As the temperatures continue to drop, many people have turned their heating on, with a hardcore few holding out until they can stand it no more. There is plenty of confusion about how to make sure that you are using your heating efficiently.
Last week, we talked about the two main players in heating: the boiler and the thermostat and the heavily debated relationship between the two. This week, we turn our attention to the often-ignored elements that can help you to save money and reduce your carbon emissions when you switch the heating on.
Radiators are often tucked away behind a desk, table or even bed, which can make them hard to reach and can mean that you forget (or ignore) their thermostatic valves. Thermostatic radiator valves are one of the best ways to save energy on heating your home as they let you control each individual radiator. That mystery dial with the numbers on it? It controls the rate at which hot water passes through each radiator. The higher the number, the faster the flow, and the hotter the radiator. So, if you set the TRV to 0 in the spare bedroom, the radiator won’t heat up at all and you won’t be wasting precious energy (and money) heating an unused room. If you are expecting guests, simply turn the valve up; 3 might give you a nice, steady medium heat while turning it up the maximum (usually 5) will provide full heat. Generally, people may want to turn the TRV higher in living areas and lower in hallways and bedrooms; turn it to 0 if a room isn’t likely to be used.
If you turn your TRV down in the place where your thermostat is located, your heating will stay on until that location is heated to the set temperature. For example, if your thermostat is in the hallway and your turn the TRV down to 3, but your lounge TRV is on 5, the lounge will continue to heat up at a higher rate until the hallway reaches the set temperature. If the controls on your radiators are missing or broken, contact a local boiler specialist; they will be able to recommend and even fit replacements at a relatively low cost.
Most of us dread getting anything serviced as we just don’t want to hear that it is going to cost a fortune. However, when it comes to boilers, servicing can save you more than money and carbon emissions; it can save lives. If you haven’t had your boiler service yet, get it done now. Carbon monoxide kills. Check out our directory of trusted, rated, boiler engineers near you.