10 ways to lower your home energy bills this winter

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has some advice to help people save money on their home energy bills this winter.

A homes heating system is going to be under increased demand over the coming months and by sticking to some simple rules there are significant benefits, according to the SEAI.

Home heating typically accounts for about two thirds of a homes energy bills, the Head of Communications with SEAI Tom Halpin said.

“One simple tip is to have your heating on when you need it, where you need it, and at a comfortable temperature,” he said.

The SEAI’s has 10 tips to stay warm this winter and help lower your home energy bills:

1. Lower your thermostat

An ideal temperature for the living areas in a home is 20 degrees. If you lower your thermostat by just one degree, it could knock as much as 10% off your heating bill.

That would save around €150 in a typical family home. However, higher temperatures may be needed for young children or the old or infirmed.

2. Adopt the 30 minute rule

In the morning, set your heating to come on 30 minutes before you wake up and go off 30 minutes before you leave for work.

The SEAI also advises for you to set it to come on for 30 minutes before you are due home in the evening and for 30 minutes before you go to bed.

3. Service your Boiler

Have your boiler serviced annually to ensure safe, trouble-free and efficient operation. It could save you a further €150, according to the SEAI.

4. Open Fires Waste Energy

They may look beautiful and add to the festive feeling but open fires are wasteful of energy, the SEAI has said, with more than 75% of the energy going up the chimney.

5. Use a portable heater

If only one room needs heating, such as a home office use a space or portable heater instead of the central heating.

For free standing heaters, preferably choose ones with thermostat controls and timers.

6. Don’t overheat unused rooms

If rooms are going to be unoccupied for longer periods then even a small level of trickle heating will reduce the risk of condensation in those rooms.

7. Set timers if you’re leaving the house unoccupied

If you are leaving the house unoccupied for an extended period then set the timer and thermostat to allow for a low level of heating each day to help reduce the risk of frost damage.

8. Keep Curtains Closed at Night

Much of the heat loss from a house occurs through the windows particularly if they are single-glazed.

Keep curtains closed at night and ensure that the curtains don’t hang over the top of the radiators.

9. Insulation is key

By insulating your attic and walls a saving of between 30-40% on your home heating bill could be made.

Grants for wall and roof insulation as well as home heating upgrades, are available from SEAI with quick online approval available.

10. Consider Remote Heating Controls

Consider installing remote heating controls which allow you to turn on and off your heating from your phone, tablet or computer.

These remotes can prove very useful if you work irregular hours, the SEAI advised.

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