The cost of energy seems to be continually rising, and that, in turn, means higher utility bills. But it’s not just the cost of the bills that should be considered, but also the impact that excessive energy use has upon our environment. With the constant push to reduce our carbon footprint, now might be the time to reconsider how you heat your home.
Thankfully with a bit of planning, there are ways to make sure that you can have a warm home without the stress of high bills. From using bathroom radiators to whole-house central heating systems, you can cut those energy bills right down with our tips and advice!
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Thermotatic Radiator Valves (TRV)
TRV’s are one of the most important investments you can make to warm your home, lower your heating bills and reduce CO2 emissions. They work by regulating the flow of hot water through your central heating system, delivering more or less heat as needed. They have an electronic eye that senses the radiator’s temperature – just like a room thermostat – and continuously modulates a valve controlling flow from your boiler to the radiators in your home.
This also means that you can set different temperature zones in your home, so you can save energy by heating only the room(s) you’re using at that time. You might also prefer that your living room is set to be warmer than your bedroom; with TRVs, that becomes a possibility.
As a result, they can lead up to 30% savings on your heating bills. That’s not all – this also helps reduce CO2 emissions and meet Government targets for combating climate change.
Smartphone Apps to Control Your Heating
Smartphone apps allow you to control your heating from anywhere, meaning you can always have a warm home. You can also monitor how much energy you’re using and what that means for your bills. That way, you can set a budget and track against it, tweaking your usage as necessary to meet that goal.
The smartest systems are now able to:
- Alert you to an open window when you also have the heating on
- Turn the heating off when there’s no one home
- Switch the heating on when it senses that you’re on your way home
If you’ve ever gone out and realized that you forgot to turn off the heating, then you need smartphone control. Have you been delayed at work, and your heating is working on an empty house? No worries, you can simply log into your app and set the heating to come on later in the day.
Water Heater Timer
The perfect supplement to Smartphone Apps – enabling the alteration of any electrical device’s consumption via a programmable timer switch for maximum cost savings and reduced environmental impact. Put simply, if you want hot water but don’t need it constantly, then this is the product for you!
No matter what systems you have in place, if the heat is escaping from your home, then you’re burning your money away. That’s why insulation is so important. If your home was well insulated from the start, it could reduce your heating needs by up to 40%.
Icynene spray foam insulation is one approach, and it has a high R-Value. This means that it’s good at keeping heat inside and cold out. It also lasts longer than the alternatives, such as fiberglass or cellulose insulation, making it more cost-effective over time.
Solar PV Panels
Solar panels are an option for the environmentally conscious – but one that does require a significant initial investment. Solar panels work by using heat from the sun to heat water contained in a large reservoir or ‘hot tank .’This hot water can then be used to heat your home in the same way as a standard central heating system would.
Solar panels must be installed by a trained professional who will take measurements of where they should be placed on your roof and how many you need and wire them into your current electrical system. The biggest downside is that there will be no power if there’s no sunlight. However, you can store the energy in batteries to be used as and when needed.
Wind Powered Generator
A bit more unorthodox than the other options here, but another way to reduce your reliance on traditional power sources.
There are two types of wind turbine generators available: Vertical and horizontal axes. The vertical axis type is most efficient for small, single houses that aren’t powering bigger appliances such as washing machines or tools in a workshop. They need an average wind speed of 10 mph to generate up to 100 watts of electricity.
Any household can use the horizontal-axis variety, but it must have an average wind speed of 12 mph to make sure it’s generating enough energy at all times. With this kind of generator, you can expect between 100-300 kWh per month, depending on the size.
A wind-powered generator could be a great addition to your home. Don’t forget that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing situation. You can still stay connected to mains electricity so that you always have a backup supply as and when needed.
Do take the time to consider your long-term plans. With some systems such as solar and wind-powered generators, it takes time to recoup the initial investment. So, that means that you’ll need to be confident that you won’t be moving any time soon.
Others, such as fitting thermostatic radiator valves, are relatively low expense and could even be worth considering for a rental property as you could take them with you when you move!
Whatever you decide to do, there are real options to help you reduce your energy consumption while still keeping your home lovely and warm.
Also read: 5 Benefits of Home Solar System