‘Effective’ radiator changes to ‘cut the costs of energy bills’

TikTok user shows how you can give your radiators a boost

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Everyone knows that it’s better energy bills to turn the heating down a notch when people can, but there are also a few inexpensive changes households can make to their radiators so they’ll be more energy efficient in the long run. What’s more, most of them won’t require the need to hire a professional either.

Greg Richardson from Toolstation explained: “With soaring energy bills it’s no surprise that people are tackling energy and cost-saving measures instead. Investing time and money in these measures now means that many will be better prepared to weather what promises to be a challenging fall and winter.”

If you’re hoping to save on your gas bill this winter, experts have shared their advice on how to make radiators more energy efficient. 

1. Have your heating system serviced

Simon Morris, marketing manager at The Radiator Company explained: “One effective way to help cut the cost of energy bills is to have heating systems serviced by a professional. 

“Depending on the type of heating system you have, a gas provider is likely to come and service the boiler annually, but this isn’t the only appliance involved in heating your home. 

It’s important to consider a home’s wider heating system, including your pipes and heaters themselves. Radiators can become a serious problem if they’re not serviced regularly.

“Cold spots in radiators could be an indicator of a build-up of sludge, which affects heating efficiency and will cost you money in the long run by using more fuel than necessary.”

A heating engineer can easily flush radiators to remove any build up. The process simply involves flushing fresh water through the appliance to clear any dirt from inside it and can be carried out in a matter of minutes. 

2. Check the flow temperature of your boiler

Not everyone will understand the ins and outs of their boiler, especially as they’re becoming increasingly modernised. However, if there’s one thing Britons should get to grips with in their modern home – it’s the boiler’s flow rate. 

The flow rate is measured by the speed at which a boiler can heat the water supplied to various hot water outlets. In layman’s terms, the hotter the flow temperature, the more expensive the energy bill will be. It is important to note that this is only applicable to combi boilers.

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This isn’t the same as turning down the thermostat and it shouldn’t compromise the heat of your home. What it will do, however, is save you money. 

Greg said: “The temperature doesn’t usually need to be more than 130 degrees Fahrenheit. For every 10 degrees you reduce your flow rate it can save six to eight percent on your bills.”

3. Bleed your radiators

Most will know about this nifty trick, but for those who don’t, bleeding radiators really can make a huge difference to the energy efficiency of a home since air pockets can become trapped inside radiators over time, preventing the flow of water inside them.

A clear indicator that your radiators need bleeding is that certain areas feel cold to the touch, especially the very top. If mysterious noises are coming from pipes, particularly once the heating is being turned on, this could be a sign of trapped air. 

To bleed radiators yourself, you’ll need to use a radiator key. First turn off the heating and ensure radiators are cold.  Next, protect any carpet or flooring below with a cloth and place a bowl or jug below the air vent to catch any overspill, then slowly open the air vent at the top of the radiator. Homeowner should feel and hear the trapped air escaping. 

Once the airflow stops, close the vent and turn the radiator back on. Britons should notice an instant difference in the amount of heat your radiators emit. 

4. Install thermostatic radiator valves

Even with the best smart thermostat many will often waste energy heating rooms they’re not using. If radiators aren’t already installed with thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), it’s worth making the investment and installing this clever little gadget.

TRVs are valves that regulate the temperature of a radiator meaning homeowners can control the heating within an individual room without adjusting the thermostat. 

Greg explained: “With energy costs rising, quick, easy and low-cost additions to your home that can save you money are really helpful. Thermostatic Radiator Valves are just that, and allow households to manually adjust the radiators in each room of their home – reducing the amount of energy each room needs, and so bringing down your overall energy consumption.”

For those who use certain rooms far more frequently than others, this small piece of kit can help lower the temperature in rooms that are not used as often. Greg added: “If you’re not using a room, you can manually switch the radiator off and save yourself some money.”

5. Consider switching to aluminium radiators 

Most radiators are traditionally made out of steel and while it’s a fantastic heat conductor, modern radiators have now been developed from even more efficient metal conductors. 

For those in a position to install new radiators throughout their home, it’s worth considering aluminium heaters when it comes to ways to make your house feel warmer. Simon explained: “They’re the best option for energy efficiency as they heat up in just over half the time of steel and use 50 percent less water.” Aluminium is also a much lighter metal than steel, making it far easier to install and remove your radiators if necessary. 

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