Some handy tips for getting the most from your heating oil
The end of autumn marks the time of year when UK households typically turn on their central heating. And because the majority of people keep the heating on until at least March, it represents a significant portion of our energy consumption and costs.
Over a million households in the UK use heating oil, and according to Which? the average cost in 2020 is likely to be around £830 a year. This is still likely to be significantly cheaper than the costs for households using gas and electricity, but there are still a few ways that you can save a bit of extra cash this winter, whilst still staying toasty.
Here’s how to get the most from your home heating oil:
Think about your insulation
If your home is uninsulated, you could be leaking up to a quarter of your heat through the roof. And while loft insulation may seem like a big expense, it will keep you warmer for less for around 40 years. As an investment, it is likely to pay for itself many times over.
If you are handy and fancy a nice big project to keep you busy for the next month or two, you could install the installation yourself. Just make sure that you don’t have any damp or condensation problems, and that you have easy access, first. To install, you’ll need to buy some rolls of mineral wool insulation, lay the first layer between the joists in the roof and then the second layer at right angles to cover the joists. If you don’t fancy taking this on yourself, there are plenty of professionals that can help.
Locate your draughts
Houses are never 100% airtight, and there is always going to be somewhere that is letting the winter air into your lovely, cosy home. Finding them is a relatively simple way to start saving a bit of money. You don’t even have to pay for a draught excluder if you have some old socks lying around. By combining with some stuffing from an unused soft toy and some dried corn, beans, or peas, you can make your own.
Shift the furniture around
A common mistake that many of us make is sticking our sofa in front of the radiator. You may do this for space or Feng Shui reasons, but it is likely to be severely restricting the circulation of hot air in your living space. With all the heat getting pumped into the back of the sofa, it doesn’t get to your favourite armchair on the other side of the room.
As a good general rule, you should aim to have your radiators exposed with nothing in front of them. The same goes for having curtains over them or sticking your wet clothes on them to dry out. Instead, get yourself a clothes horse to put your washing on.
Take a look at your water tank
If you have a hot water tank, you should make sure it is insulated. According to the US Department of Energy, doing so could cut heat loss by up to 45% and lead to savings of up to 16% on your fuel costs. Again, this is not impossible to do by yourself, and you can purchase specialised kits that have everything you need. A quick fix that could have long-lasting benefits.
Turn the dial down a tiny bit
No one likes being cold, and your instincts are likely telling you to keep the heat up as much as possible. But Public Health England recommends keeping the dial at a minimum of 18°C throughout the winter. Turning down the dial can have big effects on your fuel consumption. Some estimates put the savings of reducing your heat by 1°C at 10%.
You should be able to get warm in winter without worrying about heating costs. By following some simple tricks to save money you can put your mind at ease. If you follow the tips above you can make your next home heating oil delivery go a lot further.