When you should turn your heating on — and 10 tips for saving money on soaring bills

cosy autumn living room
This is when you should turn your heating onHouse Beautiful/Dan Duchars

The temperatures are starting to tumble, but when is actually the best time to switch the central heating on at home?

Although there is no single temperature which signals when you should turn your heating on, many households aim for the day when the clocks go back. This year, daylight saving time ends on Sunday 29th October.

'With temperatures dropping and thunderstorms affecting parts of the UK, many Brits are starting to feel colder inside their homes. While some might delay putting the heating on to save money, many are turning it on sooner rather than later to combat that chilly feeling,' says Andy Kerr, founder at BOXT.

If you're wanting to keep your home warmer for longer, there are lots of ways to save some extra pennies. Draught excluders can block draughts from windows and other sneaky spots, while thermal curtain linings can help to prevent warm air from escaping.

With many people's energy bills skyrocketing, take a look at some of the simple ways to keep those soaring bills down...

1. Upgrade your thermostat

Future-proof your property by upgrading to a smart thermostat, such as one which can be controlled from your phone. Not only will it increase your home's value and desirability to buyers, but smart thermostats can also provide greater accuracy in thermostat to boiler communication, preventing energy from being wasted.

2. Draught-proof your home

Draught-proofing your home can help you stay warm, save energy, and reduce carbon emissions this winter. With autumn on the horizon, now is the perfect time to stop heat escaping through those unwanted gaps.

'To draught-proof your home, you need to primarily identify the "problem areas" where draughts are causing issues, these could include doors, windows, chimneys and floorboards,' says Jordan Chance, heating expert from PlumbNation. 'You can block unwanted gaps by using draught-proofing strips around your windows and doors, or flexible silicone-based filler to fill the gaps in your floorboards.'

3. Layer up

Cold weather may cause your electric bill to fluctuate in the winter, but one of the best ways to keep costs down is to simply layer up with a warm jumper. According to Jordan, adding extra layers will insulate your body and make it easier to regulate your body's temperature — resulting in lower heating bills. Why not grab a cosy blanket when working from home to keep the chill away.

4. Get smart with soft furnishings

'Soft furnishings, such as curtains and rugs, can make all the difference in saving money on your heating,' adds Jordan. 'If you have a carpeted home then it will naturally help to boost insulation; however, if you have hard flooring, investing in some good quality materials, such as a plush rug, will help to prevent heat from being lost.'

house beautiful harper saxony carpet at carpetright
House Beautiful Harper Saxony Carpet at CarpetrightCarpetright

5. Clean your radiators

Central heating radiators seem to attract dust like a magnet, so it's important to give yours a regular clean. Layers of dust in your radiator can prevent heat from escaping effectively, meaning your radiator will have to work harder to warm your room.

To remove dust and dirt from your radiator, all you need to do is vacuum the inside (turn it off first), use a cloth to remove any hidden dirt, rinse with water and wipe down. Yours will be shiny in no time.

6. Avoid drying clothes on your radiator

'We recommend that you don't use your radiators to dry clothes. The clothes you place over the top of your radiators prevent the heat from escaping and heating your room, meaning that your boiler has to pick up the slack and work at a greater rate – increasing costs,' says Andy.

'Similarly, the increase in the air's moisture can create condensation, leading to potential issues with mould and dampness. To dry your clothes faster, consider using a dehumidifier. These are often much cheaper to use than tumble dryers and can prevent damp in your home.'

7. Turn your thermostat down by 1°C

Did you know that turning your heating down by just 1°C can help to save up to 10 per cent on your heating bill? It sounds incredibly simple, but lowering the temperature slightly can reduce those rising energy bills. Why not try it this winter?

autumnwinter bedroom
House Beautiful / Carolyn Barber

8. Check your radiator cover

Radiator covers are a great way to add some character to your internal space, but make sure yours is a good conductor of heat.

'Radiator covers made from materials such as wood are poor conductors and can prevent heat from being dispersed effectively, wasting energy and money,' explains Andy.

9. Bleed your radiator

Radiators need bleeding when they have air trapped inside them, which can stop warm water circulating properly. In order to check yours, Jordan recommends turning on your radiator to feel where the heat is coming from. If the radiator is warm at the bottom but cold at the top, this is generally a sign that air is present.

10. Get your boiler serviced

According to SSE, you should have your boiler serviced once a year to make sure it's working safely and effectively. Defective boilers can increase your heating bill massively, meaning yours will have to work harder to heat the house. A boiler service is a simple check up from a Gas Safe Engineer, which will make sure your boiler is in good working order to survive the winter months.

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