Before we get into anything more expensive, here are some simple, affordable steps you can take to make your heating more efficient:
- Move furniture away from radiators. You'll notice how much warmer the room is almost immediately
- Draft proof your home. This could save you £25-35 per year(2) and you could even get help with the cost. For more information visit our insulation page
- Thermostat control. Smart thermostats like HeatSmart® allow you to control and monitor your heating at all times - from your smartphone, tablet or PC.
Even a well-insulated, centrally-heated home can have its cold spots. For example, conservatories can be more difficult to heat than the rest of the house. For those chilly areas, a room heater can give you some added, localised warmth.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, "Electricity is currently the most expensive and carbon-intensive heating fuel available in the UK." Clearly then, it's important to choose wisely if you're thinking of adding an electric room heater. The following table(3) gives you an idea of the heroes and villains - with their typical running costs per tariff.
|Typical heat output||Running cost per hour (standard meter)||Running cost per hour (Economy - 7 night)||Running cost per hour (Economy - 7 day)|
|Radiant bar fire||2kW||28p||13p||36p|
If you've decided gas is the way to go, here's a table(4) that outlines the good, the bad and the ugly costwise.
|Heat output||Efficiency rating||Cost per hour (mains gas)||Cost per hour (LPG(5))||Cost per unit heat (mains gas)||Cost per unit heat (LPG(5))|
|Radiant gas fire (on full)||5kW||63 - 81%||25 - 32p||41 - 45p||5 - 6p||8 - 10p|
|Radiant gas fire (on low)||1kW||40 - 65%||6 - 10p||10 - 17p||6 - 10p||10 - 17p|
|Gas convector heater (on full)||3kW||60 - 85%||14 - 20p||23 - 33p||5 - 7p||8 - 12p|
|Open decorative gas fire||2.5kW||20 - 50%||20 - 50p||33 - 84p||8 - 20p||13 - 33p|
|Closed gas fire||4kW||60 - 80%||20 - 27p||33 - 45p||5 - 6p||8 - 10p|
|Bottled gas fire||4kW||100%||N/A||66p||N/A||17p|
Home heating systems
One of the most efficient ways of heating your home is with a central heating system that has modern heating controls and an efficient heat source. Replacing your central heating system might sound expensive, but in the long run it could save you money. If you're looking for more efficient heating systems though, here are some options to consider:
- Boiler replacement. If you already have gas, oil or LPG (liquid petroleum gas)-powered central heating, replacing your existing boiler with a more efficient model can make a big difference to your household bills. According to the Energy Saving Trust, heating accounts for 60% of our yearly energy bills. EDF Energy has partnered with one of the UK's leading boiler installers - Help Link, to offer you exclusive deals. For more details, visit our boiler replacement page
- Storage heater upgrade. If you have an electric central heating system, you can improve its efficiency by installing new storage heaters. You won't have to replace them all at once, but modern, slimline, fan-assisted storage heaters will give you better heat retention and easier control. Prices vary but you can expect to pay around £700 per unit(6)
- Biomass heating. Burning wood pellets, chips or logs to power your home's central heating system is a lower-carbon alternative to electricity and oil. Installation can appear pricey at first but if you are replacing an older electric heating system, you could save as much as £800 per year(7)
- Air and Ground source heat pumps. Heat pumps offer a low-carbon alternative to traditional oil-fired and electrical home heating systems. They could significantly reduce your energy bills and could even earn you money via the government's Renewable Heat Incentive. To find out more, visit our Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps page.
Being more energy efficient with your home heating options can help you save on your energy bills, but why stop there? You can discover more ways to be energy efficient in the home by visiting our energy-efficiency pages and keep up with the latest energy-saving ideas with our energywise blog.