Our top tips to save money on your gas bill
Heating can create a comfortable environment, but the bill can be very chilling. Follow our top tips to save on your gas bill.
Adjust Your Thermostat
The thermostat of the gas boiler can be set lower when everyone is sleeping and set back to normal when getting up. An extra blanket and socks can rather be used when it gets a bit uncomfortable. Unless the house is poorly insulated, it should still be comfortable with small changes in settings. If it's a bit too chilly, rather dress accordingly. Children should be watched to make sure they keep warm.
Turn The Temperature Settings Down On Appliances
For the dishwasher and washing machine the hot wash and cool rinse options can be used, instead of both the hot wash and hot rinse options. Wait until you have a full load before you start washing clothes and rather use low water temperatures. Your dryer's lint trap should be cleaned after each cycle. Not only does it save gas, but it can also become a fire hazard if left to accumulate too much lint.
Dripping taps must be turned of properly. One dripping hot water tap can fill half a bath in one week. Taps that are not turned of easily should be serviced. Rather replace the washer before it starts to leak and cause erosion on the tap seat, which will necessitate regrinding to rectify.
Furnace filters must be cleaned regularly and the furnace kept clean, properly adjusted and lubricated. Keep furniture as far away from heaters as possible because it can, especially upholstered furniture, block heat from spreading effectively.
Make sure the house is properly insulated. A lot of energy escape through the loft. An average of 15 percent of the heating cost goes towards making up for this loss. Loft insulation with a depth of about 270mm will fix this problem.
To prevent heat loss through windows, double-glazing can be installed. The payback period may be a bit long, so if that is not an option, closing the curtains at dusk will help a lot. Thermal window covering is also a big help. Draughts should be limited to the minimum by sealing all the offending gaps. Doorstoppers made from fabric and the whole width of the door long can be used to curb cold air seeping through.
Avoid opening doors to unused rooms and also windows throughout the day. Where possible, limit the traffic of family members in and out of the house to prevent cold air sweeping in each time someone exits or enters. Remember to open doors of the rooms that get the most sun, so that the heat is circulated through the house. This is the cheapest form of heating a home.
Buying a jacket for the boiler cylinder can prevent up to 75 percent heat loss and it will repay itself in less than a year. The boiler should also preferably be serviced every year. This may prevent a boiler from dying on you at the most critical time and at the financially most vulnerable stage. All hot water piping must be properly insulated wherever it is exposed. This will also protect it from freezing.
Investing in insulation of solid walls can save you about 15 percent in heating costs a year. Around a third of the heat is lost through walls and solid walls absorb about twice as much heat as cavity walls (the modern double-layered walls with a small space, or cavity, in-between). Internal wall insulation is cheaper than the exterior option and can save you around £300 a year.
This insulation should be done by a professional and should not be attempted by the average DIY enthusiast, unless you can find an expert with a lot of experience in this type of insulation that will guide you. The trick is to do the insulation whilst making sure there is no cold-bridging and that all measures are taken to prevent condensation.
Geothermal Heating System
When major renovations are to be carried out, you might as well consider installing a geothermal heating system, where heat is exchanged by borrowing from the earth's natural warmth. Expect major earth works when choosing this option. This can be very expensive, but a grant may be of big help.
Generate Your Own Power
Consider investing in solar technology to generate your own power. Thin film solar panels are fast becoming most competitive with coal. It is already cheaper to produce than using coal, but to develop the infrastructure to supply panels to the whole world will still take some time.
Grants are increasingly becoming available in more and more countries. Find out about grants before you invest in insulation or power generation systems. If you can generate more energy than you need and let the rest return to the grid, then you can have free energy as well as all the support of an energy provider in case of emergency.
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