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Energy Saving Tips

With the ongoing increase in energy costs in the UK, more of us are becoming conscious of our gas and electricity consumption. Here are 10 tips to help you save money on your bills.

woman turning down a thermostat on the wall

What you'll learn here

  • 10 top tips on how to lower your energy consumption
  • Small, quick adjustments

07 min.

Knowing what measures you can take to minimise your energy usage is beneficial in keeping our household bills down, particularly during the colder months.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save up to £445 a year on your energy bills by making small changes. From switching off standby to draft-proofing and keeping your heating system running efficiently, find out how you can save money on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

1. Insulation and draught-proofing

Poor insulation is one of the primary causes for making your home feel colder. By properly insulating your home, it can lower the time you need to use central heating, which can reduce heating bills.

Older homes often have poor insulation, particularly around windows and doors. This means that cold air can enter your home and warm air can escape, leading you to turning up the heating on your thermostat to keep a comfortable temperature. Heating on your thermostat.

Draught excluders and weatherstripping tape work by blocking cold and warm air moving between the outside the home and inside (or between rooms). It works by sealing any potential gaps under the door, around windows or door ledges which are typical spots for heat loss.

In addition to sealing gaps in windows and doors, it is important that the rest of your home is well insulated. Your roof is the one of the biggest contributors of heat loss in your property. Ensuring that it is properly insulated could make a difference minimising heat loss and reducing energy bills.

Your home may also benefit from upgrading your windows to double or triple glazing. This creates an additional layer between the cold external air and warm air inside your home.

Man wearing a shirt using his left hand to turn down a Vaillant thermostat on a white wall.

2. Use a thermostat to control your heating

Regulating your heating and hot water with your thermostat is an efficient way of ensuring your home is at a comfortable temperature without being wasteful. Vaillant have a wide range of controls available to help you manage your home’s heat consumption.

Smart heating controls can be a great way to keep track of your energy usage and reduce your energy bills.

Smart thermostats (such as the sensoCOMFORT, sensoHOME and sensoROOM) provide the most flexibility when controlling your home’s heating. They can be used completely remotely via mobile app or via a voice assistant such as Alexa or Apple HomeKit. This gives you full flexibility to adjust your heating to meet your needs.

Vaillant's myVAILLANT app allows you to control the temperature of your home, anytime, anywhere – so you no longer have to worry about running up your bills and wasting energy while you’re out the house!

Read our ultimate guide to smart heating to find out more.

3. Maintain your heating system

Maintaining your heating system helps to ensure that it is running as efficiently as possible, saving money and energy.

Some key maintenance tips include:

  • Bleeding your radiators - allows warm water to circulate through the entire radiator, helping to give out the correct amount of heat.
  • Annual boiler servicing - a yearly boiler service ensures its running at maximum efficiency and performing correctly.
  • Checking your boiler pressure - your boiler pressure on the press gauge should show between 1 and 2 bars. If it is too high or too low, it can affect your heating system.
  • Upgrading your boiler - opt for a modern heating system or switch to a low carbon solution such as a heat pump.

Sometimes your system may need a power flush. This must be carried out by a heating engineer and involves removing any build up in the boiler, pipes and radiators that could be affecting the efficiency.

If you’re looking to replace or upgrade your boiler, or modernise your home with a heat pump, find a local Vaillant installer.

4. Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree

If you don’t have a weather compensation control, simply turning your thermostat down by one degree each day until you begin to feel the cold. This could help to reduce your energy consumption, potentially lowering your energy bills.

Once you begin to feel cold again, turn it back up by one degree to make sure you reach a comfortable temperature.

The Met Office recommends that our homes should vary between 18 and 21 degrees during the winter. Its crucial to take into account an person's age, any existing health issues, and the nature of the room you're warming.

5. Switch off standby

An easy way to save energy at home is to switch off standby. Most electrical appliances, like televisions and laptops, use power unless they are unplugged.

By turning off appliances at the plug, you can save around £50 a year. You could also consider smart plugs or timers to automate switching off your electronics when you know they won’t be used.

6. Leave space around your radiators

If you tend to hang wet clothes on your radiators instead of using a tumble dryer, you're blocking heat that could be helping to keep your house warm instead.

Doing this can create condensation and mould as damp clothes hung on your radiators produce excess moisture that settles on cold surfaces in your home.

Rather than placing wet clothes onto the radiator, use a clothes airer and put it near to the radiator to help them dry quicker. This will help the performance of your radiators.

Similarly, placing a large piece of furniture in front of the radiator can also have the same effect. Although this can not always be avoided if you have limited space in your home,be sure to leave some space between the furniture and the radiator to let heat flow freely around your home.

Photo of male homeowner sat on sofa next to radiator

7. Open and close your curtains and blinds at the right time

Although its cold and grey in winter, we occasionally get a sunny day. Opening your blinds or curtains to let the warmth in can help to heat your home.

When it begins get dark, this is the optimal time to close your blinds and curtains as they act as great insulators. It helps to prevent any heat that is already inside your home from being transferred outside.

Your home tends to lose heat through conduction, meaning that the warm air inside will seek out and transfer outside. This can happen if you have thinly lined curtains as they tend not to retain much heat.

Upgrading to thermal curtains that are made from heavier and thicker materials are a great energy saving option. They provide an additional layer of insulation that can be essential in keeping your house warm.

8. Use energy saving lightbulbs

LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy than regular halogen lightbulbs. Although they cost more to purchase, according to the Energy Saving Trustthey can cut your carbon dioxide emission by up to 50kg annually and save around £40 per year on energy bills

9. Swap to an energy efficient shower head

Installing an energy efficient shower head can save up to £40 a year. They reduce the amount of water used when you shower by aerating the water or regulating the flow.

Some water companies offer them for free, but you can easily pick one up at your local home improvement store.

10. Use your appliances efficiently

Although your electrical appliances are an essential part of everyday living, using them in the most efficient way possible. Making some small changes to your daily habits can help lead to significant savings on your bills.

A few small adjustments can include:

Taking shorter showers

Showers are considerably more energy efficient than running a bath each day. However, taking a shorter shower can help to lead to even greater savings on your bills.

Put your washing on a cold and quick cycle

The misconception that putting your clothes on a hot wash is the only way to clean them. However, putting your clothes on a hot cycle can be more costly, as high temperatures require a larger amount of electricity. Instead, putting your wash on a 30 degree wash could use up to 57% less energy, whilst still cleaning your clothes just as well!

It can also be beneficial to do a larger wash, less frequently, even if that just means putting one less wash on per week. Using your washing machine less often but with bigger loads can help contribute to lowering both your energy and water use.

Don’t overfill the kettle

When making a hot drink, only fill the kettle up with the amount of water you require. Filling the kettle up to the maximum each time you need hot water is not only wasteful, but it also is not an efficient way to use your kettle, as more water will require your kettle to use more energy to reach the boiling point.

Adjust the temperature of your fridge freezer

Your fridge freezer is an essential item in your home, but they do tend to use a fair amount of electricity to store your food at the right temperature.

Adjusting the temperature of your freezer by a degree can help to reduce your energy bills as it's not having to work as hard to keep your food cool.

Its important to not overcrowd your freezer as the more items, the harder the appliance as to work, requiring more energy in the process.

Use ‘eco’ mode on your appliances if possible

Modern electrical appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and microwaves tend to have an ‘eco’ setting available, meaning they operate at a lower speed and cooler temperatures. By opting for the eco setting, your appliances are using less energy helping to save money on your bills.

For older appliances, consider investing in a more efficient model for longer term benefits including energy savings and warranty cover.