Central heating is essential in keeping our homes warm and cozy. However, with the rising cost of energy, keeping control of heating expenses is crucial for many households. The good news is, there are several ways to ensure your heating system is as efficient as possible, ultimately reducing energy use and lowering costs.
One of the most significant contributors to energy consumption in homes is the use of boilers. Therefore, in this article, we will outline some tips on how to make your boiler more efficient and cost-effective.
Understanding Boiler Efficiency
To improve the efficiency of your boiler, it’s essential to understand what it means. A boiler’s energy efficiency is the percentage of total energy used to provide heating, with the excess energy lost through the flue. For example, a boiler with 94% efficiency means only 6% of its energy is not used to heat your home. This equates to 6p of every £1 spent being wasted. The more efficient your boiler is, the less fuel it will need to provide the same amount of heat, making it more cost-effective.
Upgrade to a Newer Model
Newer models of boilers are generally more efficient than older ones, with condensing boilers losing 10% less energy than non-condensing boilers. After around ten to fifteen years, it’s worth considering upgrading to a newer model. However, if you have an older boiler, don’t worry, as what matters is that it runs as efficiently as possible.
Lower Your Temperature Setting
If you have a combi boiler, one way to reduce energy consumption is to lower your boiler flow temperature. This is different from setting the temperature on your thermostat. The boiler flow temperature is the temperature of the water that leaves the boiler and goes to the radiators. Reducing the flow temperature could help the boiler run more efficiently and save energy. While traditional heating systems were designed for a flow temperature of 80°C, they can operate at a lower temperature. It may take a few tries to find the optimum setting for your home, but we recommend turning the flow temperature down to around 60°C.
Insulate Your Pipes and Cylinder
Another way to reduce energy consumption is through insulation. You can do this by fitting foam tubes around your pipes to reduce heat loss and keep water hotter for longer. Similarly, if you have an older hot water cylinder, you can also insulate the cylinder itself for the same purpose. Make sure that any insulation you purchase is a safe material for that use by asking an expert at the point of sale.
Book an Annual Service
It’s crucial to service your boiler annually to keep it in peak operating condition and prevent minor faults from developing. Annual checks will also ensure that boiler performance is optimized to ensure the most efficient energy consumption. A service must be performed by a Gas Safe Registered engineer or OFTEC technician (oil).
Keep Your Boiler Clean and Consider a System Cleanse
Eliminating sludge, rust, and debris from your heating system can improve your boiler’s efficiency. Having your system cleaned by an expert involves flushing your system and refilling it with clean water and protection chemicals to prevent corrosion. If you are looking at replacing your boiler, ensure a system filter is fitted as part of the installation.
In summer, it’s worth switching on your heating for up to 15 minutes a week. This can reduce the risk of your boiler seizing up and expensive breakdowns after being switched off for months at a time.
In conclusion, implementing these tips can improve your boiler’s efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and ultimately lower costs.