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How to Save on Heating Costs in your Home

Inefficiencies in your plumbing system or heaters can result in unnecessary costs. Keep bills down this winter and improve your ‘Green Credentials' with the following tips:

Insulate your hot water cylinder

A 30 gallon cylinder maintained at a temperature of 60 ° C (140 ° F) loses enough heat every week to heat about 20 baths! Insulation by fitting a 3inch thick lagging jacket on a hot water cylinder cuts down weekly heat loss by about 70%.

Many modern cylinders are foam lagged by the manufacturer. Never strip off part of a cylinder lagging jacket to warm an airing cupboard – it is cheaper to install a low powered heater in the cupboard.

Install a shower

A bath uses about 6 times as much water as a shower. Keep costs down by showering for daily bathing and use the bath as a treat for a relaxed soak.

Heat water only as needed

Although a thermostat supplies economical heating by controlling temperature, even a well-lagged cylinder will lose heat. This can add up to considerable cost if the heater is left on all the time.

You can gain significant savings by rather switching your immersion heater or boiler on about an hour before hot water is needed. The most convenient way to do this is to have the heater fitted with a time switch that is set to turn on at times of peak household use.

It is also a good idea to take advantage of night rates for electricity – details off peak meters and tariffs are available from your local electricity board.

Prevent scale formation in water pipes and appliances

About 65% of British homes have hard or moderately hard water. This is caused by a high concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium salts, leaving a crust when it dries that solidifies into scale at high temperatures.

When scale forms inside a domestic boiler or hot water cylinder, it insulates the water from the heat and wastes fuel. The pipes also gradually become blocked.

Scale can be prevented by:

  • Controlling water temperature – scale starts to form above 60 ° C (140 ° F)
  • Suspend scale inhibiting chemicals in crystal form in the cold water cistern (it will need to be changed ever 6 months).
  • Having a water softener installed – no need to apply this to outside use
  • Having a magnetic water conditioner installed – the water passes through a magnetic field which changes the structure of the scale forming salts, making them finer so that they pass through the pipe rather than forming a cluster of scale. This conditioner has a filter which will need cleaning about twice a year.


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