Page last updated at 15 June 2015 at 14:57
Take time to understand how your heating system works and how to get the most out of the controls. Get the system to work with your lifestyle patterns, there is no need to heat an empty home for long periods of time or to heat empty rooms to the same temperature as those you live in.
Most heating systems will have a combination of a timer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves (TRV) which is enough to control the temperature room by room.
Check the setup is right for you each season as we experience different temperatures.
If you have a wood burning stove or a secondary heating option to heat the main rooms, you may not need your central heating on as much.
Re-acquaint yourself with your heating controls
Take a look at the timer. Play with it a bit to get the hang of it (ask friends or other members of your family to help) and adjust it to heat the house when you need it. Set it to shut down half an hour before you go out in the morning and come on again half an hour before you come back.
If you are installing a new timer, get one that allows you to set the weekend differently to the weekday because our patterns of occupying the house can be very different.
Turn off the radiator in rooms you are not using or don't use much. If you have thermostatic radiator valves, don't treat them like an ON/OFF switch by moving them between 1 and 5. Set them at 3, wait a day, and then adjust to 2 or 4 if you’re too hot or cold.
A new product on the market is an individual radiator timer suited for rooms when heating might only have a limited requirement.
Bleed your radiators the first time the central heating is switched on and check them regularly. You will spot problems when the radiator is not at an even temperature all over and is cooler at the top caused by air getting into them. Bleeding them lets the air out and requires a radiator key available at any DIY shop. Ask your boiler engineer to check the radiators at your next service.
Foil radiator panels behind your radiators can reduce heat loss through the walls, particularly for radiators on outside walls.
A very important although often overlooked thing you can do is install thick curtains at the windows, even for double glazed windows. A cheaper alternative is to line your existing curtains to give the same effect.
Don't forget to draw the curtains at dusk, before the temperature drops to keep the heat in.
Many homes are heated with electric storage heaters designed to heat up at night and release the heat during the day. If you have one of these try to keep the grills closed at night to keep heat in and open the grills and adjust them to get them working as you want them.
Download our top tips for Heating and Electric Heating
To find out more, contact Giles Gooding on 023 8068 8274, email firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @EcoEastleigh