As summer approaches, now is the perfect time to consider upgrading your heating system and enhancing your home's energy efficiency. You might wonder why it's necessary to do this before summer. Well, aside from keeping your home warm during winter, an energy-efficient heating system also helps maintain a comfortable indoor temperature during the hot summer months. Plus, performing the upgrades now means you won't heavily rely on your heating system, and the warmer weather facilitates the process.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll provide you with valuable insights on the importance of upgrading your heating system, along with expert tips on optimising your heating usage during summer. Read on to discover how you can transform your home's heating efficiency.
Why Upgrade Your Heating System Now?
Upgrading your heating system just before summer might seem counterintuitive since you won't need to use it as much due to the warmer temperatures. However, that's precisely the advantage. As you gradually transition from spring to summer, you'll have the opportunity to upgrade your heating system without inconveniences. The warmer weather allows you to comfortably manage without heating, especially if you have alternative ways to heat water, such as an electric shower and cold-fill appliances like washing machines that aren't reliant on a boiler.
Additionally, there is typically less demand for plumbers and boiler technicians during this time, as most people don't consider improving their heating systems when they're less reliant on them. Consequently, any necessary repairs or replacements can be completed more efficiently.
By upgrading your heating system now, you can enhance your home's energy efficiency for the next winter season. This ensures you'll stay warm and cozy at an affordable price, without concerns about potential energy price hikes. Moreover, improving energy efficiency also provides benefits during summer—not for warmth, but for maintaining a cool indoor environment, which is crucial considering homes are designed to retain heat.
Potential Heating Upgrades
While improving your boiler is essential, it's equally important to consider other areas of your home that contribute to overall energy efficiency. Instead of solely focusing on the central heating system, aim to enhance various aspects of your home to achieve the most effective and cost-efficient results. Here are some upgrades to consider:
Boiler: If you have an older boiler, upgrading to a modern model is a wise decision. Modern boilers are more reliable, cost-effective, and energy-efficient compared to many older models. Combi boilers, in particular, have gained popularity due to their unlimited supply of hot water for both taps and central heating. If your boiler hasn't been upgraded since 2005 or earlier, it's highly recommended to explore the benefits of a new condensing boiler. These boilers consume 20-30% less electricity and recover heat from exhaust flue gas to enhance water heating efficiency.
Insulation: Improving your home's insulation, including loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, can have a significant impact on energy efficiency. Insulation acts as a barrier that reduces heat transfer between the inside and outside of your home. Not only does insulation help keep your home warm in winter, but it also aids in maintaining a cooler interior during summer. By slowing down the rate of heat transfer from the hotter exterior to the cooler interior, insulation proves effective year-round.
Solar Energy: Installing solar thermal panels is an excellent option for reducing energy consumption and bills. Solar thermal panels convert solar energy into heat, which can be used to warm the fluid running through the panels and provide hot water for your home. This sustainable solution can generate up to 60% of your home's hot water annually, with even higher percentages during summer. By installing solar thermal panels before summer, you can take full advantage of abundant solar energy during the season.
Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are highly efficient devices that can save energy and maintain an optimal ambient temperature throughout the year. By utilising a compressor and a refrigerant circulating system, heat pumps extract heat from external sources (such as the ground or outside air) and transfer it into your home. They consume less electricity than electric boilers and can be used for both heating and cooling purposes, doubling as air conditioning units in summer.
Summer Heating Tips
While summer is the time when your heating system takes a backseat, here are some useful tips to optimise its usage:
Turn off individual radiators if you want to leave the central heating on, such as for drying clothes in an airing cupboard on rainy days.Switch your heating from "winter mode" to adjust comfort/economy settings on your thermostat(s) to a lower temperature. This ensures your heating won't activate unless your home reaches the programmed temperature. Adjust combi boiler settings to provide only hot water, disabling heating if it won't be used. Remember to run your central heating for a few minutes every few weeks or once a month to keep the system in working order. Schedule a heating service toward the end of summer to ensure it's in good working condition and ready to be relied upon again.
Direct Savings: Promoting Energy Efficiency
In the past winter, any families endured damp and cold conditions due to the energy crisis, resulting in exorbitant energy bills. While we can't prevent energy crises or predict future occurrences, at Direct Savings, we strive to help ease the burden in case such situations arise again.
If you're struggling with energy bills or reside in a home with poor energy efficiency, you may be eligible for financial assistance to upgrade your heating system through the government-backed ECO4 funding scheme.
We're here to support you throughout the process by handling the application and necessary installations in your home, as agreed upon by the scheme.