By JR | Blog
With energy prices now at an all-time high, you may well be wondering how you can save energy and cut your bills at home.
Our energy saving tips will help you use your heating, plumbing and electrics more efficiently, which should help to keep your bills down.
Energy saving tips for your heating
1. Turn the thermostat down a degree or two – turning your room thermostat down a degree or two will help you save energy while also keeping your home at a steady temperature. You probably won’t notice the difference and it could save you around £80 a year.
2. Only have your heating on when you need it – if you’re out during the day or the evening, don’t be tempted to keep your heating on low, as this isn’t actually very efficient. It’s better to turn the heating on only when you need it.
3. Only heat the rooms you’re using – if you’re not using your spare bedroom or other rooms for any period, turn the radiator valves down, so you’re not wasting energy by heating the rooms you’re not in.
4. Use a timer or smart control – if you have a heating timer or a smart control, you can set your heating to come on just before you get home, so it’s warm by the time you’re there.
5. Don’t block radiators or vents – while it might be tempting to put your sofa in front of the radiator, it won’t help to keep the rest of the room warm. Keep your radiators or heating vents clear to allow the heat to radiate around the room.
6. Don’t dry your wet laundry on the radiator – that will simply dry the clothes and create steam, which can cause other problems like damp or mould. If you can’t dry laundry outside, a heated airer is more efficient and inexpensive. A tumble dryer uses a lot of energy, so use it sparingly when you want to save money.
7. Keep your internal doors closed – this is an easy way to ensure the heat stays in the room you’re in. Close doors in rooms you don’t want to heat. This stops cooler air mixing and cooling the overall temperature down.
8. Close your windows – don’t let heat escape through an open window! While you might want to ventilate a room, try to do that at a different time of day. When you’re not using the room or needing it to be warm is ideal.
9. Draw curtains and blinds – curtains and blinds are especially helpful for keeping the heat in (or out in the summer!). Draw them as soon as light starts to fade, to keep the room warm and prevent drafts.
10. Bleed your radiators – your boiler will need to work harder if trapped air or sludge gets in the radiators. This makes your energy bills more expensive as well as not heating your room! Regular radiator bleeding helps to keep your heating system clear. It prevents damage as well as reducing your energy bills.
11. Turn down the temperature on your boiler – did you know you can turn down the temperature your hot water is heated to? Turning your hot water down a degree or two will help cut your fuel bills. And you won’t really notice the difference in your bath or shower. Simply adjust your boiler controls to alter the temperature. The water temperature will normally be set at 65 degrees, but you can turn it down to 60 degrees.
12. Add thermostats to every radiator – with a thermostatic radiator valve on each radiator, you can personalise the temperature in every room. Keep the thermostats turned up in rooms you use more frequently but turn them down in rooms you don’t.
13. Get a smart control – these help you monitor your energy usage and mean you can control your heating from your phone. Ideal if you don’t come home at the same time every day or are out at different times. Over time, they can also detect patterns in your usage. They will advise on ways you can cut down or adapt your energy usage.
14. Keep your boiler maintained – of course, keeping your boiler in tip-top condition is the best way to make sure you have energy efficient heating for your home when you need it. Be sure to contact us to get your annual heating service booked in.
Energy saving tips for your electricity
1. Switch off appliances you’re not using – it can be easy to leave some appliances such as cooking appliances, televisions and games consoles on when you aren’t using them. This applies to laptops and computers too. Turn them all off at the wall to save energy.
2. Don’t leave things on standby – you might think your TV is turned off, but if the switch on the wall is still turned on, your set is on standby and still using some electricity!
3. Don’t leave USB cables plugged in – do you have USB sockets directly in your wall? If so, don’t leave the cables plugged in as this uses electricity. If you charge devices via a USB attached to a plug, make sure you turn that off when not using it.
