In this page we are going to review what can we do to reduce our electricity and gas bills by making sure that our house are efficiently using the electricity and gas used for heating.

- How to reduce the heating usage and save money -

Every case is different but the chart below can give you an idea on where the average household waste most the heating.

How to save on heating at home

35% of the electricity or gas used for heating our houses is wasted one way or another. 

Of course, this is an average and some house will be better off than others. A well insulated house will save their owners a lot of money on the energy bills.

The biggest sources of heating losses are:

– 35% of the heating it is leaking to the exterior through poorly insulated roofs

– 25% of the heating is wasted through badly insulated walls

– 20% of the heating is wasted through badly insulated floors

– 10% of the heating is lost through the windows glass, frames and gaps

– 10% of the heating is lost trough gaps from the house to the exterior

How lo look for heat leaks at home

1 - Cover your windows with thermal window film

First of all we must say that in our home we have quite efficient windows so we haven’t been able to apply this solution yet. 

Still, given the research we have made this seems to be the best option for those who cannot afford to change their windows.

Thermal window film companies state that their products may reduce the heat loss, reject solar heat and reduce solar glare so apart from supporting with electricity or gas consumption, there are additional benefits.

We cannot set back our thermostat if we our house is continuously leaking heat so the thermal window film very much seems the cheapest and most cost effective solution.

2 - Prevent draughts with draughts excluders

It has been estimated that around 25% of all the heat loss from an average house is lost by draughts so looking after draught proofing windows and doors has a big influence on reducing energy consumption.

We used to rent a very inefficient house and we very much know about draughts.

A door draught excluder is a strip that is attached to the bottom of the door to reduce or eliminate the gap between the door and the floor.

If you don’t have the budget to buy a more efficient door, a door draught excluder is the most cost efficient solution for you.

Likewise, for those of you with damaged windows or damaged seals, if you cannot replace the windows the most affordable solution in to install windows draught excluders.

3 - Insulate your house hot water pipes

If your water pipes are not insulated or poorly insulated, once the hot water leaves the boiler it will start losing temperature. This is because the heat from the water will escape through the pipes to the walls and to the outside.

Insulation Vs No insulation

Well insulated hot water pipes will allow you to decrease your boiler’s hot water temperature setting and therefore reduce your electricity or gas consumption. 

Conventional pipe insulation foam makes it easy to insulate those pipes that are exposed and are leaking heat.

Having in consideration the big amount of meters in piping that are needed to transport hot water around the house, non insulated pipes may be a considerable heat waste point and present a clear energy saving opportunity.

Well insulated hot water pipes
Infrared thermal imaging - Well insulated hot water pipes

4 - Radiator heat reflectors

If your house has thing walls and you have radiators mounted like in the picture below, you will be wasting the electricity or gas used to heat up the water.

wall radiator without heat reflector

Your radiators radiate heat both to the room and to the wall behind it. The heat transferred to the room will be wasted towards the exterior instead of being used to heat up the room.

The picture below was taken by using a thermal camera

As it can be appreciated on it, the wall is much colder than the radiator so part of that heat, around 46 degrees Celsius, will be wasted because it will be absorbed by the wall and leaked to the outside.

Radiator infrared heat reading

A radiator reflector mounted between the radiator and the wall will prevent from the heat being absorbed by the wall. Instead, the heat will be reflected to the room.

5 - Water heater blanket

A poorly insulated hot water tank will loose its heat quickly if the surroundings are colder than the tank. 

As we need hot water all the year, a poorly insulated hot water tank will be wasting a lot of electricity or gas just to keep the water temperature.

If you are living in an house or apartment and your hot boiler cylinder it is exposed without any type of insulation, you may consider to install a water heater blanket.

6 - Stove fan for heat distribution

For those of you who have a wood or electric stove at home, an inexpensive but very effective way to distribute the stove heat over the room is to install a stove fan.

In short, as it can be appreciated in the picture below, this is a fan that it is going to be placed over the stove and the fan is going to blow the heat away from the stove. 

This way, the heat that otherwise would flow directly to the ceiling and be partially wasted, can be efficiently and quickly distributed.


A stove fans work by using of the Peltier effect so this means that they do not use any energy at all and they are utterly economic to run. 

Without going into details, a Peltier device generates electricity by having one side hot and the other cold. 

This self generated electricity is used to run the fan without having to connect the stove fan to a power supply.

How does a stove fan work

Save and conserve energy

Energy conservation can be defined as the decision and the act of using less energy

Energy conservation both benefit you and the environment

The act of saving and conserving electricity does benefit you because you will be paying less on your energy bills. 

And it also does benefit the environment because conserving electricity prevents any unnecessary waste of natural resources.

Now, at individual level it may not look worth to try to save a few watts here or there. 

Still, every little counts and if hundreds or thousands of us do save a little every time, it will make an important contribution towards conserving our natural resources.

 

For example, if 9000 households would manage to save as little as 10 Watts per hour (0,01 kWh) worth of electricity per day, that would add to 32,850 Kilowatt hour (kWh) per year. 

9000 households x 0,01 kWh per day x 365 days per year = 32,850 kWh per year

That is a considerable amount of electricity, but let’s add additional perspectives for clarity:

> Assuming an average cost of 0,18 euro (or dollars, or pounds, or any other currency) we would collectively be saving nearly 6000 euro per year.

> To produce 32850 kWh of electricity it is necessary to use around 17 metric tons of coal or 56 barrels of residual fuel oil.

Have a look to this page for more information about the amount of resources needed to produce electricity.
 

In any case it is clear that small energy savings do really count when looking into the bigger picture.

If you are looking for ideas to save electricity at home, have a look to this YouTube video were we show some useful tips to reduce the electricity usage at home and decrease the electricity bill. 

Two pie charts showing what home appliances and devices are using the most electricity at home.

We hope that you have found the information on this page informative and of value. 

If so, please consider to share or subscribe to our newsletter.

We dedicate a considerable amount of time and effort to create content and your support and engagement will encourage us to keep moving forward.

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Effiworkx blog

For more useful energy and water saving information and advice, have a look to our blog.

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