Stay warm and save money when the temperature drops

Young family sitting on a grey sofa eating food from bowls and watching TV with a Hive Thermostat on the wall in the background

Over the next week, forecasters are predicting freezing conditions and heavy snow in many parts of the UK. When it gets really cold, it’s tempting to notch up the central heating. But actually there are lots of tricks to help keep your home protected against a big freeze without spending too much – whether you’ve got a smart thermostat or not. Take your coat off and have a read.

Turn the heating off when you go out

Although it might not seem that appealing when it’s so cold outside, it’s still important to get out of the house for some exercise each day. But be sure to turn the heating off when you do. It’s a myth that leaving it on low is cheaper than turning it on when you need it.

Obviously most thermostats allow you to set schedules so your heating comes on when you’re home, but it’s not an exact science and schedules can be a bit of a pain to change. Smart thermostats make it a lot easier. You can adjust your schedules, turn your heating on and change the temperature all with a few taps on your smartphone.

A clever extra feature our Hive Thermostats come with is called ‘Ready by’, which you’ll find on the Hive app. It learns how quickly your home warms up and turns the boiler on at just the right time. So your house will be nice and toasty when you get in, and not a moment before.

Heat up the rooms you need with smart radiator valves

During a cold snap it takes more energy to heat up a house, so it makes sense to only heat the parts of your home you’re using.

Keep the hall on a lower temperature than the kitchen. And don’t waste money heating the sitting room if you’re busy working upstairs.

You can either do this by adjusting the thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) on each radiator. Alternatively, now might be a good time to buy some smart radiator valves. These give you exact control of every radiator in your home straight from your smartphone. So you can do things like choose a precise temperature, set schedules or turn them off all together, really easily.

Bleed your radiator valves to keep things toasty

While we’re on the subject of radiators, it’s a good time to bleed them. When pockets of air get trapped inside, the hot water can’t circulate properly so it takes longer to heat your home.

To bleed a radiator, make sure your central heating boiler is turned off and all the radiators are completely cold. Locate the radiator bleed valve and using either a radiator bleed screw or the tip of a screwdriver, turn it until water begins to drip out. Keep a cloth to hand so that you can catch any water. Once water starts coming out, tighten the valve back up again.

Watch this helpful video from one of our British Gas engineers that shows you how to do this step by step:

> How to bleed your radiator | Solved on screen - YouTube

Make sure everyone knows where your stopcock is

This one isn’t smart-thermostat related, but it could save you a lot of money! We’d really recommend just checking everyone in the family knows where your water stopcock is. It means anyone can turn off your main water supply in an emergency like a burst pipe – which are more common when it’s cold and pipes can freeze over.

You’ll most likely have two stopcocks. Internal stopcocks are usually found under the kitchen sink, in the bathroom, by the gas meter or in a cupboard under the stairs. External stopcocks are normally located on the street, just outside your home.

Turn the heating down by one degree

It might seem a strange time to suggest turning your heating down. But don’t worry, there is method to our madness.

According to The Energy Saving Trust, adjusting the temperature by just one degree could save you as much as £80 a year. Keep it somewhere between 18C and 21C and you shouldn’t even notice the difference.

That’s it. Stay warm out there! And for more on Hive’s range of smart home products for heating your home, find out more at Discover Hive.

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