Central heating

In most homes the central heating system will use the most energy. If your system uses oil, consider an oil buying club to take advantage of cheaper prices. To make sure your central heating system is operating at its best do the following checks.

Types of fuel

Coal is the dirtiest of the fossil fuels and produces the most emissions. If you are using coal you could consider moving to a cleaner and more efficient fuel such as natural gas or oil. Perhaps you might even want to go a step further and install a renewable source of heating.

If your system uses oil, consider an oil buying club to take advantage of cheaper prices

Oil buying clubs

More than two-thirds of Northern Ireland households use oil boilers as their main source of heating and some are finding it difficult to budget for large one-off bulk deliveries of oil. Joining a local oil buying club is one solution to this problem.

Oil buying clubs are designed to help consumers to reduce their costs by purchasing their oil orders in bulk as part of a group. By combining orders, club members can negotiate a lower price per litre than by ordering alone.

There's more information available on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive website if you're interested in joining or setting up an oil buying club:

Upgrade your boiler

If you have an existing gas/oil system remember boilers become less efficient the older they get. If your boiler is more than 15 years old you may want to consider upgrading to a more efficient model.

You should have a fully controlled central heating system with the following features:

  • a programmer which allows you to set ‘on’ and ‘off’ times to suit your lifestyle
  • a room thermostat which will keep an even temperature in the home - it is recommended you set it to around 21 degrees celsius
  • a cylinder thermostat which controls the hot water temperature in the cylinder, set at 60-65 degrees celsius
  • thermostatic radiator valves which control the temperature in Individual rooms
  • Check your oil tank

Find out more information about looking after your central heating system on the following Energy Saving Trust page:

More useful links

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