This one tip could save you £250 a month on your heating bills

Looking to save money on heating? These expert tips could see you well in pocket come spring.

With the energy price cap rising once more, there’s never been a better time than now to think about how you’re heating your home.

While there’s not much we can do about the increase, there are some practical tips that can help save you pounds each year. The good thing is they’re easy to do and won’t cost the earth, meaning you can stay snug in your home this winter and hopefully save some cash.

We quizzed heating expert Matthew Jenkins at MyJobQuote.co.uk for his top tips on how to lower your costs while keeping warm – with his final tip promising you big savings.

House model wrapped in scarf on radiator home winter heating and insulation save money on heating concept -Credit: Shutterstock/Brian A Jackson
Energy costs are high, but these tips can help save you hundreds of pounds each month

1. Show your boiler some love

Time for a boiler upgrade?

“If your boiler is over 10 years old, you may want to consider investing in a new highly-efficient model,” suggests Jenkins.

Modern boilers pack a double punch: they’re kinder to your wallet and the planet. Their secret weapon? Condensing technology, which extracts more heat from exhaust gas, boosting efficiency compared to older models.

While replacing a boiler isn’t cheap (think around £3,700 for a basic setup), the savings can be substantial. The Energy Saving Trust – the main UK public body for reducing energy use and carbon emissions – estimates you could pocket up to £385 per year in a semi-detached house, making that investment pay for itself over time.

If lowering your carbon footprint is high on your priority list, you could also consider low-carbon alternatives like heat pumps. They might cost more upfront, but they tap into renewable energy, making them a sustainable long-term choice.

If you can’t afford a new boiler or just want to improve what you’ve got, Jenkins advises insulating your boiler and pipes.

“This can help to make your boiler work more efficiently by preventing heat loss,” he says.

Prevention is key

Don’t underestimate the power of an annual service for your boiler.

“A professional will be able to ensure everything on your boiler is working effectively and efficiently.” says Jenkins. “Regular servicing can also help to identify and fix any small issues before they become more major.”

2. Clean your radiators

Keep the airways clear

When you’re doing chores, giving your radiators a dust may not immediately spring to mind, but this can actually help save you money.

“Keeping your radiators clean can help to ensure they are working properly and can improve the amount of heat that they give off,” says Jenkins. “This means that your radiators won’t have to work as hard to keep warm, which can bring your energy bills down.”

The key is to keep the airways between the fins clear. Dust and dirt can collect here, reducing the circulation of warm air.

“Cleaning the entire radiator, including the space between the fins, can help to improve the circulation, allowing your radiator to radiate more heat.”

A special radiator brush is your friend when it comes to giving your heaters a spruce up. They can be bought quite cheaply – from as little as £2 – and make light work of getting rid of dust and debris.

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3. Keep furniture away from radiators

Let the heat flow

If you’re rearranging your living room, have just moved or have bought new furniture, try to avoid placing any large items directly in front of your radiators.

“If this can’t be avoided, make sure the furniture isn’t touching the radiator so that the warm air has somewhere to go,” suggest Jenkins.

He also says that radiators placed in front of a window are a false economy as a lot of the heat can get lost in the window.

One piece of furniture that can help if it’s placed close by however, is a shelf.

“A shelf above the radiator can help to reflect the heat back out into the room,” says Jenkins. “It can also prevent heat from rising and becoming lost up in the ceiling. Instead, the warm air will be pushed out into the room.”

4. Invest in radiator reflectors

Don’t waste your heat

When you turn on your radiators, as well as heating the room, some heat can get lost through walls – especially in older buildings that aren’t so well insulated. But Jenkins has a plan for that.

“Radiator reflectors are relatively cheap and easy to install,” he says. “They are fitted behind the radiator and help to ensure that heat isn’t wasted by passing through the wall behind the radiator. Instead, these handy devices ensure that as much heat as possible is reflected back into the room.”

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If you don’t want to invest in reflectors, you’ve probably got something at home that will do the job just as well – tinfoil! If you place this behind your radiators, you’ll get the same effect. Yes, it may not be as pretty, but it will save more cash all round.

5. Bleed your radiators

Release trapped air

Just like you might feel better when you release trapped air, the same goes for your radiators! One of the best ways to improve their efficiency is to bleed them.

“This process involves opening the bleed valves and releasing any trapped air in your radiator,” says Jenkins. “This will help to get rid of any cold spots on the radiators and ensure that the system can run to its full potential, increasing the efficiency of your heating system.”

How can you tell if your radiators need bleeding? If you can feel any cold spots or your radiator is making some odd noises, then it’s probably time to get the radiator key out and bleed them.

6. Buy a heated blanket

Think outside of your central heating

Flicking on the heating is an immediate reaction by many of us when the temperature drops, however, Jenkins says there are other, more cost-effective, ways of keeping warm at home.

“Consider investing in some thick blankets and warm clothes,” he says. “Candles are also great for helping to emit heat and making the room feel warmer and cosier.”

Worried about candles being toxic?

Fragranced candles are one of many household items that emit volatile organic compounds (or VOCs). These chemicals can cause you to feel nauseous, dizzy and even give you a headache.

The key is to keep burning to a minimum and have good ventilation. Alternatively choose a soya or beeswax candle with no fragrance to get the feeling of warmth and cosiness minus the scent – and potentially harmful chemicals.

However, his one big tip is to invest in a heated blanket.

“These are usually extremely cheap to run, making them a great way to stay warm while keeping your energy bills down,” he says.

Whether you go for a traditional heated blanket or one of the latest must-have heated ponchos, it’s a great way to keep warm while at home – but how much will it actually save?

  • A 130W blanket would cost you between 16-34p to run, if you kept it on for five hours. This will obviously depend on what tariff you’re on.
  • Putting the heater on for the same amount of time will cost you around £8.40. This is based on having a 24 kW boiler.
  • Over time that adds up! Using the heated blanket for five hours every day instead of the heating, could add up to £248 in savings a month.
  • Obviously, you’ll still probably have the heating on, but this is a great cost-effective option if you work from home or are sedentary during the day.

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Lakeland The Snuggler Heated Poncho

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Lakeland The Snuggler Heated Poncho

Is it cheaper to keep your heating on low all day?

On and off or low and slow?

Opinion is divided on this one – much of it depends on the type of property you live in and what boiler you have.

The Energy Saving Trust says that only turning the heating on when you need to (and in the rooms you’re occupying) ultimately saves you money.

However, there is also a train of thought that says that keeping the heating on low all day is good for older properties with brick walls. They take longer to warm up but release the heat back in, compared to plasterboard walls, which allow rooms to heat up quickly – but also lose heat quickly.

If your property suffers from damp, keeping the heating on a low temperature can also help with that issue. Turning the heating on until it’s toasty and then turning it off can actually cause condensation as the house cools down. If you don’t have great ventilation, this can eventually cause damp.

The best way to see what method works out cheaper for you, is to put both to the test and keep a note of costs via a smart meter.

Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Written by Jayne Cherrington-Cook she/her

Updated:

Jayne is the Senior Editor at Saga Exceptional. She cut her online journalism teeth 24 years ago in an era when a dialling tone and slow page load were standard. During this time, she’s written about a variety of subjects and is just at home road-testing TVs as she is interviewing TV stars. A diverse career has seen Jayne launch websites for popular magazines, collaborate with top brands, write regularly for major publications including Woman&Home, Yahoo! and The Daily Telegraph, create a podcast, and also write a tech column for Women’s Own.

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