1 - Carry out annual maintenance of the systems
By law it is mandatory to periodically check the heating system. There are two types of control: ordinary maintenance and smoke control. The first consists in checking the operation and cleaning of the system. These are important operations because they keep the plant efficient, containing operating costs. The times are not unique, they depend on what is indicated in the boiler manual and on the installer, but it is always advisable to carry out a check on an annual basis. The decree n. 74 of April 15, 2013 establishes the obligation of appropriate periodicity for maintenance, establishing financial penalties in case of shortcomings.
The smoke control, also called energy efficiency control, is used to analyze the combustion efficiency. Verification must be carried out every 1, 2 or 4 years, depending on the type of system. Upon passing, the blue or green stamp is issued, which serves to prove the control in the event of checks by the authority (the Regions, which are entrusted with the responsibility and organization of the verification activities).
2 - Check the room temperature
Reaching temperatures that are too high in domestic environments is not good for health and risks making us face unnecessarily high costs. The National Plan for the Containment of Natural Gas Consumption for the winter 2022/2023, drawn up by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, provides for an internal temperature of 19 ° C with plus / minus 2 ° C of tolerance, so the internal temperature must be included between 17 and 21 ° C. As evidenced by an Enea study, published in May 2022, the decrease in the internal temperature of 1 ° C, from a maximum of 20 ° C to 19 ° C, determines a reduction in consumption for use of gas by 10%, with annual savings of between € 80-110 (with gas prices 2021-2022).
3 - Manage the hours of ignition
Keeping the heaters running 24 hours a day is a useless waste of resources, especially since there are operating limits imposed by legislation and in particular by the National Plan for the Containment of Natural Gas Consumption for the winter of 2022/2023:
- Zone A (eg Lampedusa): 5 hours a day from 8 December to 7 March;
- Zone B (eg Catania and Palermo): 7 hours a day from 8 December to 23 March;
- Zone C (eg Bari, Naples and Cagliari): 9 am daily from November 22nd to March 23rd;
- Zone D (eg Rome, Florence, Savona and Pescara): 11 am daily from 8 November to 7 April;
- Zone E (eg. L'Aquila, Milan, Turin, Udine and Venice): 1 pm daily from 22 October to 7 April;
- Zone F (eg Belluno and Cuneo): no limitations.
4 - Install reflective panels
A simple and effective solution that helps reduce consumption in the bill is to use reflective panels, which are interposed between the radiator and the rear wall. This measure will allow less heat dispersion to the outside, since the panel will help to reflect it inside the room. A simple aluminum sheet may be sufficient, but there are pre-packaged and easy-to-install panels on the market.
5 - Screen the windows at night
The windows are one of the main entrance doors of the cold, so they must have high thermal insulation, both to avoid the dispersion of heat and to prevent the cold from entering. To this, during the night, it is good to add a screening that can be carried out both by means of shutters and blinders, which must be well closed, and by using heavy curtains.
6 - Avoid obstacles in front of the radiators
It may seem trivial, but in front of the radiators there must be no obstacles, to ensure that the heat can radiate throughout the room. Therefore, in addition to avoiding placing furniture in front of the radiators, it should also be avoided to use them as a tumble dryer.
7 - Evaluate the insulation of the house
The evaluation of the thermal insulation of the house allows to identify the interventions to be implemented to improve the insulation. An advantage in winter, to retain heat, but also in summer, to prevent it from overheating. In addition, there are different types of state incentives, which make it possible to reduce the costs of the interventions necessary for energy efficiency.
8 - Choose innovative heating systems
Since 2015 it is mandatory to install only condensing boilers, which have a better energy efficiency than traditional ones. If you are replacing the heating system, you could also opt for the installation of an air-water heat pump, or even biomass-fired boilers and hybrid systems combined with solar thermal and photovoltaic systems. Remember that, in the presence of the necessary requirements, even these interventions can give you the right to state incentives for energy efficiency.
9 - Choose latest generation technological solutions
Technology helps us in managing domestic consumption. An automatic control unit is enough, which protects the boiler from power surges, and a chronothermostat, which allows you to program the system on and off, to obtain important benefits in terms of energy savings. There are also numerous home automation systems that allow you to adjust and control the heating system, even remotely, improving home comfort and reducing consumption.
10 - Install thermostatic valves
In buildings with centralized systems it is mandatory to install thermostatic valves on the radiators. It is a good idea to use them also in an autonomous system, since they allow you to regulate the flow of hot water in the radiators, preventing the set temperature from being exceeded. By doing this, it is possible to obtain a reduction in consumption of up to 20%.