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energy bills


In the UK, the cost of living has grown at its fastest rate in nearly a decade, as consumer watchdog organisation Which? has noted. In February, hearts across the country sank when energy regulator Ofgem revealed that the energy price cap would rise by 54% in April, as The Sun reported.

Fortunately, there are more than a few ways you could help financially cushion yourself against the rocky road ahead — and some of those techniques, like those listed below, might have long eluded your notice.

Think twice about switching energy supplier 

While perusing the tariffs available from various energy suppliers would usually be a reliable way of confirming that you are on the best deal possible, many people are currently likely to be in a situation where switching definitely wouldn’t be a good idea. 

For example, if you are on a low-priced fixed-term deal, you are unlikely to find anything just as cheap elsewhere. If you do need a new tariff, a variable or default one might be the best bet for now.

Consider buying new, more energy-efficient appliances 

If all of your existing appliances currently work fine in terms of their core functionality, replacing many of them now could prove a false economy. However, if any particular device you have needs replacing in any case, you should make sure the replacement is an energy-efficient model. 

Keep in mind that, even when two particular machines have the same energy rating, they can still differ significantly in how much energy they consume in practice.

energy consumption
Photo Source: wellsphere.com

Add fresh insulation to the home  

As well as adding what you might call ‘proper’ insulation to the loft and to any hot water pipes and tanks in your home, you could insulate the property through other, less direct means — like adding cosy furnishings and installing draught proofing. 

Many households in the UK could also utilise the award winning loft boarding service from Instaloft to ensure the loft can be used in a way that does not hamper the effectiveness of its insulation.

Wash in a strategically cost-effective way 

As revealed in various statistics shared by the Energy Saving Trust, you can slash your yearly energy bill by about £28 just by using your washing machine on a 30-degree cycle — rather than higher temperatures — and, over the course of the year, reducing your washing machine use by one run per week.

Meanwhile, if you tend to use a shower rather than a bath to wash yourself, showering for just four minutes at a time could potentially save your household £70 a year.

Reassess lighting and how often it is switched on  

When you leave a room, remember to switch off any lights fitted in it. Simply getting into this habit can net you an annual saving of approximately £20 — or potentially even more if those lights are LED bulbs rather than standard lightbulbs.

On a similar note, it would be wise for you to turn out-of-use appliances off standby mode, as doing so could save you a further £55 yearly. 

Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

Are you always ready for the winter when the season begins to change? If not, you may want to pay close attention to this information, especially as it pertains to preparing your furnace properly in advance. A big part of this preparation is to anticipate what could go wrong with your furnace before you are stuck with a big emergency repair bill and a very cold frigid home.

That being said, you may want to start by reviewing some of the most common reasons why your furnace needs to be repaired. Once you know this information, you can be proactive by contacting your local HVAC technician to inspect your heating system to identify any potential problems that could surface during the coldest months of the year. So, let’s get started with this list.

1. Neglected Furnace – Homeowner Doesn’t Schedule Regular Maintenance

Sometimes the biggest problem that a homeowner may encounter with their furnace is often related to the lack of maintenance and furnace repair. Maintaining your furnace problem should be on the top of your priority list since experts in the HVAC industry are skilled in identifying issues with your furnace that can be prevented. For instance, if you do not call in an HVAC professional regularly, the filter inside of these units can easily become clogged. Once these filters get too dirty, it has to work harder to keep your home warm. Also, if the homeowner and the HVAC technician do not clean these filters as they should, a number of different Furnace repair problems can occur, including extensive damage to the furnace and constantly rising energy bills.

To prevent problems with regular maintenance schedules, you should make sure that you implement an annual practice of having your heater serviced. The recommended time frames for you and other homeowners are usually before the winter months arrive or right after the end of the winter season. These are considered to be the best times for an HVAC Technician to complete maintenance and any repairs that need to be done. By being faithful to these regular schedules,

2. The Heating System Begins to Make Odd Noises

Another common heating repair problem that many homeowners and their family experience involve the sound of odd noises radiating from their unit. Based on what is happening, these noises can differ in sound. For instance, the furnace may begin to squeal loudly or make a loud, humming noise. In either case, these sounds tend to indicate that a huge problem is occurring. If you do not recognize these sounds or what they mean, you need to hire an HVAC technician that knows what these noises mean. For instance, if you begin to hear loud humming or buzzing coming from your heating unit, you may find that the blower motor is giving out, and the failure is inevitable. These are common problems that can be prevented and repaired if you address them as early as possible.

3. The Furnace Is Blowing Out Cold Air

When you turn on your furnace, you may hear the motor kick on strong, and it looks like everything is really alright. However, when you begin to observe the unit closer, the air that is blowing is no longer warm or hot, but cold instead. Unfortunately, this is a repair problem that may be related to a variety of issues. So, you or your HVAC technician may need to start troubleshooting to determine what is really going on. For instance, you may discover that there is an issue with the pilot light not coming on. Or, you may see an issue that involves unclogging the condensate line. In some cases, this line may not be properly insulated, which can lead to ice blocking the line.

Whatever the case or situation, the simplest test to solve is checking the thermostat to see if the temperature is set at a warm temperature.

4. The Blower is Constantly Running Non-Stop

You or someone in your family may notice that the furnace is constantly running. In fact, there are no signs that the unit is going to cut off. Normally, when this occurs, this problem can be traced to a bad limit switch. When you contact your HVAC technician to take care of this repair problem, one of the first things that they may do is to inspect and identify the problem and then replace the bad limit switch with a new one. This is a problem that needs to be repaired as quickly as possible to avoid other extensive damage from occurring.

5. Cracked Heat Exchanger

If you have a gas furnace in your home, there are some problems that you cannot ignore. One of the most notable is a cracked heat exchanger since this device can lead to toxic gases seeping out into your home. Sometimes it may be difficult to determine if the heat changer is actually damaged with the naked eye, so it is best to call a professional to inspect for hidden cracks.

In some cases, a damaged heat exchanger may be discovered from other signs and symptoms that your family may begin to notice. For instance, if someone in the family smells a strong odor that gives off hints of formaldehyde, it is important to call a technician right away. These smells can be so harsh that it can make your family’s head hurts.

6. Heating System Unit Turns On and Off Frequently

If you notice your unit turning on and off frequently, this is also a common sign that repairs need to be performed. Here are at least three causes that a technician will need to correct when they enter your home, according to Pure Air Solutions Furnace Repairs:

  • Bad thermostat setting
  • Airflow in the unit is improper
  • Clogged Filter that Needs to be Cleaned

7. Faulty Ignitor

When you have problems with the heating systems ignitor, it needs to be corrected as soon as possible. There are several different reasons for these types of problems to occur, and they need to be corrected once the issue has been identified. For instance, if there is a draft in the room where your furnace is located, it will make it very difficult for the pilot light to remain on. In some cases, to correct these issues, it may be just a matter of closing windows to prevent the drafts from flowing in.