I know the exact date to turn your heating on for winter – it's soon but my tips can help you avoid a massive bill | The Sun

WITH colder weather around the corner, we spoke to an expert to find out the exact time you should switch on your heating this winter.

It's up to you when to switch on your radiators, but many households tend to pop their heating on at specific times of the year.

While some might delay putting the heating on to save money, many are turning it on sooner rather than later to combat that chilly feeling.

Andy Kerr, founder of boiler experts BOXT said: "Experts recommend turning on your central heating on or around the October 29.

"This is because this is when daylight saving time ends and temperatures begin to fall."

Of course, if you have any health conditions or an illness which might be made worse by having the heating off, it's worth turning it on earlier.

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Andy also said: "We always advise keeping your thermostat at a minimum of 10 degrees to protect your pipes from freezing.

"Frozen pipes not only stop your heating from working properly but can lead to costly complications.

"This can include burst pipes and plumber call-out fees, and it is ideal to ensure your heating system works reliably before the really cold weather arrives."

There are still countless ways you can cut back on the costs of heating your home and make your budget stretch even further, Andy said. Here's just a few:

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Get your boiler serviced

An inefficient boiler can see your heating bill spike as it has to work harder to raise the temperature inside your home.

So you should get it serviced every 12 months to ensure it's working smoothly.

Not only this, but following a manufacturer's boiler service schedule will keep it in warranty.

That means if your boiler needs repairs they'll be covered by the manufacturer.

A boiler service costs around £80 to £125 which can seem like a fair bit to fork out.

But the cost of replacing one is around £3,000, according to Checkatrade – not a situation you want to find yourself in.

Turn your thermostat and valves down

If you turn your boiler's flow temperature down as well as any thermostatic radiator valves in some rooms – you could save around £180 annually on your energy bills.

Andy said the typical heating range in households across the UK is between 18-21°c during the colder months.

But turning your heating down by just one degrees can slash your heating bill by 10%.

So if you regularly keep yours at 20°C, why not take it down to 19°C and see how much you can save?

As an example, if you usually spend £400 on your heating between October and February, you could save £40 by dialling down one degree.

Bleed your radiators

Bleeding your radiators removes trapped air inside which can create cold spots and stop them from working efficiently.

A less efficient heating system means your boiler has to work harder and you spend more money than you need to.

Bleeding your radiators is a fairly simple process – you just need a radiator key and some old clothes or sheets to catch any water that comes out.

Experts say you should do it about once a year, but remember to not do it when the boiler is on as you may risk scalding yourself.

How else can I cut my heating bills?

A couple managed to cut £400 off their EDF Energy bill by turning off their immersion heater.

Topping up loft insulation and switching to a smart meter can bring a household a further £230 worth of annual savings, according to Nesta.

It is also important to ensure that when your boiler's running there's no draught.

Ventilation is good for health and air quality but it's the first place where heat will escape.

If there's a draught, grab a draught excluder and plug the gap.

You should also ensure your windows are closed before the sun sets.

Consider what rooms in your home need heating.

You won't be using each one 24/7 so make sure the heating is off in any rooms that aren't occupied.

There is also a list of other common boiler problems we've rounded up that could be pumping up your bills.

A noisy boiler could also indicate that your water pressure is low or there's a pump failure.

If you spot rust on your boiler then it could mean you're paying more than you need to on using your appliance.

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Although rust itself does not cause issues, it could be a sign that there is a leak – which indicates there is a problem with your boiler.

It can also upset the temperature balance in your boiler, making it run less efficiently and ramping up costs.

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