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Reduce your home's heating costs this winter

Now that winter is here, and the possibility of colder weather approaches, homeowners should now look at some things they can and should do to protect their homes and wallets from the effects of falling temperatures.

For many homeowners, the biggest burden on their finances across the winter months is the cost of keeping their home warm. NHBC, the UK's leading warranty provider and standards setting body for new build homes, offers the following advice to keep your home cosy and draught free for the winter:

  • Service your heating system - Central heating boilers should be checked and serviced at least once a year by a Gas Safe Registered engineer to ensure they remain safe and efficient. You may also want to consider flushing the system to ensure water flow through radiators is unobstructed.
  • Reduce draughts - An important job as winter approaches is to make sure that your house is free of draughts. By spending a little time walking around checking for potential cold spots, and taking the necessary cheap and simple measures to eliminate them, it should be possible to keep cold air out and the home comfortably warm.
  • Bleed radiators - If you notice that a radiator is warm at the bottom but cool at the top, this could mean that there is air in the system, which prevents the warm circulating water from reaching the top of the radiator. If you suspect air in the system then the radiator may require bleeding to ensure maximum efficiency of the heating system.
  • Top up your loft insulation - Heat rises, and in an uninsulated home a quarter of the heat is lost through the roof. Insulating your loft is a simple and effective way to reduce that waste and lower your heating bills. Many homes already have some loft insulation, but the amount of heat lost and the energy savings gained will directly relate to the current thickness and condition of the insulation. The latest government guidelines recommend 270mm (11") which means if you live in a property that's older than 10 years of age, it's probably ready for a top up.

Of course, a highly energy efficient heating system complete with A-rated boiler, and insulation levels that meet current regulations, are things that come as standard with a newly-built home. In addition, recent research from the NHBC Foundation and Zero Carbon Hub has shown that living in today's new homes could result in savings of around 55% on gas and electricity spending - for a 4 bedroom detached house, that's over £1,300 a year based on current prices.

But whether your home is new or old, these simple measures to reduce draughts and improve your heating system's effectiveness should have a beneficial impact on your gas and electricity bills - and your bank balance.

Media contact at NHBC

Nadia Bedra or Kelly Carter
nbedra@nhbc.co.uk, 01908 746 734
kcarter@nhbc.co.uk, 01908 746 739

News Date: 30/11/12