Making your home more environmentally friendly is a huge priority for many people these days, with concern around climate change growing. With freak heat waves and flooding appearing on the news more and more frequently, everyone needs to do their bit to support the cultural shift towards reducing our combined carbon footprint. With money tight as well, some people may be looking to make their home greener in the hope of getting a green mortgage with a lower interest rate, as well as saving on their bills.
No matter what your reason for going green, it’s only going to benefit the planet. Luckily, when it comes to heating systems, there are lots of ways to make them kinder to the planet. Check out these tips to get started.
Use renewable energy
There are plenty of big renewable energy systems available, such as heat pumps, biomass boilers, infrared heating panels and solar thermal panels. All of these work by harnessing natural resources and turning them into usable energy for your home – deciding which one is right for you will depend on your budget, and the space you have available. However, they do require you to swap your current heating system out, so many people avoid them because of the costs and work involved.
If you have an electric boiler and want to keep your existing system in place, why not swap to a renewable energy tariff? You can either change your provider to a completely renewable supplier or speak to your existing provider and see if they offer a green tariff. The difference between the two is that a 100% renewable energy provider only invests in green energy projects, whereas a standard provider who offers a green tariff invests in renewable energy and fossil fuel power.
Ultimately, both add green power units to the grid supply, so if you can’t switch to a completely renewable supplier for whatever reason, then you can rest assured that your green tariff is still making a difference.
Swap to an energy-efficient boiler
Modern boilers are designed to be more energy efficient, which means that less heat escapes, as well as using less energy to get you the water that you need. Replacing your boiler for a newer one is one of the easiest ways to go greener. This new model should be a condensing boiler, which will be around 90% efficient, compared to 60% for a non-condensing boiler.
When purchasing a new boiler, look out for the A-G rating sticker, where A is the best – this will help you see how efficient it will be. If you’re unsure, you can ask your plumber for advice on which model will work best for your needs.
Get your boiler checked regularly
Like any other appliance in your home, your boiler needs regular maintenance to stay in good working order. This means having it serviced by a qualified technician at least once a year.
During a service, the technician will clean the boiler and check all of its components to make sure they are functioning properly. They will also test the flue to make sure it is drawing as it should and check the pressure to ensure the boiler is operating at the correct level. In addition, they will inspect the controls and safety devices to ensure they are working correctly. By taking these simple steps, you can help keep your boiler running smoothly and efficiently.
You can also ask your technician about chemical inhibitors, which are a liquid that is added into your central heating system. Over time, rust can build up in the system and in your radiators in particular, and the chemical reduces this. This means that your system will be more efficient, as the water can pass through more easily. You should get this chemical replaced when you get your boiler serviced, in order to remove the old dirty liquid.
Another alternative is to get your plumber to install magnetic filters on the pipe where the water comes into your boiler. The filter stops rust and sludge entering your boiler system, which keeps it working efficiently. You can install one yourself, but if you’re at all unsure, get your technician to do it when they come and complete your service.
Hot water cylinders
New hot water tanks are designed to be well-insulated, which will keep the water inside at the right temperature. However, old models can be made better as well, by getting the insulation inside increased to 80mm. It’s worth noting that this is also estimated to save you around £35 per year, so not only is it better for the planet, but it’s also good for your wallet over time.
Connect to a smart thermostat
Only using your heating when you need it is key to both cutting your carbon emissions and your bills – there is no point in heating an empty house. Smart thermostats connect to the majority of modern heating systems and can be set to a routine, or even controlled by an app, meaning that you can update the schedule if your plans change.
There are several models on the market, so you can find the one that suits your needs best. The top of the range ones allow you to connect several units to create zonal heating, so that your office stays cosy whilst you’re working, without also heating all the bedrooms. They also tend to offer heating by location, meaning that your app uses your phone location to determine when to start warming your home.
Once you’ve sorted out your perfect efficient heating system, it’s time to keep the temperature of your home stable. There’s no point in generating all this heat if it’s simply going to escape – you’re wafting your money out the door, and making your boiler work harder. Make sure that you check for draughts around your property, and do the work to reduce these, whether that’s resealing window panes or getting draught excluders for the front door.
By following these simple steps, you can improve the quality of your heating system, making it more eco-friendly and saving you money.