Heating and insulation tips to save money at home



When buying heaters, make sure that they are the right size for the rooms they are to heat, and that they have thermostatic controls.

Remember that electric heaters other than storage heaters consume electricity at the most expensive charge rate.

Use a space or portable heater instead of the central heater, if only one room needs heating.

Choose heaters with thermostat controls and timers.

Central Heating:

Turn off the heating overnight and when you are out during the day.

Turn off the heating if you are going to be out of the house for more than a day.

Proper control and regular maintenance of your heating system can reduce fuel consumption by 10-20%

If you have gas heating, turn-off pilot lights during the warmer months.

Heat bedroom areas to less than 18oC

20°C is an ideal room temperature. Turning down thermostats by 1°C can reduce annual space heating energy consumption by 10% with an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Heat Loss:

Open fires are wasteful of energy with more than 70% of the energy going up the chimney.

If the radiator is mounted below a window, a projecting window-board or shelf above the radiator will direct warm air into the room, reducing heat loss through the window.

Close doors to separate heated from unheated areas of your home, and minimise the area you are heating.

Hot Water Heating:

Use the timer on immersion heaters. This should supply you with enough hot water as and when you need.

Heating hot water account for 64% of energy consumption in the home: you should be thrifty in its use.

90% of the energy consumption of washing machines goes on heating the water. Wash clothes whenever possible in cold or cool water.


Much of the heat loss from a house occurs through the windows particularly if they are single glazed. Keep curtains closed at night and ensure that the curtains don’t hang over the radiators.

A reflective foil, backed by insulation if space permits should be fixed behind radiators mounted on external walls.

A lagging jacket on your hot water cylinder will keep water hotter for longer and pay for itself in 2-3 months.

If replacing the hot water cylinder, a cylinder with factory applied insulation should be considered. Such insulation is more effective at retaining heat than a lagging jacket, is less easily damaged and cannot be pulled out of place.

Insulate your attic and save up to 20% on your home heating bill.

Renewable Energy TipsRenewable Resources:

Combining solar collectors with a wood burning stove provides an ideal year-round renewable energy heating solution. A solar collector system can provide around 60% of your annual hot water needs for free (80 to 90% in summer).

Simple Passive Solar Design techniques can make a big difference to energy consumption in the home. Just by facing a house south to capture the maximum daylight energy bills can be reduced by 30%.

Transmission of light through windows (passive solar heating) can reduce heating costs - could you allow for passive solar heating in the design of a new home? What about integrating a solar water heating system onto a south facing roof?

Adding an unheated conservatory or sunspace to the south face of your house increases passive solar gains and provides an insulating effect.

Space and water heating account for over 70% of energy used in the home, so switching to clean renewable energy (e.g. wood fuel, solar energy or heat pump systems) makes a big reduction in the environmental impact of your home.

Wood is a renewable fuel you can use without producing the harmful greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuels. Instead of coal or peat, throw on a log onto a fire. Whereas peat and coal take hundreds of thousands of years to form, wood is a renewable fuel that grows in just 3-70 years.

Using renewable sources of energy like wood and solar energy to heat our homes reduces our reliance on polluting, imported fossil fuels like oil and coal.

If you recycle glass and paper, you save on a great deal of energy, raw materials and pollution.

Alternative Heating Systems:

Ground source heat pumps, which collect solar energy stored in the ground, are ideally suited to the Irish climate and can provide year round space and water heating for the fraction of the costs of a conventional system.

A modern wood burning stove can achieve efficiencies of up to 80% compared to only 20-30% for a traditional open fire.