There’s a saying, “Home isn’t a place; it’s a feeling”. Feeling comfortable in your home
requires energy to generate hot water, keep you warm in winter and cool in summer,
and power all appliances and devices. But it would be best if you used this energy
efficiently and could learn some energy savings tips.
It is especially important during these difficult times of rising energy costs, to lower your bills and
reduce your carbon footprint. It’s said that homes in the UK generate 21% of all UK’s
A typical household in Britain spends around half its fuel bills on heating and hot water.
Therefore, an efficient heating system that you can control is essential to reducing fuel
costs. The list below will help you cut your heating costs. Most of the calculations are
taken from the Energy Saving Trust.
Turn your thermostat down
This is one of the easiest and most energy-saving tips on the list. You can save up to
£ 100 a year on average for a typical home by just turning the thermostat down by a
degree. The more you turn it down, the more you save. According to the World Health
Organization, 18⁰C is suitable for most healthy adults suitably dressed. A 2⁰C to 3⁰C
warmer temperature is required for the young, elderly and disabled. So, if your
thermostat is usually set at 21 degrees and you walk around in a t-shirt at home, you
can make substantial savings by putting on a jumper and turning the thermostat down a
degree or two.
You can also cut costs by setting heat to come on half an hour before it is needed and
shut off half an hour before you leave to make the most of residual heat. Turning it off
completely though is not recommended when the weather is cold. Although water
freezes at 4⁰C and the minimum setting on any modern heating control is 5⁰C, Catalyst
Housing Scheme recommends you leave it on at 13⁰C to prevent water pipes from
Use Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV)
The temperature you set on your thermostat heats all the rooms in your house to that
temperature. But if you don’t use all the rooms, you can save money by not heating the
rooms you don’t use. A typical home can save up to 6% of the total bill or £150 on
average by controlling the temperature of each room by installing Thermostatic Radiator
Valves (TRVs) on the radiator(s) in them.
A TRV controls the hot water going through the radiator. It looks like a cylindrical dial numbered from 0-6 (0=Off and 6=30⁰C) that you can manually twist. The ideal setting on a TRV is 3, which corresponds to 20⁰C. As the room heats up to the desired room temperature, the TRV stops hot water from
flowing into that radiator. If set up correctly, TRVs allow you to have one centralised
boiler providing the heat, with differing levels of heat throughout different rooms in your
They cost less than £10 each and are readily available at most DIY stores.
Bleed your radiators
Bleeding radiators is a process that removes any trapped air inside them, making your
heating system more efficient. If your radiators are taking more time to heat up than
usual, or you can hear gurgling sounds from them or feel cold patches at the top, then
your radiators need bleeding. It is simple enough to do with the help of a screwdriver or
a radiator key readily available from any DIY store.
Monitor your boiler pressure
Boiler pressure is the pressure of water circulating in the heating system.
Recommended boiler pressure varies by the boiler manufacturer, but mostly it is
between 1.0 and 2.0 bar. If it’s too low, your boiler will use more energy to heat your
home to the desired temperature. Therefore, regularly checking your boiler pressure
and resetting it, which is simple enough to do on most boilers, can save you money.
Reduce the hot water temperature on your combi boiler
If the hot water from your hot water taps in your bathroom or kitchen is too hot, and you
have to dilute it with a lot of cold water, this is a sign of wasted energy. If you have a
combi boiler, you can prevent this by reducing the hot water temperature on your boiler,
which is usually set too high by default. According to Octopus Energy, a temperature of
55 degrees is adequate in most cases. You can adjust this temperature by looking for
the option to do this at the front of your boiler, usually identified by a little tap icon.
Please look for it in your boiler’s user manual if you can’t find it.
Reduce the heating temperature on your combi boiler
Another setting that is usually set too high by default on your combi boiler is the radiator
heating temperature. It is also referred to as the output ‘flow’ temperature. It controls the
temperature of the water that flows around the system and heats your radiators.
Octopus Energy recommends you set it to 50 degrees to maximise your boiler’s
Reducing this temperature can make radiators feel slightly cooler but won’t
lower your home’s temperature.
This setting should not be confused with your central heating thermostat or the radiator valves. The savings you can make by reducing this temperature are substantial at up to 8% of your total bill, according to Hotwater Industry Council.
The control to change this temperature is also situated at the front of your
boiler and usually has a radiator symbol next to it. Please look for it in your boiler’s user
manual if you can’t find it.
Turn off the ‘pre-heat’ function on your combi boiler
Most modern combi boilers come with this function turned on by default. This function
keeps water hot in your pipes at a specific temperature, making it instantly available
when required. It is very convenient and prevents water wastage but consumes a lot of
energy. If most household members are out all day, then to save money, you should turn
this function off.
Please refer to your boiler’s manual to see how to do this.
Reduce the temperature on your non-combi boiler
If you have a non-combi boiler, you can still make savings. Unlike combi boilers that
heat pre-heat water or heat it instantly and don’t store it in a hot water cylinder,
non-combi boilers heat and store hot water in a hot water cylinder. This water needs to
be kept at 60 degrees to prevent the dangers of legionella bacteria. The boiler needs to
heat this water to a higher degree to compensate for heat loss.
Since most non-combiboilers allow only one temperature for heating and
hot water, the Heating Hub recommends setting the temperature to 70 degrees.
It is possible to reconfigure your non-combi boiler so you can set the two temperatures
separately with the help of a Gas Safe engineer. This will allow you to set the heating
temperature to 60 degrees or less, which means using less energy and saving cash.