Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert urges households to take ‘boiler challenge’ that could cut energy bills by £100 | The Sun
MARTIN Lewis' MoneySavingExpert has revealed a simple trick that could help you slash your energy bills.
Millions of households are looking to cut their bills at the moment as a cost of living crisis takes its toll.
And one thing that's really making people feel the pinch is rising energy bills.
Energy bills for the average household rose from £1,971 to £2,500 a year on October 1 when the government's Energy Price Guarantee came into effect.
Unfortunately there isn't much you can do to avoid the hike, but there are some steps you can take to reduce your usage.
Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert is urging households to take part in the boiler challenge that could help slash energy bills by £100.
The MSE team said: " If you have a combi boiler (the most common type), one way to save is to reduce the flow temperature – basically the water that circulates around the system and heats your radiators. It's usually set higher than needed by default."
The 'flow temperature' is the temperature your boiler heats up the water to before sending it off to your radiators.
This means the boiler heats up the water – called "the flow" – to 80°C.
The trick works if you have a combi-boiler, which provides both hot water and heating – and its the most common type of model used by Brits.
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Reducing the temperature means your bolier is using less gas to heat the hot water, saving money on your bills.
Exactly how much you can save depends on the original temperature settings and what you change them too, as well as how much you use your hot water and heating.
The money saving challenge has been launched by the charity Nesta.
But, it's important to bear in mind that if you have a hot water cylinder, you should keep the dial on 60C to stop the spread of germs and bacteria.
Legionella bacteria flourishes between 20-45 degrees, so it’s important to store water at a higher temperature.
If you have a combi boiler, you don't need to worry, legionella only breeds in standing water and combis keep it flowing.
But if you have a hot water cylinder, you should keep the dial on 60 degrees or more.
How to change your flow settings
For those with a combi-boiler, you'll most likely have two dials on it – one for heating, and one for hot water.
The heating dial will most likely have a radiator icon on it, while the hot water dial will probably have a tap on it, according to The Heating Hub.
Boiler settings vary from model to model, so it's a good idea to check the manual to find out exactly how to set yours.
How else is my boiler costing money?
It's not just your boiler's flow settings that could be making your energy bills go up.
Ensure that when your boiler's running that there's no draught.
Ventilation is good for health and air quality but it's the first place where heat will escape.
If there's a draught, grab a draught excluder and plug the gap. You should also ensure your windows are closed before the sun sets.
It's also worth closing your curtains before its gets dark as the heat will then stay inside your home.
Hot water is known to kill nasty germs but how hot do we need our water? Many of us waste heating our hot water to 60C before cooling it down again by mixing it with cold water.
At 60C hot water can cause serious scalding in under five seconds.
However, in order for hot water to kill nasty bacteria, the water needs to be above 75C and submerged in the water for over 30 seconds.
If you're washing your dishes by hand, then you only need to loosen the grease and oil.
Another great way to ensure you save money is to turn off your boiler when you're not using the water. Most boilers or thermostats have a setting to allow you to schedule when the heating turns on and off.
Consider what rooms in your home need heating. You won't be using each one 24/7 so make sure the heating is off in any rooms that aren't occupied.
If you spot rust on your boiler then it could mean you're paying more than you need to on using your appliance.
Although rust itself does not cause issues, it could be a sign that there is a leak – which indicates there is a problem with your boiler.
It can also upset the temperature balance in your boiler, making it run less efficiently and ramping up costs.
There are also a list of other common boiler problems we've rounded up that could be pumping up your bills.
A noisy boiler could indicate that your water pressure is low or there's a pump failure.
And frozen pipes could see your boiler pack in – something families should be aware of as the cold weather bites.
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