Professor Thermostat
By Professor Thermostat – August 2013

Top 10 heating tips for Autumn

The unpredictable British weather plays havoc with the temperature inside our homes – not to mention the cost of our heating bills. Ensuring that we can remain warm and comfortable in our houses on cold spring days - while making sure we are not wasting energy and money on the warmer days - is key to achieving a happy medium and beating the current energy squeeze....

1. Check you have modern, efficient, heating controls fitted.

Fitting modern heating controls can save up to and beyond £409* a year on a home’s heating bills and the latest wireless models are quick, easy and mess-free to install. Upgrading your old-fashioned room thermostats to modern versions offers added functionality over the older models, which will help you manage the heating to match your lifestyle. Find your closest heating installer.

2. If you have heating controls fitted, check the thermostats are in the right place.

One of the main problems that installers find when visiting homes, the thermostats have been fitted in the wrong place in the house, for example near the front door or right next to the boiler, and therefore won’t give a true reflection of the temperature. Upgrading your heating controls to make sure your thermostats are fitted in the right location allows you to monitor and control the heating properly, ensuring only the parts of the house you need to be warm are heated. Any good installer can offer guidance on this.

Family sitting in living room

3. Make sure you know how to use your heating controls properly.

Modern heating controls offer numerous functions to help keep bills down, but knowing how to use them properly is the key to delivering these savings. Heating controls are a simple technology which can be easily used by anyone – including the elderly or vulnerable - yet so many homeowners don’t use them properly as they have never been shown how. We have collated some tips and advice on how to programme and set your heating.

4. Programme your heating to suit your lifestyle

Using the 'ECO', 'Holiday' or 'Party' button on the thermostat allows homeowners to set the heating to turn on and off to match their lifestyles. If a homeowner is going out for a few hours, by simply pushing the 'ECO' button, they can programme the heating’s settings to match their movements. Similarly with the Holiday button, homeowners can set the heating to turn off when they go away and turn back on in time for their return, avoiding coming home to a hefty heating bill. (In a survey carried out by E.ON, up to 23% adults polled admitted to neglecting home appliances and heating before going on holiday!)

5. Programme your heating to suit the weather

The British weather is known for being unpredictable. Managing your heating so you can accommodate for both the cold and warm days is crucial to keep energy bills down. Heating controls allow homeowners to make changes to their heating settings on a daily and even hourly basis without having to switch the heating on and off. A programmable thermostat enables users to set up to six different temperature settings per day!

6. Don't open the windows when the heating is on

If your house is too hot, use the thermostat to control the temperature – opening the window only wastes energy and does nothing to help reduce your heating bills. Similarly, plugging in an electric fan will only use more electricity and is unnecessary when heating controls can do the job for you.

7. Turn your room thermostat down by 1°C

You won’t feel the difference in the temperature of your house, but you will be amazed to see the difference in your energy bills. Turning down your thermostat by 1°c can actually save 10% on your heating bill!

Mother reading a book to her daughter in bed

8. Heat each room separately

Gone are the days of heating the whole house at the same time – we wouldn’t control every light in the house from a single switch and the heating should be viewed in the same way. Heating only the parts of the house which are in use increases efficiency and reduces consumption which, you guessed it, reduces heating bills! This can be done by making sure the radiators in each room are each set individually, or by zoning – allowing separate areas or ‘zones’ within a home to be programmed separately.

9. Allow your heating controls to move with you

The latest wireless heating control packs allow a homeowner to carry a thermostat from room to room within their home. This gives you a true reflection of the temperature in your house so you can set your heating based on the temperature of the rooms you actually want and need to heat.

Family around breakfast table

10. Be frost-safe

When a 'Big Freeze' is threatening, frost protection is a must for any home. Water freezing in the pipes causes them to expand, leading to cracking and flooding when the thaw comes, causing costly damage to the fabric of a house - as well as a homeowner's possessions. When heating is switched off overnight or when the house is unoccupied, pipes in 'cold-spots' such as lofts and outbuildings are vulnerable to freezing. A frost thermostat can be fitted in the coldest part of the house, where it is able to sense an increase in temperature when the heating is switched on. If a boiler is located in a garage or outhouse then pipe thermostats are also recommended.