15 tips for saving on heating — I’m dreaming of a warm Christmas

When you think about saving on energy, you probably think about big investments like solar-panels, floor-, wall- or ceiling-isolation and replacing window panes. Those cost time and money. I’ve collected a list of simple techniques and tools you can use to save on heating immediately.

May you have a warm and comfortable Christmas!

Cat on a radiator Photo by he gong on Unsplash

A list with tips to save on heating

I’ve divided the list in three sections and chopped it up in bullet points. I’ve listed the time it takes to do it, the price and the expected returns.

I’ve tried to use ifferent shops for each link (I do not get commissions!), but please buy stuff at a local hardware shop instead of ordering it online!

All temperatures in degrees celsius. For this list I’m assuming you heat your house with radiators. I’m calling the big machine that heats up the water a CV, I think it’s called a boiler in English. I’m assuming you have a recent CV (less than 10 years old), and that it works on gas.

Do these things once:

Keep doing these things:

Do these things once a year:

This is how I clean my radiators :D

Taking the air out of the central heating and refill with water

Especially in old houses the central heating may lose water pressure and the tubes get filled with air instead. This makes a ticking noise when the radiators are heating up and is less efficient. If the pressure is very low (below 1 bar), your CV can break!

Here are 8 simple steps to repressurize your CV:

  1. Check the water pressure: if below 1.5 bar, refill water first (see step 6)
  2. Turn on all radiators, set thermostat higher so hot water flows through all radiators
  3. Wait 30 minutes for the radiators to heat up
  4. For each radiator: use a special key (see photos below) and open the valve (see photo). Careful: the water is hot! You only need to open it a little bit: first air comes out, then it sputters, then water flows. Close the valve when the water flows! Start with the radiator that’s placed lowest in your house and work your way up. If no water starts flowing, you may need to fill your CV (step 6) before moving on to the next radiator
  5. Open the valve on your “expansion vat” (check photo below), and let all the air out, just like you did with the radiators. After letting the air out: tap on the top part and the bottom part of the vat. These parts should make different sounds, if they don’t, your expansion vat is broken…
  6. Refilling the central heating! This part can be tricky, read carefully:

7. Write down the date and the current water pressure and check again in a month. If the pressure dropped a lot, you may have a leak (call a professional). The pressure always varies a bit with temperature, so this is not an exact science!

The photos for repressurizing

Photo of CV showing water pressure of 1.5 bar My water-pressure is 1.5 bar

The key for radiator valves This magical key opens up the radiator valves. It also opens up portals to Narnia, if you’ve got the right closet

Opening the valve on top of the radiator for letting air out Impress your friends by repressurizing your radiators yourself

Shows expansion vat, a grey one My expansion-vat. This is an oldie, yours is probably red!

The CV and the rest of the setup 1: the valve that provides water (I have to disconnect the washing machine), 2: the hose that’s going to connect numbers 3&4, 4: the valve that lets the water in, 4: a bucket and an old towel. These are the ingredients for a successful refilling.

That’s it for my tips, please share the article if it was useful.

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