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Spring is on the way: Time to start reducing your fuel bills

Money saving advice from Swale Heating on fuel bills and reducing costs
By Editorial on Feb 19th, 2017   @freelotteriesuk

A spell of milder weather as winter comes to an end is a welcome relief – not least because it means we can think about reducing our fuel bills.

The best advice comes from the experts and Swale Heating has been installing boilers and central heating systems for 45 years. Sales director, Matthew Edwards, answers your questions.

Q: Is it better to keep internal doors open or closed when the heating is on?

A: Generally you’ll stay warmer and use less fuel if you keep the doors closed. Your source of heat - that’s radiators, fires, stoves and so on - works by creating a convection current. The heated air rises, moves to other parts of the room then cools and sinks before being heated again. By keeping the doors closed, you ensure that the current stays in an enclosed space and this improves efficiency.

Q: Will I still save money if I simply install a new boiler and leave the rest of the heating system the same?

A: The boiler is the heart of the heating system so it’s essential that you have one that’s working efficiently and you’re right to assume that you will probably save money by installing a new one. However, if the boiler is the heart, you can think of the rest of the system as the arteries and the other important organs. They all need to be working well for you to be comfortable and save money.

When you book a boiler replacement, make sure you ask the company to check the rest of the system. 

You’ll almost certainly find that a build up of sludge over the years is making your heating less effective than it could be – get it cleaned out and you’ll be amazed by the difference. 

Building regulations specify that you have at least three controls on the system: a thermostat, a timer and thermostatic valves.

Around 70 per cent of homes with boilers don’t have them so the chances are that yours is one of them; that means your system isn’t as cost efficient as it could be. Ask the engineer about the basics but also find out about smart controls – they’ll give you wireless and internet based control over your home heating.

Q: The heating engineer has suggested fitting thermostatic valves on the radiators. They seem quite expensive so what would be the point?

A: They’ll almost certainly save you money in the long run as well as ending the dilemma of one person in the house complaining they are too hot and another saying they are cold! A thermostatic valve means that you can adjust the temperature of each radiator separately.

So, for example, you might want to keep your living room at a comfortable 21 degrees but your child’s bedroom, where they’re snuggled under a duvet, a cooler 17-18 degrees. The valves mean that each room can be heated as much or as little as you want and you can change the temperature with a simple turn of the valve.