The COVID-19 outbreak is a strange but sad time for us all. At the time of writing, over 95,000 people have died and over 1,600,000 have been infected. Many of the population have been forced to work from home or been put on furlough. With more people staying at home, more energy will be used to heat our homes and hot water. And, as a result, will be costing us more money in energy bills than we’re usually used to paying.
Over the past few weeks, we have seen spells of sunny, warm weather. But, even when it’s warm there are still ways we can save on our gas bills. Here are 12 tips to save money on your gas bill during lockdown.
12 Tips To Reduce Gas Bills during Lockdown
Turn the hot water down
Combi boilers have the ability to turn the temperature of the hot water down. Contrary to common belief, combi boilers can’t guarantee a set hot water temperature. They only guarantee a temperature rise. Most boilers will provide around a 40° temperature rise, so if the cold water coming in is 5°, you will get 45° of hot water.
The temperature of mains cold water varies throughout the year, it’s colder in winter and warmer in summer. So when the weather starts to get warmer your hot water will get hotter. Nobody needs red hot water coming from the shower or the bath, so in spring or summer, turning your hot water down could help reduce your energy bills.
Make sure thermostats are correctly positioned
Although it has been warm in recent weeks, it is still a bit chilly in the mornings and evenings. Especially if you’re an early bird, you’ll still need your heating to warm the house up a bit.
The positioning of your thermostat can play a huge factor in how it works. Thermostats should always be installed in the coldest living space in the house, out of direct heat or sunlight. But, also away from anywhere, it will be affected by cold drafts. An incorrectly located thermostat will result in the heating cutting off before it’s got up to temperature.
This always results in the temperature being turned right up, way more than it needs to be. A thermostat affected by cold drafts will work the opposite, turning the heating on when the house is already warm. Both situations can have a dramatic effect on how much energy is wasted. Unfortunately, if your thermostat is hard wired, this won’t be an easy job and will require professional help.
Turn thermostatic radiator valves (TRV’s) down in rooms that aren’t being used
TRV’s are a great way to help reduce your energy bills. They’re not very accurate at setting a room temperature but, turning then off in rooms that aren’t used and turning them down in warmer rooms will help reduce the workload of your boiler.
Although most of us see curtains as a way to keep out light. They also double up as a great way to keep heat in or use the sun to heat rooms. Keeping curtains closed in colder rooms can help keep the room warmer. Whereas with rooms that get the sun all day, opening the curtains can let sunlight heat up the room, especially with rooms with big windows.
Turn down thermostat
By turning down your thermostat just a degree, the energy-saving trust estimate you can save £80 a year! Also, they estimate that by correctly using a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves you can save another £80.
Dry clothes outside instead of on radiators
Although it can be tempting and easy to dry clothes on radiators, covering a radiator with clothes drastically reducers the heat they release. Leaving the room cold, and the heating having to work harder to reach temperature. Even if it’s not sunny outside, clothes will dry in the wind. Much more efficient, than having to use radiators.
Fill gaps in wooden floors
Although wooden floors can look great, if there is void below they can be very draughty. A good way to reduce this gap is by filling in gaps around the edges with filler. Eliminating draughts help keep rooms warmer and keep heating bills down.
Air stuck in radiators can drastically reduce their efficiency. The air will stop the water passing through the radiator fully, reducing its capacity. This leaves the central heating system having to work harder to heat the house.
Bleeding radiators is very simple, all you need is a bleed key. The video below will show you how to do it. Don’t forget to top up the pressure afterwards if you’ve got a combi boiler.
Change energy provider
Switching your energy supplier is a huge way to save on your gas and electricity bills. Thousands of people every year miss out on saving potentially hundreds of pounds by not switching. Once your fixed tariff ends, your supplier will put you on a standard variable rate, this may result in you paying around £325 a year more!
We recently switched to Octopus energy and saved ourselves around £30 a month. Octopus energy are 100% green and take all of their energy from sun, wind and water. Plus when you sign up with the link you’ll get £50 off your first bill. What’s even better, is every time you recommend a friend you both get £50 off!
Shower instead of a bath
Taking a shower instead of a bath can not only save you money on energy bills. But help save money on water bills too. A quick shower will use nearly half the amount of water a bath needs. That’s 50% less water and 50% less work from your boiler to heat up the water!
Turn down central heating temperature on the boiler
With most modern boilers, you’re able to turn down the temperature of the central heating water. The maximum flow temperature is usually 80° but turning it down to around 70° your radiators will still get very hot and you’ll save money on gas bills too! Don’t be tempted to turn it down too much though. Condensing boilers need the return temperature to be 54° to condense properly. So turning it down too much will stop the boiler working efficiently.
Correct use of central heating and hot water programmes
A correctly set heating and hot water programme can be the difference between an efficient house and an inefficient house. The days of turning the heating on when you’re cold should be long gone!
Heating programmes should be set to come on exactly when they’re needed and go off when they’re not. This limits heating being waste when it’s not needed. Plus, there’s always those days or nights that you forget to turn it off!
Setting a programme to work exactly to your needs can be a bit of a learning curve. But, in the long run, it’s definitely worthwhile and should help save money on your energy bills.
Summary: How To Save Money On Gas Bills During Lockdown
That’s 12 easy tips to help save money on gas bill during lockdown. And, none of them should require a professional to help! We hope they can help save some money over the course of the lockdown and the rest of the year.
If you’re thinking of switching energy suppliers, get £50 off your first bill with Octopus Energy, just click the link.
If you have any questions or feedback let us know at – firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, most importantly, stay safe.