I’m a heating expert – when to turn your radiators off to save on energy bills this spring | The Sun

WITH parts of the UK being  plunged into icy conditions, the very last thing you may be thinking about right now is switching your heating off. 

But with gas and electricity bills having rocketed in recent months, and energy costs set to rise again in the spring, it’s well worth giving some thought to when it might be time to give your radiators a rest. 

Energy costs for the average household are currently capped at £2,500, but from April this year, typical bills will rise to £3,000.

The exact amount that your costs will increase by will depend on your specific usage. If your energy consumption is higher than average, expect to pay more.

With bills on the up, it’s worth taking all the steps you can take to make savings this spring.

We spoke to Andy Kerr, heating expert and founder at boiler company, BOXT, to ask him for his thoughts. 

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“There is no set outside temperature at which you need to turn your heating off,” he said. “But as the weather starts to warm up, many aim for when the clocks go back.”

This year, the clocks move forward by an hour on Sunday 26 March. 

“As a rough guide, it might make sense to think about turning your radiators off around this date,” Andy told The Sun.

“Only having the heating on when you really need it as the weather improves is a simple way to save energy and money at home. That said, a lot will depend on the insulation you have.

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"A well-insulated property will be able to stay warm even if the outside temperature drops down again.”

If you’re not quite ready to switch your radiators off completely from the end of March, Andy recommends turning the thermostat down by one degree. 

“Spring evenings can still be chilly,” he said. “If you do still have your heating on at this time, try reducing the temperature by a notch. You could save more than £100 a year on your bills, without feeling much of a difference.

"A few simple changes such as this can mean you’ll be doing your part in living more sustainably, while also saving cash.”

Another suggestion from Andy is to cut costs by controlling the temperature in each individual room.

“You can use the thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to set certain rooms to be slightly cooler than others,” he said.

“By setting different temperatures throughout the home, you can make sure there’s no energy being wasted this spring.”

According to Nesta, readjusting existing TRVs outside the living room to one setting lower than before can save households around £68 on a typical annual gas bill.

Andy also points out that using smart technology, such as the Google Nest Learning Thermostat, can help you ensure you’re not wasting energy when heating your home.

“You can set schedules around your usual routine and lifestyle to make sure your heating is only on when someone is at home,” he said.

“If you’re not sure what times are best to schedule, this device can even learn from your routine and make changes to ensure you’re being as energy efficient as possible.

"Findings suggest this can save you up to 16 per cent annually on your bills.”

While you’re at it, installing a smart meter can also be a good idea, according to the energy-saving whizz.

“One of these devices can help you better understand your usage, so you know when you’re using the most, and which appliances are the biggest culprits, driving up your bills,” said Andy.

“Once you know this, you can look at ways you can make small day-to-day changes to use less energy and keep costs down.”

Smart meters provide automatic readings to your energy provider, making it easier to budget, and putting an end to estimated bills. 

To find out about getting a smart meter installed free of charge, contact your energy supplier.

If you’re prepared to make a bigger change, a good way to make some significant savings this spring is by investing in a new boiler.

“Now could be a good time to upgrade to a new A-rated boiler,” said Andy. “Depending on the efficiency rating of your current model, and the type of home you live in, you could save up to £840 a year on your bills.”

Irrespective of whether you decide to buy a new boiler, or stick with your existing model for now, you need to get into the habit of getting your boiler serviced regularly.

Experts recommend servicing your boiler at least once a year, to ensure it’s operating properly. This could cost around £80-£125 for a 30-minute service. Always use a Gas Safe Register engineer.

Andy added: “Getting someone to give your boiler the once-over will ensure it continues to run as efficiently as possible. By keeping it in tip-top condition, you can help prolong its life-span.”

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To read more about ways to keep bills down, read 30 ways to cut energy bills now.

For more on the financial support programmes for struggling households, head here.

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