As a recent survey finds over a fifth of UK households leave their heating on during the warmer months without considering their energy bills or the environment, homeowners are being offered a few simple tips for a cheaper, greener summer.
The One Poll study* found 27% of households leave their radiators on to dry clothes even when the outside temperature soars, while 26% leave the heating on when no one is home.
Further research** shows heating an empty home for just two hours a day can not only add over £100 to an annual energy bill but also produces 0.7 tonnes of carbon – that’s the equivalent of two people on return economy flights to Venice.
To help households be kinder to the planet and their bank balances this summer, OFTEC, the trade association for the liquid fuel heating industry, has compiled a few handy heating hints:
- Switch it off – and on again
Turning your boiler off as the weather hots up will make sure you don’t waste money or energy. If you have a combi boiler but still want hot water, consider changing the settings to heat your water but not your home. Whichever option you choose, it’s always a good idea to run your heating for a few minutes once a month over the summer just to keep the system in good working order.
- Work with the weather
The British weather is unpredictable to say the least so you may still find a few days feel chilly even in the height of summer! It’s tempting to automatically turn up the thermostat but, if it’s sunny, be sure to let the natural light in first as sometimes that’s all that’s needed to take the chill off.
- Upgrade and save
Summer is a prime time to upgrade your heating system as you are less reliant on your boiler. It’s also a quieter time of year for heating technicians so you’ll get the work done quicker. Modern boilers, especially when combined with smart controls, are far more efficient and cheaper to run so are well worth the investment.
- Future fuels
As part of government’s plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050, we will all need to make changes to the way we heat our homes. For oil heated households, the answer could be as simple as switching from kerosene to a new, renewable liquid fuel that works in most existing oil heating systems with only minor changes and cuts harmful emissions by almost 90%.
Malcolm Farrow of OFTEC comments: “The last thing most of us want to think about as the weather warms up is our heating system. But failing to do so could mean local households are throwing money away and unnecessarily contributing to the urgent issue of climate change.
“Just taking a few minutes to adjust controls and timers or consider whether the heating really needs to be on can all add up and make a difference in the long run.
“As the need to cut carbon emissions from our homes becomes more pressing, we must become more conscious about the energy we use. That’s why we are working with wider industry to develop a renewable liquid fuel which offers a simple, affordable to install low carbon alternative to heating oil.”
* One Poll survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by energy company Hive.
** Research source: Hive