Eco Tip – Reduce boiler temperature to save energy

LOADS OF organisations tell you to turn the room thermostat down to save energy and money, but we hope we won’t need to use the central heating for the next few months! There are other savings to be made right now in hot water systems, but the message is less simple, because there are so many different types of boiler and controls. There are two main settings: the temperature control on the boiler itself and, if you have a hot water tank rather than a combi boiler, a temperature control on the tank as well. If the water temperature is too hot for your bath, shower, or washing up, and you need to run the cold tap to avoid scalds, then it is worth adjusting these controls. Reduce the setting on your hot water tank and try turning the controls on the boiler itself down to 65oC.Then adjust this up or down a little over the next few days to get the best temperature for your family. If you use a combi boiler, then the temperature can go down as low as you like; hot water tanks should be kept above 60oC to prevent legionella.

Turn the boiler temperature up bit by bit as you start using the central heating in the autumn to reflect outside temperatures. It may need to go up to over 80oC in the coldest periods to balance heat losses from the house. The boiler will work more efficiently at lower temperatures, but a higher boiler temperature will allow the radiators to reach the desired temperature faster.

If you have solar panels and a hot water tank, there are a couple of options. Either consider installing a simple timer to give a quick and free hot water top up using your immersion heater during the middle of the day in the summer, or invest in a sophisticated solar power diverter, which automatically directs energy to your immersion heater when you are generating more electricity than you are using. This should pay for itself in a couple of years.