Keep warm this win­ter

AS WE move to­wards the win­ter months, keep­ing warm in your home be­comes more of an is­sue as the dark, cold nights set in.

The Oban Times - - FEATURE -

How­ever, heat­ing your home doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, and, by fol­low­ing these top tips, you can keep cosy with­out break­ing the bank. Check all your in­su­la­tion, from win­dows to walls, ceil­ing to un­der floors. It is one of the most cost­ef­fec­tive ways to stop the cold creep­ing through the house.

Make sure your pipes and boil­ers are prop­erly lagged too. Some­thing as sim­ple as pipe foam wraps can be picked up for just a few pounds – but al­ways put them on when the pipes are cool to make sure you don’t burn your­self. Main­te­nance on heat­ing equip­ment is im­por­tant, so make sure all wa­ter-fed ra­di­a­tors are bled and work­ing cor­rectly. A work­ing ra­di­a­tor should be warm evenly across the panel; if it isn’t, there could be air trapped inside.

Once these are done, you can look at your home’s over­all heat­ing re­quire­ments.

Is your boiler fired to the most ef­fi­cient way pos­si­ble?

Can you turn your ther­mo­stat down a de­gree or two?

Are you buy­ing your elec­tric­ity and gas from the cheap­est source?

These things are rel­a­tively sim­ple to check on­line and with tools to help you es­ti­mate your costs and po­ten­tial sav­ings with al­ter­na­tive heat­ing sources. The right heat­ing source can vary de­pend­ing on how you use your home – if you spend all day in the house, con­sider the cheap­est for pro­longed use, while some oc­ca­sional sys­tems pro­vide in­stant heat, but are not ideal to be left on all day. Think too about fu­ture cost – wood-fu­elled heat­ing sys­tems burn wood pel­lets, chips or logs and can also power cen­tral heat­ing and hot wa­ter. Heat pumps and so­lar pan­els can not only save you cash but gov­ern­ment-funded feed-in tar­iffs can make some op­tions earn money for you. Try speak­ing to your en­ergy sup­plier to see if you’re on the best rate or tar­iff. Some may move you on to a cheaper op­tion, if avail­able.

If not, it might be time to con­sider switch­ing to make sure you’re not be­ing ripped off.

It all feels like it will be rather dif­fi­cult un­til you ac­tu­ally start to check, so don’t de­lay.

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