It seems that our heating bills are always going up, and even though more efficient boilers can reduce costs significantly, there are ways to reduce heating bills that don’t cost a thing.

In the summer, we go weeks without thinking about our heating, we probably don’t even switch it on, but when winter comes, it can be a bit of a shock!

So, here are a few ways you can reduce the bills when the cold weather returns.

Only heat the house when it’s needed

Most people like to wake up to a warm home, so we often set the timer, so the boiler kicks in before we usually wake. But does it switch off when you leave for work?

Many people just leave it on all day, and the heating system will do a great job of keeping the house nice and toasty, even if people aren’t there.

Do you really need to heat an empty house?

You probably don’t. Many heating systems have the ability to keep the heating off unless the temperature drops significantly, so if you’re worried about freezing pipes, this will put your mind at rest.

So the first step to save money is to make sure your timer is set to only heat when there’s somebody in the house.

And if it’s already set to do that, maybe try tweaking it to come on fifteen minutes later. OK, the house might not be so warm, but it will save you a good amount over a year.

These days it’s even easier. With home automation systems getting more affordable, and some of them getting incredibly clever, such as Echo, you can now have the system monitor the house constantly, providing heating just when necessary. And if you plan to get home early, a remote app can tell your heating to click in ready for when you get home.

Turn the heating down

According to OVO Energy, the typical central heating setting in the UK is set to between 18-21 degrees. If you have your heating over this range, then you could probably stand to drop it a degree or two.

In fact, it’s estimated that turning your heating down by one degree can save 10% on your energy bill which means on an average heating bill of £700, you’ll save £70 pounds per year.

Not bad eh?

You’ll probably have to get used to even a one degree change in temperature, but it’s certainly worth it. And if others can, surely you can too?

Put a jumper on

Of course, if we turn the heating down then we’re likely to feel a chill, so rather than walking around the house in a t-shirt all the time, why not put a jumper on?

Back in then olden days, this was what everyone did.

Grab a comfy jumper from the bottom of the wardrobe and employ it as your go-to winter warmer when the temperature falls.

Also, invest in a throw for the sofa. If you have a leather suite, then you’ll know that it can sometimes feel a bit cold when you sit down. A throw fixes this problem, and they’re often big enough so you can snuggle up in front of the telly.

Wear socks in bed

Have you ever noticed that after a bath you tend to feel sleepy?

This is because when you step out of the bath, the temperature usually drops, and so the body goes into a kind of “relax” mode and gets ready for sleep. It makes sense, then, to have a cooler room – however you don’t want it to be cold.

Sleeping in a cold room can actually be counterproductive, so you need to keep the extremities nice and cosy, and the easiest way to do that is to wear socks in bed.

You can get fancy types that are covered in layers of fluff and fur, but a standard pair of comfortable socks will do the job nicely and will stop you getting a shock if your feet pop from under the duvet in the night.

Close the curtains early

Your curtains can do a fantastic job of keeping the heat within your rooms, even when the heating is switched off.

But if you’re the type that leaves them open into the night, you’re not taking advantage of their thermal properties, so remember to close them early, maybe even at dusk.

Also, consider curtains in other areas, maybe one behind the front door will stop drafts when the wind picks up?

The benefits are incremental but worth it!

Used together, all of these benefits can really add up to a big saving on a year’s heating bills, and as energy gets more expensive, we could all do with ways to keep more money in our pockets!