DIY: Efficient plumbing & heating systems

How can you increase the efficiency of your plumbing and heating system?

In light of rising energy prices, more and more people are becoming conscious of how efficient their plumbing and heating systems are. Not only this, but you can simultaneously reduce your carbon footprint with more efficient boiler practices. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help with this. 

Why is it important to evaluate the efficiency of plumbing and heating? 

Sometimes, the best way to solve a problem is to go right back to basics and assess the cause. Energy can be easily lost if a boiler isn’t functioning at full capacity – this is a key cause of inefficiencies. The more energy you lose, the more you’ll need to pay to retain a comfortable temperature in your home. 

A boiler’s efficiency can be improved with plumbers’ tools for the task, however, you might require a more extensive inspection from a professional. 

How do boilers work and impact efficiency?

Boilers can impact the efficiency of your heating system. They provide heat and the pump moves this heated water through the pipes into your radiator. This water is then sent back to the boiler for reheating. 

Modern boilers are significantly more efficient than old radiators more than a few decades old, mainly because they are condensing. This means more heat from the exhaust flue gas is recovered and used to heat the central heating water. Sometimes, an initial investment means you can save more money overall. Boiler maintenance is another key part of maintaining efficiency across your heating system.

What is insulation? 

Insulation helps to retain heat created by your boiler – and any heat lost will only mean keeping your heating on for longer to compensate. To improve insulation, you can add a hot water tank jacket that is 75mm thick or more. You can also add foam tubing to your pipes. Fortunately, this is a simple hack you can do yourself with the right tools.

Draught reduction

Perhaps one of the cheapest, most efficient ways to retain heat in your home, draught-proofing is a great way to help reduce your energy bills. Draughts can cause warm air to escape through any gaps in your home, whether that’s underneath your doors or up the chimney. Non-sealed windows and doors can also cause draughts. Minimize this by sealing gaps where possible, either with the help of an expert, using DIY tools, or simply by making draught excluders. 

Radiator efficiency

A simple and helpful action is to bleed your radiators each year – even if they are still functioning properly. This releases trapped air, which can cause radiators to gurgle or bang. Radiators are the end point of your heating system at the end of the day, and if they aren’t functioning properly, this could result in your efforts going to waste as your rooms won’t heat up properly. At the same time, make sure large furniture isn’t blocking them so that the heat can circulate in the room efficiently.