A first time homeowner's guide to heating

Before buying:

We know that the fun part about purchasing a new home isn’t always the heating and energy efficiency, however ensuring that the heat of your property is efficiently maintained can save you wasted money. Consider the type of house that you are investing in. The larger the house, the most costly a new central heating system will be, raising by thousands as you increase in size.Newly built houses tend to be incredibly more energy efficient and can save the extra costs of insulation etc.

Consider purchasing a south facing home which will utilise the natural light and heat from the sun, keeping your house warmer for free. Keeping your curtains open may possibly allow the natural entry of heat into your home. If you are concerned about how this will affect your home in the summer, plant a shade providing tree in front of your windows. This will cool down your house on a hot day and will lose leaves in the winter to allow the sunshine to radiate through.


Before you move in, hire an engineer to perform a service on the boiler of the home so that you are aware of any wear and tear or damage to the system. Make sure that the boiler is A rated and is the correct type for your home. It will also be fundamental to ensure that the radiators are the correct BTU.

Initial purchase:

When inspecting your new home there will be several elements that you will need to consider. Is the boiler of the property older than 8 years? Some boilers manage to provide central heating for up to 15 years however yours may need to be serviced or replaced entirely. If your boiler is showing signs of needing repair, such as taking a long time to heat your home, making loud noises or requiring constant radiator bleeding, it may be time to replace your system.

Make sure that there is no way that heat can easily leave your home. Ensure that your pipes and any cracks are sealed as well as checking key holes and possible gaps between floorboards or skirting boards. Windows and doors can also be a crucial guard for your heat, with double lazing you will find that your home retains much more heat and saves you money.

Insulation is key to maintaining the heat of your home long term. Both your loft and the  pipers within your walls can  benefit from proper insulation as a house can lose a third of its  heating through walls and 25% through an uninsulated roof. Hot water cylinders and pipes can benefit from insulation jackets and pipe sleeving which are fairly inexpensive and easily accessible. During the first cleaning of your new home, check that your vents are clear so that your heating system does not have to work overtime to circulate throughout your house.

Long term investments:

It is difficult for central heating to spread to the parts of your home that you need and so in order to heat cooler areas, the entire house must be heated. This can be prevented by investing in thermostatic radiator valves or even a smart thermostat with zone control. This will enable you to control the heat of each room within your home individually.

Smart thermostats will also allow you to save money by scheduling when you need heat on and off, to prevent unnecessary waste. Smart learning thermostats can memorise your daily patterns and adapt to when you need your heating higher or lower throughout the day.

As a matter of safety, install CO detectors to ensure that you do not inhale any carbon monoxide that could leak from your system. Having an annual service of your boiler can ensure that no hazardous gases are leaking however a fairly inexpensive detector can put your mind at ease throughout the year.  

Lastly, perhaps consider more modern methods of heating including solar panels or even underfloor heating. Each has their benefits and can save money and help to decrease your carbon footprint. 

When thinking long term, make sure you have a plan. By investing in a service or cover plan for your boiler, you can save yourself the cost of an unexpected breakdown or emergency repair. At as low as just £6.66 per month, these can potentially save you from paying for a whole new heating system.