As the warm weather slowly makes a return, households in England and Wales are being urged to 'spring clean' their heating system to avoid missing out on potential savings to their fuel bills.
Following a cold start to the year, many homes still have their heating set to cope with freezing conditions. However, by making a few simple adjustments and routine checks, households can reduce their energy usage and potentially enjoy cheaper fuel bills.
In support, OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, has produced a 'spring cleaning' guide which outlines the key things to look out for:
- Adjust your heating timers. If you made changes to your timers over winter, it's a good idea to check the heating still only comes on when you need it to – particularly now the clocks have gone forward. By regularly reviewing and adjusting these settings you can make additional savings.
- Turn off individual radiators. We often forget about rooms we don't use on a regular basis so make sure you aren't wasting money heating them up. You should also check the radiator temperatures in your main rooms if these were set higher during the winter freeze.
- Make sure you have enough heating oil. Following heavy use over winter, check how much oil you have left in your tank and top up early to avoid any emergency deliveries. We recommend you use an FPS accredited fuel supplier as they follow strict safety guidelines.
- Check your home insurance covers oil related incidents. Whilst oil tanks have a very strong safety record, it's important to ensure your home insurance policy covers the cost of any oil spills in the unlikely event of a leak so you don't get caught out. There may also be requirements to have your chimney regularly swept if you have a wood burner or open fire.Have your boiler serviced. Routine maintenance is an effective way of reducing your energy usage and prolonging the life of your heating system. Contact a GasSafe (for mains gas) or OFTEC (for oil) registered technician who will ensure it is operating correctly and to maximum efficiency. They have also been certified as fully competent and will complete the work to a professional and safe standard.
Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC said: "This time last year many households across England and Wales were still experiencing the last of the cold weather. However, the warmer temperatures have made a return much earlier this time around which means many households may be on the backfoot when it comes to their heating.
"It's easy to forget about making adjustments as temperatures start to return to normal and you might not even notice issues such as your heating coming on whilst you are asleep or out of the house. However, this oversight could be costing you quite a bit of money. We also recommend reviewing your home insurance policy to understand what you are covered for in the unlikely event you have any problems with your heating system."
For more information and advice, visit www.oilsave.org.uk.