ENERGY bills have skyrocketed for millions of homes, but a heating expert has revealed how to cut costs.
Energy prices are much higher this year compared to 2021, so it’s good to avoid overspending.
The average household on a dual-fuel tariff pays around £2,500 a year on their energy bill thanks to the Energy Price Guarantee.
From April next year this will increase to £3,000.
But it means many people will be paying more for their energy and looking for ways to save money.
Rebecca Davies, an energy expert at RD Heat, gave The Express four tips that can help you keep your bills as low as possible.
Combi boiler vs. heating only
Rebecca said households should consider choosing a combi boiler over a less efficient boiler only.
Heat only boilers are usually found in larger properties and draw water from a cylinder rather than the main line.
Rebecca said that means you run out of water more often.
She said: “It’s not a very efficient solution because the boiler then has to top up with cold water and heat up to the right temperature.
“The cylinder can also heat more water than required, further increasing heating costs.”
Old boilers may only achieve 60% efficiency, which effectively means 40% of the money you spend heating your home is wasted.
This is comparable to a modern combi boiler, which typically has an efficiency of 90% or more.
Be sure to get expert advice and take a look at your budget before making the switch.
You can also check if you are eligible for a subsidy to replace your old boiler.
Check if your boiler is in Eco mode
If you have a combi boiler with eco mode, make sure it is set to do this as this will protect your water from overheating.
If there is no Eco mode, you need to check the two dials on the boiler.
One controls your central heating, which you can leave, and the other sets your hot water tap temperature.
Turn the second regulator down to 50°C.
Households with system or regular boilers can still dial down the temperature, but each control panel will be different.
See your owner’s manual for more information.
Both systems include a water tank, so you’ll also need to check the Health and Safety Executive’s website for minimum heat requirements.
Rebecca said that lowering the eco mode to around 55-60°C on your condensing boiler lowers the radiator flow temperature, which determines the temperature of the water flowing through your radiators.
She said it can save you up to £225 on your annual bill.
Switch to a system boiler
Rebecca said larger homes that have more than one full bathroom should consider switching to a system water heater.
This is a middle ground between a combo and a heat-only unit.
A system boiler uses a cylinder large enough to store plenty of hot water, which can then be supplied to multiple rooms and utilities at once.
A system boiler stores the hot water in a storage tank and you can precisely determine the required water output depending on your needs and the size of the property.
Rebecca said they extract over 90 percent of the heat from the fuel they burn to heat water, making them very inexpensive.
Turn off the boiler preheat settings
Turning off the boiler preheat stage and turning down the temperature can help you reduce your energy bills.
On the preheat setting, the boiler will hold back some hot water if someone needs to take a shower or run a faucet.
Rebecca said that simply turning off the preheat option on your boiler means it no longer stores hot water that isn’t being used.
While that means you have to wait a short while for the water to heat up, you can save between five and 10 percent on your heating bills, Rebecca said.
A savvy saver told The Sun how this trick saved him £100 a year on his energy bill.
What else should you check on your boiler?
One thing to check on your kettle is the pressure.
Experts usually say that the pressure on the manometer should be between one and two.
A lower value can mean that the boiler cannot ignite properly, which means it will work harder and less efficiently.
And just as your kettle accumulates or builds up dirt and limescale, so can your boiler.
Broomfield said: “Over time boilers can build up deposits which make them less efficient and that is why it is important to have your boiler serviced every year.
“This ensures your boiler runs both efficiently and safely.”
Experts say you should turn on your boiler intermittently, even during the months you’re not using it, to prevent buildup.
And remember, your boiler doesn’t do all the work by itself – don’t forget your radiators.
Bleeding your radiators regularly will remove trapped air and ensure they heat properly.
Can I get help with a new boiler?
Buying a new boiler may be the best solution, but it doesn’t come cheap.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates families in a single family home can save up to £315 a year by upgrading from a Class G boiler to a new Class A condensing boiler.
However, there are some aids that can help reduce costs.
The Energy Company Obligation is a government program designed to help needy households make their homes more energy efficient.
You can get grants for insulation and also for new boilers, which can help reduce your energy bills.
The aid could be a lifeline for households struggling to pay rising costs as the weather turns colder this winter.
The Sun has put together a handy guide with everything you need to know about this program.
You could also get help through your community’s budget support fund.
Use the Government Checker to find your municipality and find out what help is available in your area.
https://www.thesun.ie/money/9885485/heating-expert-boilers-tips-cut-energy-bills/ I’m a heating expert – four boiler tips to help you save hundreds on energy bills