(HHIC) Heating and Hotwater Industry Council’s tips to look after your home heating health this winter!
Although a high efficiency glass fronted gas fire or modern wood burning stove will give you more heat for less money than an open fire, you will get the most benefit if you keep your home in good heating working order.
The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council has come up with five top cost-saving tips to keep your home in good energy efficiency order and to help you get the full benefit from your gas fire or wood burning stove.
- Only heat the rooms you use the most! You don’t have to use the central heating to heat the entire house. Use the thermostat valves on the radiators and keep them low or turned off in rooms that you don’t use such as the guest room, spare bedrooms or study. A gas fire or wood burning stove is a great way to keep the main room you use toasty!
- Insulate your home! Why not maximise further on the benefits from your high efficiency wood burning stove or gas fire by insulating your home? Insulating your loft is a simple and effective way to reduce your heating bills and you can even do it yourself. It should be at least eleven inches thick and you could save up to £150 a year. There are grants and offers available to help pay for loft insulation and you can find more information about this from your local council.
- Stop the draft! It is important to cut down on spaces where cold air could enter your house, such as underneath the door to the outside and keyholes. If you have an open fire, when it is not lit, it will draw heat from the room it is in up the chimney, so use a chimney balloon when the fire is cold and not in use. Even better, upgrade to a modern wood burning stove, or glass fronted gas fire, which gives you more heat for less money and, unlike an open fire, save you money when they are not lit!
Keep interior doors closed as this closes off natural air passageways so warm air does not escape up through the house. To identify drafts, light a match and the rising hot air will draw nearby cooler air into the match flame. To test whether your draft excluders on doors are worn, light a piece of incense and run it along the inside of the door frame. If the smoke blows inward you have a draft.
- Draw your curtains! At night and especially during the winter or when it is cold, drawing your curtains can help retain a considerable amount of heat from your wood burning stove or glass fronted gas fire. Properly fitted curtains can act as great insulation for your windows and reduce heat loss through the glass – particularly large windows and glass doors. If your curtains are not keeping in the heat in the winter, it is even worth considering investing in a new thicker, heavier set as you are sure to save money on your heating costs in the long run.
- Radiator Reflectors. For older houses with not much insulation on the outside walls, a good trick to keep the heat from your radiators inside the house is to place heat reflectors behind them. You can buy radiator foil which costs about £6.98 for 2.5 sq metres or simply use ordinary kitchen foil with the shiny side facing towards the back of the radiator.
If you follow these five simple steps, you will stay warm and toasty and you will receive the full benefit of your wood burning stove or glass fronted gas fire as well as saving money on your fuel bills from using less central heating!