4. Switch off lights when you’re not using them – leaving them on for the next person or because you will go back in the room later is probably costing more than you think. Remember to switch them off when you leave the room. Replace your bulbs with LED bulbs too, as these are more energy efficient.
5. Reduce washing machine usage – if you can do one less wash a week, ensure your machine is full with each load. Use an eco-setting if you have one. And turn the temperature down to 30 degrees (most detergents cope with this, except for heavily stained items). BUT do occasionally do a hot wash to get rid of bacteria and prevent odours from building up.
6. Dry clothes outside or on an airer – drying your clothes outside when the sun is out means you won’t have to pay to dry them. Likewise a heated airer will provide you with a more efficient way of drying them in the colder months. It may be tempting to put clothes on or in front of your radiators to dry. But blocking the radiator will result in the rest of the room being cold (see above).
7. Only boil as much water as you need – we have all filled the kettle or saucepan up with more water than we need just to make sure we have enough. But boiling too much means you’ll use more electricity as well as waste water.
8. Use the microwave for heating / reheating food – it’s more energy efficient than the oven. A slow cooker is also a very energy efficient cooking appliance.
Energy saving tips for your water
1. Don’t leave the taps running – when cleaning your teeth or washing up, remember to turn the taps off when you aren’t using the water. The same can be said for the shower or bath taps as well.
2. Only use your dishwasher when it’s full – by only using your dishwasher when it’s full, you will cut down on the number of cycles it does a week, helping you to save water.
3. Use eco-mode on your appliances – if your dishwasher or washing machine have eco-mode settings, use these to help save on water and energy.
4. Shower rather than bath – showering uses less water than having a bath, and keep showers shorter, where possible to maximise your Try turning the pressure down on your showers too, another easy way to save water.
5. Fix dripping taps and leaks – not only is a dripping tap frustrating, it also wastes a lot of water. The same can be said for a leak. It can cause damage to your home over time as well as costing you more in bills.
Why not consider one of our heating service plans? Our service plans will help you maintain your heating system in good order. They’ll also help spread the cost of your annual service and any repairs.
We offer three levels of cover to suit your needs:
Basic Plan – ideal if your boiler is still under warranty
Standard Plan – covers for your annual service and labour costs
Advanced Plan – includes your annual service, labour and parts.
We can also assist you in specific add-ons for your household electrics and gas fires, as well as landlord options. See our Service Plans page to find out more.
Do you have any of your own energy saving tips that you’d like to share with us?
By JR | Blog
Do you have a water softener? If not you might want to consider one.
Are you fed up of hard water? Most of London and the South East has very hard water, so if you’re local to us and reading this, the chances are you do too. A water softener can help you overcome some of the issues with hard water. Read on to find out why…
What is hard water?
Hard water has a lot of dissolved minerals in it, generally magnesium and calcium. Over time, this causes scale to build up, which can cause problems with your pipework and appliances.
It also doesn’t look very nice. You’ve probably noticed the white build up around your taps, in your kettle or a dullness to some of your surfaces, especially glass and chrome.
Perhaps you’re used to getting rid of it with anti-limescale products or descaler. But have you considered a water softener? This will attach to your mains supply (usually under the kitchen sink) and soften the water as it comes into your home.
Having a water softener:
1. Reduces unsightly limescale build up in your pipes and taps
2. Doesn’t fur up your heating system
3. Improves the life of your appliances (kettles, washing machines)
4. Means shinier taps, bath/shower fittings and surfaces
5. Helps soap to lather more easily
6. Leaves your hair and skin softer
7. Reduces your energy bills
We can install a water softener for you. And if you already have one, we can supply the salt in block, tablet or granular form.
Water softener salt
We have three different types – block salt, tablet salt and granular salt.
Whatsmore, if you spend over £25 on salt, we will deliver it for free within a 3-mile radius of our West Wickham shop.
Give us a call on 020 8462 8822, email us or drop into our shop to place an order or top up your salt supplies.