Homeowners who are looking to save money on their winter fuel bills are advised to choose heating appliances that are designed to allow the central heating system to run at lower temperatures.

With many of the Big Six energy suppliers announcing price hikes this winter, Christian Engelke, technical director at Viessmann, explained that radiators and heating panels should be as energy efficient as possible.

"Condensing boilers or heat pumps are most effective at running at lower temperatures - around 30 to 40 degrees instead of the standard 70 to 80 degrees," he explained.

"But unfortunately, a large proportion of heating systems are designed as a two-pipe system, where the boiler or generator doesn't know whether it's providing heating or hot water."

This means when the heater has to kick in at a higher temperature, it cannot distinguish between the two - which leads to energy wastage.

"We'd prefer installations with dual temperature control, so the boiler is fully aware of the demand for hot water or if it is being asked to provide heat for the building, which it can provide at a lower temperature, making the system much more efficient, saving people time, money and increasing their comfort level," Mr Engleke added.

Savvy householders could also invest in an electrical consumer unit and similar appliances to cut down on the amount of energy that goes to waste around the home. The Energy Minder from Meteor Electrical is one such system that could deliver significant savings. It works by using the Variable Thermal
Response principle to adjust the temperature of the central heating according to demand, by way of two electronic sensors located on the system's flow and return pipes.

The Energy Minder is compatible with most domestic boilers, including condensing, combi and back boilers that use natural gas, oil or liquid petroleum gas. It can reduce fuel wastage caused by unnecessarily high temperatures, cut down on flue losses and superfluous boiler cycling while slashing carbon emissions, making it an eco-friendly addition to your home.