Boiler and heating efficiency

Date published: 25th January 2014

With the cost of everything rising, Plymouth households are looking for ways to cut back on their bills. One of the biggest bills we get hit with (certainly over the winter) is for heating our homes. Unpredictable weather and long cold snaps can often mean we spend far more than we can necessarily afford – and those bills can come as a bit of a shock.

So it’s a very good idea to look at the efficiency of your heating system.

Boiler and heating efficiency


The first thing you should do to make sure your boiler is running efficiently is have it serviced. Most boilers should be serviced annually (though newer boilers may not need it for the first couple of years). Servicing your boiler can save you from costly and inconvenient breakdowns as it’ll pick up smaller faults that could develop into bigger problems. If left unattended, these problems may well lead to your boiler breaking down completely which can be very costly.

A routine service only takes an hour or so and doesn’t need to be costly.

Power flushing

As discussed previously, a power flush is a great way to freshen your heating system and keep it running at optimum efficiency. During a power flush, water is forced through your central heating system at a high velocity to clean out any sludge and slime that has built up. This stuff can cause a lot of long-term damage by corrosion.

The power flush will reach the farthest pipes of your heating system and clean them thoroughly so that water can circulate efficiently and effectively through your heating system.

It’s also important to arrange a power flush if you’re fitting a new boiler onto an old heating system.

Fitting a thermostat/insulation jacket

This is a measure you can take yourself without having to hire a heating engineer – though these will only work on conventional boilers. The thermostat will save you a small amount each year and will also reduce your carbon dioxide emissions. Make sure your thermostat is set below 60 degrees Celsius to ensure maximum efficiency.

The insulation jacket fits around the tank and can reduce the amount of heat escaping, which can also save you money over the year. The hot water stays hot for longer, reducing the amount of reheating that is required.

Only use it where you need it

When it comes to turning the heating on, it can be tempting to roast the entire house. But in reality, you’re not going to be using every single room all the time so it makes sense to heat the spaces that really need it. Set temperatures to around 18 degrees Celsius in the living room but bring it down to around 14 in hallways. If you have to leave the heating on at night, set the temperatures to around 14 – that should be sufficient while you’re all tucked up in bed!

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