Thermostats measure the temperature of the room that they are positioned in using an air sensor and/or floor sensor depending on your system. They must be positioned in a room that will accurately reflect the true temperature of your home. This will ensure that your home heating system is working in the most efficient manner. Never position a thermostat near a door or window, in direct sunlight or near heat sources such as radiators, lamps and oven. You need to get the most accurate reading for the temperature of your home.
5. DON’T ALLOW HEAT TO ESCAPE
Once you have set up your heating system, you should take all steps necessary to keep the heat in the rooms in use. Closing doors between rooms that are heated and those that are not will ensure heat is not escaping and being wasted. Taking the time to check for draughts coming in through windows, doors and keyholes is a valuable task. You can invest in self-adhesive rubber seals that are both cost-effective and easy to install around windows and doors. In the evenings, close the curtains to reduce the possibility of heat escaping. It may be worthwhile adding a thermal layer to your curtains for extra heat insulation. If you have a fireplace that is not in use, you could invest in a chimney balloon which will keep heat in and will reduce any draughts.
6. ALLOW YOUR RADIATORS TO HEAT THE ROOM
All of your radiators should have valves that you can adjust the temperature or turn them off when rooms are not in use. This will save you money and energy as you will not be paying for heating rooms you are not going to benefit from. You should try and keep your radiators clear from any obstructions such as sofas so that the heat can be allowed to circulate the room. During the winter, it’s a lot more difficult to dry your laundry however it’s not good practice to dry your clothes on the radiators. This reduces the amount of heat supplied by the radiators so use a clothing rack near the radiators instead. You may want to invest in radiator panels – these are relatively cheap and easy to install and they ensure that heat is directed towards the centre of the room rather than heating the walls.
7. SAVE YOUR HOT WATER
Every home needs a constant supply of hot water throughout the day. However a common myth is that you need to have your water heated all day in case you need it. This can prove to be very costly both to your pocket and the environment. Once your water is heated, it will be stored in an insulated tank that will keep it hot for the day. You don’t need hot water to run your washing machine, dishwasher and electric showers. These use cold water and heat the water with their own heating element. With this in mind, having the water heated for an hour or two in the morning and the evening when the demand is there should be sufficient.
You can invest in an immersion timer which will ensure that you are only heating water when you need it. You should make sure your immersion tank is well insulated with a lagging jacket – this will keep the water heated for longer. The ideal temperature your immersion should be set at is 65 degrees Celsius to avoid overheating. One final point is regarding baths and showers – did you know that showers use just 20% of energy compared to a bath? So, keep those baths as a treat you want to save on your energy bills.
8. SERVICE YOUR HOME HEATING SYSTEM
Having your home heating oil tank and heating system serviced yearly will save on your energy bills. This ensures that they are both working together in the most efficient way. The autumn time is a good opportunity to get your boiler and your oil tank checked out before the long winter ahead, when demand for heating is much higher. When getting your boiler serviced, you should talk to your plumber to make sure you understand your heating settings and how to use them correctly.
Most boilers need to be replaced every ten years so it may work out more economical to upgrade to a more efficient heating system. As we mentioned previously, there is a grant available through the SEAI of €700 so check out the link above. As one of Cork’s leading home heating oil suppliers, we are happy to advise you on the regular maintenance of your home heating oil tank. You may want to read our guide to Looking After Your Home Heating Oil Tank in the Winter Months.
9. SAVE YOUR ELECTRICITY
Saving electricity is an important responsibility for all homeowners. Not only is it better for the environment long term, it’s also better for your pocket. Any electric appliances not in use should be turned off at night or when you are not at home. If you have a lot of different devices, you should consider using a power strip so you can easily unplug all devices at once. Needless to say, turning off lights in rooms that are not in use can save a lot of energy. If your lightbulbs need replacing, choose a more energy efficient type of bulb, such as LED. They might seem more expensive when you’re paying for them. However, they will last longer, especially if you have selected the lowest wattage needed for the room.
Your larger household appliances such as the washing machine, tumble dryers and dishwasher use a lot of energy. Did you know that most of this energy goes into heating the water? Make sure you are getting the full use out of each cycle by selecting the correct setting for the size of the load and running it at a lower temperature if possible. Take advantage of the sunny days to avoid using your tumble dryer. During the winter, invest in a clothing rack for drying the laundry.
10. SAVING ON YOUR ENERGY BILLS IN THE KITCHEN
The kitchen is the room in the house that tends to have the most usage, and holds most of the larger appliances. However, there are small changes you can make in the kitchen to ensure you are saving on your energy bills. One very common thing that happens in every kitchen is boiling the kettle for just one cup of tea! If this is done multiple times a day, it can end up wasting a lot of energy. You should only boil what you need but make sure you have enough water in the kettle to cover the element. When cooking in the kitchen, heat can escape from pots and pans on the hob. By using covers will keep the heat in as well as reducing condensation in the kitchen.
Another energy-guzzling home appliance is the fridge freezer. The ideal temperature for your fridge is 2-3 degrees Celsius in terms of performance and food hygiene. Your freezer should be set to -15 degrees Celsius and you should defrost your freezer every 6 months to maximise its efficiency. Never put hot food straight into your fridge or freezer – always let it cool down first. This is dangerous because it lowers the temperature of your fridge freezer. It also means it has to use more energy to cool it down.
We hope these Top Ten Tips for Saving on Your Energy Bills has been beneficial. We have played a key role in heating homes across Cork for over 30 years by supplying only the best quality home heating oil to our customers. If you require any guidance on your home heating oil supply, give us a call on 022 4222011 or email email@example.com to arrange a refill of home heating oil. Unsure of which fuel to choose? Check out the full range of fuels available on our website www.cityoil.ie or you may want to see our parent company, www.tria.ie