Our hot tips for efficient home heating




According to a recent survey carried out by NRG Awareness, ‘nine out of 10 Irish people are worried about the cost of heating their home this winter,’ with a third of those questioned saying they’re expecting to shell out over ‘€500’ on heating bills before the sun starts to shine again.

  If you’re one of those people, (and I am), who finds all of their energy budget is going on keeping your home warm this winter, (and I’ve just paid an ESB bill so large this week, I’m convinced I’m supporting the entire national grid), then, in order to try and help you shave even a little bit off your bills, we’ve put together what we hope are some hot tips…(see what we did there), to help you out.

  Walk around your home with a notebook and pen and, like a forensic auditor, dissect, appraise, evaluate and analyse every single nook, cranny, wall, air-duct, door and window in order to determine where you’re losing your heat. Now, while this should not prove to be a difficult or technical task, if you’re someone who isn’t terribly handy, you could consider engaging the services of a local professional home energy consultant who’ll carry out an expert assessment for you and who’ll also be able to best advise around strategies and solutions for draught proofing, etc.

  If your radiators are showing signs of having cold spots, it’s very likely you have air trapped in your system. This air can cause the radiators to circulate hot water less effectively, meaning less heat is being generated into your room. So, while your heating is turned off and your radiators have cooled down, get your Allen (or radiator) key and bleed them bad boys until the ‘hissing’ sound made by the trapped air escaping has stopped. Our tip: Make sure you have a towel or some sort of cloth sufficient enough to catch any water that may leak out.  For those who are unsure how to carry out this procedure, we’d advise you call your local plumber for help.

  Burst pipes are great fun…said nobody ever! So, as Met Eireann is telling us the cold snap is due to stick around for the foreseeable future, in order to avoid a disaster, we’d recommend the following:

  As the cold weather can prove damaging to pipes, try to avoid totally switching off your home heating system, and instead, keep the temperature on low. You see, even though switching off your heat entirely will save on energy bills, you may end up paying out a fortune replacing the damage done by burst pipes. Our tip: Investing in a programmable timer will give you control over your heating, especially if you’re going to be away from home overnight during a bitterly cold snap.

  Never assume that, just because your heating system is running okay it means there are no underlying issues at play. Remember to book your annual maintenance service in order to avoid that distressful breakdown in the middle of a minus three day in January when you’ll need your heating the most.


Fuel Allowance Scheme

Coping with the bitterly cold weather can prove challenging for our seniors, and there is a fuel allowance scheme in place to help with costs. The 2018/19 fuel allowance season began last October, and, if you wish to find out more about it, or to see if you qualify to receive help, get in touch with your local social welfare office whose friendly staff will be happy to go through the procedure with you.

  Speaking of fuel allowances, if at all possible, when having your home heating oil/fuel delivered, try to avoid ordering small amounts and instead, if you can afford it, ask your supplier to deliver the optimum amount your tank/fuel shed can take. Remember, your local supplier will usually offer discounts on bigger orders, so make use of their value for money options.

  Insulate your hot water tank to keep your water warm for longer, and insulate your attic space to reduce any heat loss.