OFTEC says simple steps can improve your comfort levels this Home Improvement Month

April 2018: New research has revealed that across Ireland 65% of homeowners place home improvements in the top three priorities on their 'life admin' list. With Home Improvement Month being the ideal opportunity to update and refresh your living space, OFTEC Ireland, representing the domestic oil heating and solid fuel industry, has revealed its own handy hints and tips to help Irish homeowners make small improvements to enhance their homes in a big way.

The research from OFTEC has revealed that 1 in 5 Irish homeowners save their extra spending money for improvements around the house. While this often focuses on interior design, to maximise your household improvements fully it is also important to take care of the vital inner-workings of your house, making your other alterations worthwhile.

There are plenty of ways to make hidden changes to your home which will own not only save money but give your home a new lease of life and make it much more comfortable:

  • Switch to a condensing boiler - with at least 18% more efficiency than a standard oil boiler, this could save a household hundreds of euros a year. There are grants available across Ireland to enable owners of older homes to upgrade their oil-based heating system, ensuring efficient performance and lower costs.
  • Turn the dial – With spring fast approaching, review your heat settings as reducing the time the boiler is on for saves you money. Remember to lower your room thermostat as well. Turning the thermostat back by just 1° will knock 10&percent; off your annual heating bill.
  • Separate hot water – a simple 'S' system will save you money heating water only in the summer and radiators and hot water in the winter.
  • Room stat – add a room thermostat allowing you to control your heating much easier and will save you money. There are many wireless systems now available allowing you to control the heat in each room.
  • Switch to energy saving light bulbs – Create a more sustainable household by switching to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) as they use a fraction of the electricity an ordinary light bulb would use and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Close doors and curtains – the very simplest measures can lead to major energy savings so remember to close curtains and shut doors to keep heat in the rooms you use most. If you're redecorating this Home Improvement Month, ensure your radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains.
  • Insulate your pipes – install lagging around your home heating and water pipes to insulate them to prepare for summer. A professional can fit this for you or adventurous DIY'ers can purchase lagging from your local DIY store.

David Blevings, OFTEC Ireland Manager, said, "Home Improvement Month is the perfect time for homeowners to make small changes around their home and create a space that is enjoyable to live in. However, the best way to create a home that is fully functioning is through ensuring your oil boiler is working to its full potential and if it is below par, upgrade to a modern condensing appliance for better comfort and cost savings.

"A certified home heating check carried out by a registered OFTEC technician can not only save you money long term, but also improve the efficiency of your home. With the inner-workings of your house running smoothly, this will allow you to fully enjoy your improvements and make your house a home".

Getting your oil boiler fully serviced reduces fuel bills and saves money on costly call-out fees for unexpected breakdowns. Organisations such as OFTEC exist to ensure consumers are safe, with OFTEC technicians recommended by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). They will issue you a CD11 report which gives you the efficiency of your boiler and advice on any upgrades or works required to make the installation, including the oil tank, safe and complaint with local building regulations, thus giving you peace of mind! To find your nearest OFTEC Registered Technician in Ireland, visit http://www.oftec.org