Top tips on heat saving without spending money

Here are some top tips that make a big difference to heating bills – we chose some very effective but less obvious ones you might not have seen before. They are easy to DIY and can be done straight away without spending money. We hope they are self-explanatory but if not please tweet/DM us at: @energy_squirrel

1. Clean your radiators. Yes, honestly, this is really important & can make a dramatic difference if you have panel radiators more than a few years old because they can get ‘gummed up’ and be very costly to run. We aren’t talking about the radiator fronts – you will need to shove a duster on a stick down all the vertical vents behind single panel radiators and between the double panel ones (you may need to pop the grill off the top). These vents fill up with dust and cobwebs that will prevent the air from warming up. A clean radiator will work much faster and take less time to warm you up = lower bills because the boiler will be on for less time. If you don’t have a suitable duster on a stick it is easy to improvise.

2. Trickle vents. A lot of (more modern) double glazing units have features called ‘trickle vents’ in the window frames. These allow air to flow through the window frame even when the windows are shut as they are designed to provide ventilation and prevent condensation. However, if you have them and they are open they can be shut on cold days to prevent waste heat. Don’t forget to open them up again when it’s comfortable to do so.

3. Don’t cover your radiators. OK, they are great at drying your towels but more than half of the heat from a radiator comes from the top third so if you cover up the top of your radiator it will take longer to heat your room = bigger bills. Put the towels elsewhere.

4. Check your radiators. Once a month or so feel the top of your radiators while your heating is running. If they aren’t all getting hot there may be a fault = bigger heating bills. A fault may be as simple as air in the system that needs bleeding but there may be a bigger problem. But you won’t know without checking.

5. Bleed your radiators. Do it at least once a year at the start of the cold season to make sure your radiators are working effectively = lower bills. If you find the regular keys difficult to use there are easy bleed devices readily available.