It’s a wise move to sort out the heating before autumn and winter arrive, but if you don’t go about heating your home the right way you stand to waste energy and therefore money on energy bills. Energy prices are on the rise, and even homeowners who are able to reduce their energy bills with solar energy are feeling the pinch when they find themselves in need of grid electricity, which is often the case in winter when there isn’t enough sunlight to meet their home energy needs. Many of the mistakes that homeowners make are avoidable, so take note of the following six commonly made mistakes that could see you paying far larger energy bills than you need to.
1. Neglecting the boiler and heating unit in spring and summer:
It’s all too easy to forget about the boiler and heating unit when it isn’t in use; however, boilers and heating units need to be maintained all year long, and not only during autumn and winter when they get a workout. There’s generally no need to have your boiler and heating unit serviced in spring and summer. Just give it a clean every two or three months and turn it on, just as you would a car that isn’t getting driven as often as it should.
2. Ignoring drafts throughout the house:
Drafts that allow cold air to enter your home can increase your need for home heating and push your energy bills higher. By eliminating drafts throughout your home, you’ll have less need for home heating and your energy bills could be significantly lower as a result. Some drafts are obvious and easy to find, like under-the-door drafts, however, some are much less obvious and you’ll need to find them and seal them. Attics, basements and chimneys are among the most common places for drafts, as are windows, and even electrical outlets and lighting fixtures. So, check your house for drafts and seal them when you find them. You can use a lit candle – if the flame flickers you’ve found a draft – or contact your energy company, many provide free home inspections.
3. Raising the temperature too high:
Putting your boiler and heating unit through their paces is never a wise move. And when one takes into account just how much a boiler can cost to repair, or even worse replace, it becomes immediately obvious that you need to take it easy on your home heating appliances.
4. Lowering the temperature too low at night:
It seems like a good way to keep energy usage down, but when you lower the temperature too much at night your heating appliances have to work overtime the following morning to heat what has now become a cold house.Lower the temperature at night, but not to the point where you wake up to a cold home and it becomes necessary for your heating appliances to put themselves through their paces.
5. Keeping the curtains drawn during the day:
The more natural light that enters your home the warmer it will be and the less it will cost you to heat. However, whilst you should keep the curtains open during the day to allow the sun to warm your home, you should draw them closed at night to keep the warmth in. To maximise the effect, double-glazed windows are an excellent choice because they offer around twice the insulation properties of regular windows, minimising heat loss during autumn and winter.
6. Buying the wrong space heater:
There are two types of space heaters; convection heaters and radiant heaters. Convection heaters take longer to heat up, but they’re better able to hold the heat than radiant heaters which tend to lose the heat they’ve accumulated much more quickly. Convection heaters are the better choice for long-term use, whilst radiant heaters are generally a better choice for small rooms that need to be heated quickly. Use the wrong heater for a particular space you’re trying to heat and your energy bills will increase rapidly. Most homeowners’ and landlords’ energy bills rise during autumn and winter, though with the right approach to home heating and the appropriate appliances, there’s no need for them to go through the roof.