Top tips for heating your home this winter from the SEAI

With the clocks going back this weekend, heralding darker and colder days, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland is urging home owners to get winter ready.

Home heating typically accounts for about two thirds of annual household energy bills, with most of the costs occurring during the winter months. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI ) has top tips to stay warm and save money on your energy bills this winter. Reducing the amount of energy you use in your home saves you money, lowers your carbon footprint and contributes to a cleaner, healthier environment.

Temperature: Twenty degrees celsius is the ideal temperature for the living areas in a home. Lowering your thermostat by just 1ºC could knock up to 10 per cent off your heating bill, saving around €150 in a typical family home.

Service: Get your boiler serviced annually to ensure safe and efficient operation. It could save you a further €150, which should cover the costs.

The 30 minute rule: Use the 30 minute rule in cold weather.In the morning, set your heating to come on 30 minutes before you wake up and go off 30 minutes before you leave for work. In the evening, set it to come on for 30 minutes before you go to bed.

Usage: If only one room needs heating, such as a home office, use a space or portable heater instead of the central heating. For free standing heaters, choose ones with thermostat controls and timers for more efficient heating. While open fires look beautiful, they are a real waste of energy, with more than 75 per cent going up the chimney. They are also damaging to air quality, so choose a more energy efficient option.

Unused rooms: If a room is going to be unoccupied for long periods, turn down the thermostat or valve on the radiators but keep a small trickle of heating going. This will help to reduce the risk of condensation.

Windows: Much of the heat loss from a house goes through the windows , particularly if they are single-glazed. Keep curtains closed at night and ensure they hang behind radiators.

Insulation: Insulating your attic and walls could save you 30 to 40 per cent on your home heating bill. Grants for wall and roof insulation, as well as home heating upgrades, are available from SEAI with quick online approval. Visit www.seai.ie/homeenergygrants For more energy saving tips and advice visit www.seai.ie

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