BRITS are starting to notice a curious code on their boilers this winter – and it could help you cut heating costs.
Energy prices are currently sky high – so it’s a handy trick to avoid over spending – but it won’t work for everyone.
Currently, thanks to the energy price guarantee, the average household pays an average of £2,500 for gas and electricity and this is limited until April 2023.
From there it will rise to £3,000.
But since you could pay more if you use more energy, some eager money-savers are keeping an eye out for common mistakes which could cost you more.
She said: “My gas was going up even though the heating wasn’t on, and water wasn’t being used. My plumber told me to check the display on the boiler and see if there was a ‘c’….. there was!
“It means the boiler is constantly on for the hot water! I turned the temp of the water all the way down to zero, and then back up to what it was, and now the C has gone.”
She then revealed her bill went back to being £5 a day thereafter – it had previously been costing nearly a tenner when the ‘c’ was showing.
Others were happy to hear the tip, with one posting: “Love this! Thank you for sharing. Off to check my boiler.”
Another said: “Oooh my boiler is on for hot water constantly. Didn’t think about it using gas unless I used the hot tap.”
But make sure you’re aware this doesn’t apply to everyone.
You’ll need to check with both your energy supplier or boiler engineer first if you spot this symbol, because it can have various meanings.
For example, it could also mean:
- There’s a fault in your boiler
- Your boiler is still coming up to temperature
- You’re using central heating
So if you use central heating, the little ‘c’ might appear anyway – it won’t be anything out of the ordinary.
It also depends which type of boiler you have – you can check yours by looking at the operating manual.
You will either have a combi, system or regular boiler.
The Sun understands those with combi boilers paired with an eco mode might get the ‘c’ if their hot water is constantly on – but you should still call up an engineer to be extra sure.
How can I check my hot tap settings?
If you have a combi boiler with an eco mode, make sure it’s set to this as this will stop your water overheating.
If it doesn’t have an eco mode, you will need to check the two dials on the boiler.
One controls your central heating, which you can leave, and the other sets your hot water tap temperature.
Turn the second dial down to 50C.
Households with system or regular boilers can still turn down the temperature, but every control panel will vary.
You’ll have to check your operators manual for more information.
Both of these systems include a water tank, so you’ll also need to check the minimum heat requirements on the Health and Safety Executive website.
Hot water storage cylinders should store water at 60C or higher to prevent Legionella bacteria growing, which can make you sick.
You should always contact a qualified Gas Safe engineer if you are not confident in making changes, or if you have any concerns with your boiler.
Once you’ve turned the temperature down, you can test it with a thermometer as it comes out of the tap.
You can read more about similar energy-slashing hacks here.
How else is my boiler costing money?
Leaving your heating on overnight could cost a lot of money if you forget about it.
The overall cost of running your central heating will of course, depend on a number of factors, such as the type of boiler you have
Recent figures from CheckaTrade shows that the average cost of running your heating per hour is 11.51p per kilowatt-hour. This means that if you have a 24 kW boiler, it might cost you £2.76 an hour.
So if you have your heating on overnight for eight hours, it could cost you £22.08.
Multiply that by seven and you’re paying £154.56 for the week.
In September, we reported that keeping your radiators on all night will cost you an extra £10.80 a day.
Over the course of a week, that would cost you £75.60, and if you did it all month you could be paying out a whopping £335.
So, there’a clearly a big increase already – of course, prices will vary.
It’s also important to consider what tariff you’re on, as this could determine how much it costs you a night.
Economy 7 or 10 tariffs mean you’ll pay less at night, but a higher rate during the day.
That’s for an average family home on the energy price cap, which is currently the cheapest available energy deal.
Also, we spoke to someone who saved £100 a year just by changing his boiler’s settings.
He did this by switching off the boiler’s preheat – read here.
How else can I slash my energy bills?
Tumble dryers are one of the biggest energy guzzlers, costing around £1.27 per cycle, according to Uswitch.
Turn it off at the switch and use a clothes horse instead to dry your clothes for free.
Turning your thermostat down just one degree can save you £100, the Energy Saving Trust says.
While properly draught proofing your house can save £45 a year – you can use old socks and towels to put up against your door.
Smart meters can shave £65 a month off your energy bills.
Washing your clothes at 30 degrees instead of 40 could save you another £12.
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