Top Tips for home heating energy savings
Speaking at the launch of National Heat Week, which will promote home-heating efficiency from 4th to 12th February across 17 Stanley Centres nationwide, independent heating and energy expert, Seamus Brennan (B.Sc. Mech. Eng. Heating Consultant & BER Assessor) said that stoves are up to three times more energy efficient than open fires and keep the house warmer even when not in operation due to the reduction in ventilation heat losses.
- Open fires are wasteful of energy with more than 70% of the energy going up the chimney. Replacing an open fire with a stove will improve the home BER energy rating on average by 8-10% per annum, resulting in lower heating costs.
- 20ºC is an ideal room temperature. Turning down thermostats by 1ºC can reduce annual space heating energy consumption by 10% with an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Heat bedroom areas to less than 18ºC.
- Proper temperature and zone control of your central heating system can reduce fuel consumption by 10-20%. There is a Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (S.E.A.I.) grant for a heating controls upgrade.
- Homeowners can typically reduce their energy usage by up to 20% by installing a high efficiency condensing boiler or range cooker as a replacement for older lower efficiency models. There is a S.E.A.I. grant for this measure.
- Regular servicing of your heating boiler is recommended. For example, servicing a kerosene boiler, which has not been serviced for 3 years, will bring about an immediate fuel reduction of some 5%.
If a radiator is mounted below a window, a projecting window-board or shelf above the radiator will direct warm air into the room, reducing heat loss through the window.
- A lagging jacket on your hot water cylinder will keep water hotter for longer and pay for itself in 2-3 months. If replacing the hot water cylinder, a rapid heat recovery cylinder with factory-applied insulation should be considered. Such insulation is more effective at retaining heat than a lagging jacket, is less easily damaged and cannot be pulled out of place.
- Heat the hot water cylinder by means of the central heating boiler rather than by immersion on full rate electricity, as the running costs will be much lower. Use a timer if the immersion heater has to be used.
- Combining solar collectors with a wood-burning stove provides an ideal year-round renewable energy heating solution. A solar collector system can provide around 60% of your annual hot water needs for free (80 to 90% in summer). There is a S.E.A.I. grant for solar panels.
- Insulate your attic and save up to 20% on your home heating bill. Much of the heat loss from a house occurs through the windows particularly if they are single glazed. Keep curtains closed at night and ensure that the curtains don't hang over the radiators. There is a S.E.A.I. grant for attic insulation.