What Is the Most Economical Way to Use Central Heating?

When it comes to using the central heating in your home, many people want to limit the hours they turn it on. This can be for a variety of different reasons, whether it’s to help the environment by limiting your energy usage or more commonly, to reduce your energy bills at the end of each month.

And it should go without saying that you don’t need your central heating on every hour of the day, as in many cases, it’ll just end up being a waste. So, which is the most economical way for you to manage your heating, and what sort of timers should you be using?

What is the most economical way to use central heating?

One of the best ways for you to use your central heating economically is to set your thermostat to heat at 18°c or 19°c. Most households set it to 21°c as this is what the government recommend. However, having your heating set to just 2-3 degrees lower than this is unlikely to make any difference to you and can save you anywhere between £100 and £200 on your bills each year.

Another good idea is to only use the central heating when you actually need it. It’s been an ongoing myth for sometime that it’s actually better to leave your heating on throughout the entire day at a lower temperature, but research shows that this just isn’t true. So, try to limit the amount you’ve got your central heating turned on to a minimum, and even look to set a timer so that it only comes on for a few hours each day.

These are the main two very simple ways to make sure that your heating use is economical and won’t result in a hefty charge. You can also switching to using green energy too, which is becoming cheaper and cheaper (read our guide here). But if you want to put a little more effort in, then there are things you can do to reduce your heating bill.

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Insulate your house

It’s not just the central heating system itself that’s going to have a major impact on the heating in your home. Just as important as the heating in your home is the way that you keep the heat in, which is dictated by how well your home is insulated. The first place o start with this in many homes is the loft, which is often very poorly insulated.

As well as this, you’re also going to want to think about other areas of your house, like your windows. Switching to double glazed windows if you don’t have them already can often pay for itself in heating costs over many years, so this is another thing worth doing too.

Fill your walls

It’s not just your windows and loft to look for when trying to keep your house insulated. One of the best ways to retain heat in your house is to fill the walls if they’re not filled already. Many older homes have what’s called “cavity” walls, which means that essentially there’s two walls between you and the outside, with nothing in between.

If you fill the space in-between these walls up with foam, then this can stop any heat getting out of your home. This can help reduce your heating loss a great deal, and can save in excess of £100 per year if that’s what’s causing your high energy bills.

Make sure your boiler is serviced


Loads of us try and avoid getting our boiler sorted even when it starts playing up, as we all know it’s one of the most expensive things to get fixed. But the truth is that a boiler that needs servicing can actually end up costing you more over a few years than it would to have just got the boiler fixed in the first place.

If there’s any leaks or problems with your boiler, then this will mean that it’s not working optimally, and it can have an impact on your bills. So make sure to get your boiler serviced regularly if you want to ensure you’re not wasting cash.

Get new radiators

One way that you can lower your heating bills is to switch over to using newer radiators, especially if you have old ones. Though radiators can cost a lot of money, they can stop you losing energy and effectively save money.

If you don’t want to get new radiators, then you may want to at least look at getting thermostatic radiator valves instead, as this can help you to save energy and overall save some of your hard earned cash too. You can also bleed your radiators too; essentially all you’re doing when you bleed your radiators is letting the hot air out, which can make things more energy efficient.


In conclusion, there are a few different ways that you can minimize your central heating costs across the course of a year. Making changes in your home is just as good of an idea about controlling your central heating usage, and it’s likely going to make a big impact. But making use of timer with your heating and only turning it on for a few hours a day is a great way to stop any energy wastage.

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Jack Williams

Jack is the founder of Energy Sanity. He has been analyzing the energy industry for over a decade now. His data-driven analysis have helped thousands save money on electricity bills. Jack holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Energy Economics.