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Practical Heating Tips

For over 140 years, Vaillant heating systems have been delivering comfort for homes across the world. Whilst heating systems have come a pretty long way in over 100 years, we’ve picked up quite a few tips and tricks to help people get the most out of their boilers and central heating systems - reducing their energy bills at the same time.

Why worry about using efficient boiler settings? Well, not only do you stand to save money from needing to run your heating as often, but you’ll increase the longevity of your central heating system and be helping the environment too. Here are just a few of our top tips for keeping you and your family warm and cosy.

Should I leave my heating on all the time?

There’s been a great deal of conflicting advice about whether to leave your heating running at all times at a lower temperature or whether to simply turn it on when you feel cold. Essentially, your home is always going to be losing heat in some way or another, so there is some credence in ensuring your heating counteracts that. The reality, however, is that this method of heating your home is actually surprisingly inefficient. The constant offset between heat generated and lost in your home results in less efficient heating when you actually need it.

We recommend simply turning your heating on when your home feels cold, as you’ll only be using energy when required, saving you money and energy long-term. This will also reduce the overall wear and tear on your boiler and ensure consistent operation. Furthermore, you won’t be wasting energy when you don’t need heating - when you’re sleeping or out of the house, for example.

For the best results, use a smart control or thermostat

One of the best ways to keep your home at just the right temperature and automate turning your boiler on and off is to install a smart control. They can be retrofitted to your existing boiler and it ensures you only use exactly the right amount of energy your home needs, only switching on to heat your home when the temperature drops below a certain threshold.

A control like the Vaillant vSMART also means you can control your heating remotely – so if you’re late home, you can delay the heating coming on. After all, there’s no point wasting energy and money heating an empty home.

Keep the heat in

Even a 1-degree reduction in your room temperature could mean significant annual savings on your fuel bill. There are a number of small hacks and tricks that you can use to reduce your energy bill, reduce the amount of time you spend actively heating your home with your heating system, and ultimately make you more comfortable during those icy winter months.

1. Use radiator reflectors

These are available in most hardware shops and are designed to bounce heat back into the room, maximising every degree of heat produced by your boiler.

2. Close your curtains

Windows are one of the biggest areas where heat escapes your home, especially when they are not double or triple-glazed. By closing your curtains, you add an additional barrier that keeps heat in and the cold out.

3. Wrap up with appropriate clothing

This seems obvious, but simply by wearing an extra layer or two, you can reduce the amount of heat needed to reach comfort in your home and save yourself some money in the long run.

4. Keep doors closed between rooms

Many rooms might not need to be actively heated, such as landings or hallways, and they won’t have a radiator in there themselves. By leaving doors open, you allow heating to spread throughout your home, reducing the effect in the room you’re actually trying to warm up. Furthermore, if you have thermostatic radiator valves, make sure you turn them down or off in rooms that don’t get regular use.

Avoid electric heaters at all costs

Electric heaters are unfortunately one of the most inefficient methods of heating a room, let alone your entire home. Not only will this burn energy and electricity like you wouldn’t believe, but they’re often just outright less effective than a boiler or central heating system at generating the heat required to warm a room.

Unless there are no alternative options, avoid purchasing and using an electric heater whenever you can.

Bleed your radiators

To ensure the best possible performance from your central heating system, it’s worthwhile to bleed your radiators at least every 6 months - typically as you approach winter. Central heating systems will naturally fill with small pockets of trapped air, which will travel around your system and get lodged in your radiators. When this happens, the surface area in contact with the air pocket won’t be heated, as there is no water inside to warm up.

Bleeding your radiators will help to expel the air from the system and ensure that you’re getting the best possible heating performance from your home. We have written a guide on how to bleed a radiator, which will teach you the steps required to complete this successfully.

Insulate your loft

You can have the most efficient boiler in the world, but if heat is escaping through your walls and ceiling, you’ll always struggle to reduce consumption. Loft insulation, cavity walls and double-glazed windows can all help lower your annual fuel spend. There are grants available for such energy-saving initiatives, so get in touch with your gas provider to see if you qualify.

Keep warm at night

Rather than heating the whole house all night, there are other ways to stay warm that are much more energy efficient. Obviously, taking a hot water bottle to bed is a good way to stay cosy. But you can also try tucking your curtains behind the radiators while the heating is still on, so the warmth doesn’t disappear out of the window.

Leave your heating running during winter even when away

This is important for a few reasons. Essentially, one of the leading causes of failure in heating systems is frozen pipes and the effect they have on performance. If a heating system is left stagnant for a period of time during winter, it’s possible that the water inside will freeze and your boiler won’t work.

The end result can be incredibly devastating, with pipes potentially bursting and leaking water or a complete boiler failure. Don’t risk saving a bit on your bill while you’re away from home on holiday and ensure your heating is set to a thermostat or timer.