Consumers looking to save money and energy are now carefully exploring their options. With energy bills set to rise more than 50% from this month, running an efficient home system is now more vital than ever to make savings where possible.
“The time has now come to review how we heat our homes – it could mean the difference of hundreds of pounds a year,” explains Tom Edmunds, General Manager, Wunda Group, the 5 Star Trust Pilot Rated British heating experts behind the Good Housekeeping Institute Approved WundaSmart heating system. With more than 15 years of experience researching and revolutionising the way we heat our homes, Wunda shares advice on areas that can improve heat efficiency this winter.
- Check your insulation to reduce heat loss
When measuring the efficiency of a home’s heating system, insulation is first and foremost always the most important element to consider. Ultimately any heating system is going to either underperform or cost you more money due to a longer running time if your home isn’t properly insulated. Addressing areas of heat loss and poor insulation are essential to start saving costs over the winter months.
There are several ways to better ensure your home is properly equipped to retain the heat you’re using, from long-term solutions such as investing in triple or double glazing, cavity wall or loft insulation or even upgrading an older boiler, to short-term solutions such as insulating your pipework and eliminating any drafts. We can lose up to 25% of heat through the roof of an uninsulated home, so this is a great place to start to help save on costly bills. Consider fitting your hot water cylinder with an insulating jacket – it could save you £35 a year in heating costs as well as 115kg on carbon emissions.
- Avoid Inefficient Heat Sources
Electric heaters are often reached for when there are no other heating options, or for short, instant bursts of heat during the day as Britain gets into the depths of winter. Electric heaters are very expensive to run, (for example, a 5,000-watt electric heater will cost almost £1.50 per hour of use) and there are several additional factors which come into play that can add to the expense.
When using an electric heater, the size of the room is important to take into consideration; bigger spaces, open plan settings and high ceilings will require heaters to run for longer to feel sufficiently warm. Heaters rely on convection currents to heat the space – so the heat emitted immediately starts to rise to the ceiling, before sinking down and heating the space you actually need to be warm. Insulation is even more important if you do opt to use an electric heater as if your home is poorly insulated, any type of heating is going to perform les efficiently and cost you more money.
- Zone your home with a Smart Thermostat
When utilised properly, smart heating is one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to improve energy ratings in your home, cutting heating bills and reducing CO2 emissions. Some smart heating providers, such as WundaSmart, allow you to “smart zone” your home, so you can turn the heating off in rooms you don’t use, while heating and monitoring those you do, further helping to reduce energy consumption.
“The difference of a degree in your home could equate to several hundred pounds over the course of a few years now that the price rises have come into effect” explains Tom Edmunds. “Most UK homes are still operating on one single thermostat for the entire home. This is an antiquated system that has been used for decades. By introducing thermostats into every room and controlling the heat in each room individually, you can significantly optimise energy use. After all, you wouldn’t have one light switch for all the lights in your home.”
- Refrain from keeping the heating on all-day
Leaving your heating on in every single room is needlessly expensive, especially if you aren’t using every room that you are heating. If you’re having to leave the heating on all day as the rooms aren’t getting warmer or retaining heat, it would again be worth determining how well insulated your home is; and finding where you can make improvements.
If you’re going away for a long period of time it may be tempting to let the heating run periodically, but this is unnecessary. Instead, turn the heating down or off to prevent spending money unnecessarily – but avoid switching the boiler off entirely as this can cause faults which lead to larger costs later.
Use holiday mode or anti-frost settings if your thermostat has them so that your pipework continues to be protected even in sub-zero temperatures.
- Explore Underfloor Heating
A longer-term solution is to explore low temperature underfloor heating (UFH). UFH can be an incredibly efficient and cost-effective system for the home, with minimal installation requirements and very little maintenance overall. UFH costs on average 25% less to run than radiators, but the real savings come when utilising a Smart heating system alongside UFH to zone your heating room by room, creating what we at Wunda call our ‘whole home heating system’.
There are different types of UFH available; electric systems are really only advisable in small spaces such as a bathroom due to increased running costs, however, a water-based system costs less to run and is much more environmentally friendly thanks to lower energy consumption.
An on-demand water-based UFH system like Wunda’s can warm up an entire room in just 30 minutes via its piping network and, with a focus on even distribution, it can tackle cold spots which can be common in rooms with radiators.
As well as space-saving and not having to worry about unsightly wall-based radiators, UFH systems offer constant warmth and comfort, eliminating the cold shock when walking barefoot.
With minimal maintenance required on the manifold, UFH systems are built to last and come with a 50-year warranty on pipes and boards. Consumers with DIY experience could even install a Wunda system themselves with the help of a friend or relative, in as little as a couple of days and may just be shocked to find it’s not as expensive as they originally thought.
For more information about underfloor heating, visit www.wundagroup.com, or discover more about zoning at https://www.wundasmart.co.uk/.