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Tips for Green Living - Heating Your Home

Top tips for Heating Your Home with Nicky SaunterAs the snow starts to fall and temperatures drop our Trustee Nicky Saunter has some top tips for Heating Your Home this winter, as part of our Green Living series.

Speaking as someone who grew up in the bitter cold of a house with brand new central heating we couldn't afford to use in the 1970s oil shock, it is fabulous that most homes (not all) benefit from good heating these days. However, keeping warm accounts for 50 to 80 per cent of all our home energy use, so our increased comfort comes at a price to us and our planet.

Here's my top 10 tips for making the most of our precious fuel:

  1. Understand your central heating controls and only turn it on when you mean to. Storage heaters should be set to run out of heat by the time you go to bed.
  2. Turn your room thermostat down and dress a bit more warmly - just one degree C less can mean a seven per cent reduction in bills.
  3. Make sure your hot water thermostat is fixed to the base of the tank and is not set higher than 60 degrees C.
  4. Bedrooms do not need to be warm, so turn your thermostats down to 15-17 Degrees C here.
  5. Thermostats should be in less draughty places like the living room, not in the hall. Remember a porch or entrance hall with a door will help keep the heat inside.
  6. Don't forget to bleed your radiators. Be aware that if you have a combi boiler, you should ask a heating engineer to do it for you.
  7. Draught proofing - you can fit draught excluder around windows, doors, over keyholes and letterboxes (tape a piece of plastic over it hinged at the top so your post can still come through). However, you need some fresh air, so keep trickle vents on windows open.
  8. Put radiator foil behind any radiators that are fixed to outside walls - otherwise, these will be losing up to 70 per cent of their heat through the wall.
  9. Line curtains with thick, fluffy fabric or reflective material to push the cold air back toward the window.
  10. If you like technology - how about installing an intelligent heating controller, which can compensate for time, weather and different living areas?