Last week I shared with you my first really easy and quick way to save energy, and hence money and the environment. As I do love a good win-win, I’m back again today, as promised, with my second tip.
Without further ado:
Yup, turn down the heat. Specifically on your boiler’s hot water thermostat. I know that boilers aren’t a particularly ‘sexy’ or hip topic but do bear with me. Although they’re not hip, they’re not hippie (I’m a woman of my word after all!), and I promise you’ll learn something new and save a fair bit.
You see, the average boiler hot water thermostat in the UK is set to 65ºC, which is a tremendous waste of energy and money. Not only are you having to cool the water that you’ve spent money heating with cold water to be able to use it, but completely inefficient – heat loss from your boiler/hot water cylinder is also increased.
I’d recommend checking your boiler, or even just having a think about how hot your hot water taps are. Do you find you have to add cold water when you’re washing your hands to bring it to a comfortable level? Then your boiler temperature is probably set too high. At 60ºC water is still sufficiently hot for almost all domestic uses, so go and turn it down to 60ºC (but not before you’ve read the safety advice below). It’ll take less than a minute to do and you’ll have a nice warm glow, not from your boiler working too hard, but from saving both the environment and money (around £30 a year if you go from 65ºC to 60ºC).
A very important word of warning first: you don’t want to go too low with the temperature because at low temperatures the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires’ Disease, a potentially fatal lung infection spread through the inhalation of water bourne particles, can thrive and multiply. According to the NHS, the legionnella bacteria (which cause the disease) require a temperature of between 20-45ºC to grow, so at 60ºC you’re well out of danger. If you decide to set your hot water thermostat below 60ºC (not recommended) then make sure you heat the stored water to 60ºC at least once every 24 hours to prevent legionnela bacteria growth. But Moral Fibres does not approve of setting your thermostat below 60ºC so this shouldn’t apply to you, should it?!
So there you go: turning down your boiler a few degrees will not only save you a pretty penny, and the environment, but you’ll also be reducing the risk of scalding from your bathroom or kitchen taps – which makes this a triple win!
I’ll be here again next Thursday, sharing with you my next easy money and environment saving tip, so do look out for it. Remember you can also sign up for free to get each post delivered straight to your email inbox. Look for the sign-up box in my sidebar, to your right. I promise you won’t be inundated with spam!