There’s no doubt now that autumn is here – mornings are chillier, evenings are longer and you’re once again looking lovingly at your thermostat. Hopefully you’ve already stocked up on your oil for the winter, so here’s how to make it last until well into spring.
It’s never too late to insulate
You lose around 60% of your heat through your walls and roof, so stop it in its tracks by using roof insulation – you need a minimum of 10 inches for it to be effective; you should also close your curtains and even dig out that old draught excluder. You’ll really feel the difference.
Turn it down a notch
Of course no-one’s suggesting that you live in a chill cabinet – you need your heating, but you could turn down the thermostat by a degree or two and not notice. You could also turn off the heating 15-30 minutes before you go to bed, or just put on a jumper now and again. These tricks can reduce your oil consumption by up to 10%.
Bleed the radiators
If your radiators have air trapped in them, they won’t heat up properly and your boiler will have to work overtime to reach your thermostat’s target. Bleed your radiators at least twice a year, and certainly before winter sets in.
Buy in bulk
Everyone’s on the lookout for cheap oil in NI, so why not ask your neighbours to join together in a bulk order? You’ll also save on the delivery charge as your supplier won’t have to make as many journeys to top you all up.
Green it up
There are some simple gadgets and solutions that make the most of the heat that you generate. Use an insulation panel behind each radiator to bounce heat back into your room instead of losing it to the wall. You could also look into radiator boosters, which circulate warm air out from behind the radiator.
Get your boiler serviced
As much as we love them, oil burners do get all sooted up (technical term, there…) and this can reduce their efficiency by as much as 8%. Think about it – that’s 8% of your fuel going to waste, essentially. Make sure you get a service at least once a year – and especially before winter – so that your boiler is working as well as it can and you reduce the risk of expensive breakdowns.
Guard your supply
Sadly, fuel poverty is on the rise and this means so are oil thefts. Darker evenings make it easier for thieves, too, so make sure you have motion sensor lights in the garden and locks on your tank. Even simple measures like bolting your garden gate can make a difference, and you should announce the fact you have these measures in place too, so you deter would-be thieves.
Use an oil additive
Using oil additives can help to reduce the build up of sludge in the tank, which makes your boiler more efficient and helps to prevent rusting and the collection of debris. One bottle of additive can treat over 1,000 litres of oil, so it’s well worth it.