Why Assist Your Home Care Clients With Their Heating Costs?
Home care heating costs may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering your carers priorities. For a number of reasons, those who receive home care may also require assistance with their finances. For instance, degenerative diseases can affect a client’s ability to make decisions such as changing energy tariff, as well as their ability to pay bills accurately and on time.
With strong predictions of at least a 3.5% energy price increase to come in the new year, vulnerable clients may feel they have no other choice but to keep their heating off entirely. With one in ten elderly people reducing their energy use last Winter for fear of costs, this will only increase in 2023. This can be incredibly dangerous for elderly and unwell individuals. As the temperature drops, ensuring your clients are heating their homes effectively should become a high priority.
It can be difficult maintaining a high quality of care whilst ensuring that your clients are living sustainably, so we are here to help! Reassure both your clients and their families this winter, by adding these simple checks to your next visit.
Tip #1: Just One Degree Could Make All The Difference.
Did you know that for every degree you lower your heating, you could save an average of £80 a year? The average UK household is heated to 25 degrees, when 18-21 degrees is the ideal indoor temperature! By lowering their heating by a few degrees where possible, that’s an instant average yearly saving of hundreds per client!
Tip #2: Exclude that draught!
For many reasons, installing new fittings to a clients home won’t be a short-term solution. There’s no need to buy excluders, even a rolled up towel is a cost-effective way to keep the cold out. You can cover doors, windows, cat flaps, letterboxes to even keyholes. Covering these for your home care clients will do a world of wonders for their wellbeing and heating costs alike.
Tip #3: Bleed those radiators!
Are your clients’ radiators cold at the top and warm at the bottom? Trapped air in the radiator might be affecting hot water circulation, leading to an inefficient system.
This is simpler than it sounds! All you need is a radiator key (or screwdriver for modern radiators), and an old towel.
- Turn all heating off, you need a cold radiator to start.
- Place your old towel or water glass underneath the top radiator valve, ready to catch any water.
- Using your key or screwdriver, turn the top radiator valve until you hear the trapped air hissing.
- Once the hissing stops and water drops appear, tighten the valve back up again
Tip #4: Maintaining their boiler.
An efficient boiler costs less to run, so essential annual maintenance must be carried out to avoid costly boiler replacements.
A boiler service is not something you can carry out yourself. Therefore, check that your engineer is registered with the accredited body. (Gas Safe for gas boilers, and OFTEC for oil or biomass boilers).
Tip #5: Install a smart metre.
Smart metres automatically handle usage and can also contain a timer, reducing your home care client’s worries regarding heating costs. With usage automatically sent to the provider, this prevents the client getting into debt if they don’t pay on time. The client can monitor their usage from home, helping them feel in control of their finances. Simultaneously, carers and loved ones can monitor the usage remotely for under or overheating in their home.
Tip #6: Turn radiators off in unused rooms.
If a client only lives in one or two rooms of their house, they may be unnecessarily heating unused rooms. When visiting clients, check that those radiators are turned down, or are off entirely. This is a simple way of reducing your home care clients heating costs, by reducing unessential radiator use.
Tip #7: Change furniture layouts.
Not only could this boost home care clients’ moods, it’s also a free way to lower their heating costs! Does the client have sofas, beds or bookcases in front of a radiator in their home? Ask to move them, in order to improve the warm air flow within their home. With the help of their loved ones or a colleague, move furniture items a few feet away from radiators. The difference to your home care clients’ heating costs will be clear to see, and will have an instant effect!
Making a difference, one small change at a time.
Helping your clients to improve their energy consumption and heating costs will be beneficial to their financial and emotional wellbeing. Why not implement these changes in your workplace, home or facility? You may be surprised with the savings you could make!