How to Be More Eco-friendly and Cost Effective When Heating your home

Sponsored Content: This post has been sponsored by Vaillant. As usual, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

We can’t escape the news at the moment of how our energy bills are going up and how climate change is starting to have a serious impact on everyday life.

I have always been concerned about climate change and have tried to make changes in our home when it comes to sustainability and being eco-friendly.

I recently wrote a blog post on how to become more sustainable in the home Whilst researching for this post, I came across a lot of information on how we can increase our energy efficiency in our home and become more cost-effective when heating our homes. 

how to be more eco-friendly and lower your heating bills pinterest pin

We have an old boiler in our house that needs to be upgraded and moved. Over the last few months, I have started looking at alternative ways to heat our homes with the main aim of becoming more sustainable.

This is when I came across Heat Pumps and I knew I wanted to find out more.

Heat Pumps, a sustainable heating solution

What are heat pumps? Heat pumps use environmental energy to generate heating and hot water for your home. They extract thermal energy (heat) from the air, ground or a local water source, including a river or a lake making it a sustainable heating solution.

Heat pumps work very similarly to our fridge freezers but in reverse. Instead of taking air around it and cooling it down to keep your fridge cold, a heat pump is an outdoor unit which takes the warmth from the air outside and converts it into heat.

If you’re looking to switch to renewable heating, then heat pumps are one of the best options when it comes to being eco-friendly and sustainable.

Vaillant heat pump for eco-friendly heating
The Vaillant aroTHERM plus air-to-water heat pump

Advantages of having a heat pump

  • Heat pumps are powered by electricity. For every 1kw of electricity that goes into a heat pump, you will get 3-5kw of heat into the building. The aroTHERM plus can operate as a single unit, or as a double unit (seen here) to provide a higher kW for larger homes. If you are looking at getting solar panels fixed on your property, then they can provide the power for the heat pump which is even better!
  • Once set up heat pumps run very quietly and generate heat all year round.
  • Investing in a heat pump could help reduce your reliance on gas to help lower heating costs.
  • A well-maintained and regularly serviced heat pump could have a life expectancy of up to 25 years.

Vaillant is a great place to start when it comes to eco-friendly and renewable central heating systems. Our current boiler is a Vaillant, so to me, they are a very trusted brand.

Vaillant has been around since 1874 and has been manufacturing heat pumps for over 10 years alongside gas boilers.

If you are looking to invest in a heat pump, Vaillant has a fantastic range to choose from. Vaillant has seen record demands for heat pumps in the UK so are extending their UK manufacturing facility in Derbyshire. 

Double heat pumps in the gardenThe aroTHERM plus air-to-water heat pump – quiet and sleek

Installing a Smart Heating Control

Smart heating controls are a fantastic way of keeping your home at the right temperature. They can be fitted to your current Vaillant boiler and ensure you only use the right amount of energy for your home.

They are an easy way of controlling various functions of heating your home, making your usage more efficient.

Smart controls can also check the weather conditions outside and pass this information onto your heating system so it can adjust the temperature accordingly.

smart meter for energy in the home
Vaillant vSMART™ app based heating control

Smart heating controls allow you to manage your boiler heating remotely. If you are late getting home or delayed for any reason, you can delay the heating being turned on and save you energy.

The Vaillant vSMART is perfect for making your heating system more energy efficient. It can connect to your mobile phone and be controlled regardless of whether you are at home or not.

Your heating can be personalised to your home’s needs, the meter will learn the thermal behaviour of your home and adjust your temperature to make it more resourceful.

The app can even show you energy usage reports from your boiler helping you adjust your heating habits.

smart meter app on your phone
You can control your heating from anywhere in the world at your fingertips

Insulate your home – how to be cost effective when heating your home

One of the easiest and most effective ways to be energy efficient in your home is to ensure your property is adequately insulated.

Make sure your walls have cavity wall insulation and your loft and roof are correctly insulated.

insulation in the walls
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Firm boards of synthetic or natural materials are the best types of insulation to go on the underside of your roof. Current government recommendations are for loft insulation to have at least 270mm depth.

Also, don’t forget your pipes! Insulating your property’s pipes will help keep the heat in and be more efficient when transporting energy. If you have a lot of outdoor pipes, insulating them will help stop them from freezing in the winter.

Draught-proof your house

It is estimated we lose around 20% of our home’s energy through our windows and doors because of poor fitting and products that are not energy efficient.

One way we can stop the heat escaping out through the doors and windows is to upgrade those draughty counterparts. However, if this isn’t a viable option, you can buy thermal curtains and draught excluders like door snakes.

draught excluder
Adah Draught Excluder – Dunelm

Only purchase efficient boilers

The newer your boiler the better as it means your boiler will be using the latest technology and will be less prone to wear and tear. However, obviously, we can’t upgrade our boilers every year. That is extremely wasteful, expensive and unsustainable.

If you do need a new boiler, the first thing to do is check it for energy efficiency. Most modern boilers come with an ERP label showing their efficiency rating, just like most household white goods.

Vaillant’s ecoTEC exclusive with Green iQ combi boiler is a great place to start.

It is fully compatible with a smart heating control, has an A rating for both ErP (Energy-related Products) central heating and water and 85% of its parts are recyclable at the end of its life.

boiler in the kitchen
Vaillant ecoTEC exclusive with Green iQ combi boiler

Radiator Efficiency

Radiators are often placed under windows in our homes in the UK, mainly to warm the cold air that can filter through gaps in draughty windows.

This isn’t such a problem these days with double or triple glazing, although it is still a good idea to think about getting thermal curtains to keep the heat from the radiators in the room.

living room with green velvet sofa, hm light fitting, botanical wall paper and earthy painted panelling
We moved our upright anthracite grey radiator to the side of our bifold doors.

Bleeding your radiators often is also a good way to help them work more efficiently.

Radiators need bleeding to let out air that has become trapped and stops warm water from circulating. I

f your radiator is cold at the top but warm at the bottom, this is a good sign that your radiator needs bleeding. This article from Vaillant tells you what tools you’ll need to do this and how to do it.

The more efficient your radiators are, the more cost-effective and eco-friendly they become.

meter on a radiator
Vaillant ambiSENSE smart thermostatic radiator valve – these smart radiator valves are perfect for setting the temperature in each room

Another good way to get heat from your radiator is to use radiator reflectors. They help bounce the heat back into the room making sure that you maximise the heat produced by your boiler.

Finally, think about how you use the rooms in your house and whether they need to have the radiators turned on.

Hallways and landings might not need heating so you can either turn the valve off or to very low heat.

We have a spare bedroom that doesn’t get used very often, so when it is empty, we turn the radiator off. Also, keeping doors shut in rooms where you want to keep warm, can stop the heat from escaping.

There are so many ways we can become eco-friendly and cost-effective in our homes when it comes to heating.

From Heat Pumps to Smart heating controls, we can all do our bit to keep our carbon footprint down and more money in our purses!

Mel x

More on Energy in the Home >>>

How to Create a Central Fireplace Without a Chimney

A Guide to Biofuel Fireplaces

how to be more eco-friendly and cost effective when heating your home pinterest pin

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