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Economical heating methods
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# 1
PhilC1957
Old 29-10-2008, 8:44 AM
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Default Economical heating methods

My partner and I have been having a discussion about the most economical way of running our heating.

We live in a brick built Victorian period cottage that has loft insulation. We haven't got double or secondary glazing as we can't find anything that will keep the character of the sash windows (although any pointers would be welcome). We also have a large open fireplace in the lounge.

In the morning the cottage is cold, so the heating is going full blast. I say that it's cheaper to leave the heating on permanently so that once the cottage is up to a comfortable temperature (19 degrees), the boiler's then just trickling gently to keep the heat topped up.

My partner say's that it's cheaper to have the heating on timed so that it comes on in the morning, works at full blast for a few hours (but doesn't get the cottage up to a comfortable temperature), goes off, comes on when we get home in the evening, runs at full blast to get the cottage up to a comfortable temperature and so on.

Does anyone have any guidance on which is the chearper option? Also, how do we work out what our gas consumption is so we can prove it for ourselves.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

PC
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# 2
1carminestocky
Old 29-10-2008, 9:02 AM
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There's a huge thread on this sort of conundrum somewhere on here, I'll try and find it...

Edit:

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...n+all+the+time

Last edited by 1carminestocky; 29-10-2008 at 9:07 AM.
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# 3
Magentasue
Old 29-10-2008, 9:12 AM
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We have a new gas CH system and I've set the programmer to kick in whenever the temp drops below 16deg. At different times the target temp is 18deg or 20deg. In our previous house, the programmer was different and you set on and off times for different periods. The thermostat was set independently.

So if you have the sort of programmer we have now, I would say have it on all the time and set the lower temp at, 16deg or whatever at night and then 19deg for when you need the heat. If you have the other sort, I would have thought it would be expensive to keep the house at 19deg 24hours a day.

We have sash windows and I have no intention of replacing them - heavy lined curtains drawn early works for us.

You can read your gas meter and convert it to kwh (multiply by 11 for a metric meter or 31 for an imperial one). This will give an approx usage figure. Then you need to know how much you pay per kwh - you can then cost heating in different ways. You'll need to do this several times and average it because if you do one reading it will only tell you how much it costs at that time i.e. at that specific outside temp, from that specific starting temp etc.
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# 4
Cardew
Old 29-10-2008, 9:43 AM
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PhilC
Your question comes up many times in this forum and there are several threads on this subject.

Your partner is absolutely correct!

With less well insulated properties like yours, the losses from leaving the heating on all day will be even higher.

The 2 examples quoted time and again are:

Would you leave your kettle simmering all day because once it is up to temperature it is cheaper to "keep the heat topped up"

If you go away for a year would you leave the heating on? A month? A day?
It is exactly the same principle.

If you go to the Energy Saving Trust FAQs they address your issue.
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# 5
PhilC1957
Old 29-10-2008, 11:48 AM
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Thanks to all who've replied so far, especially 1carminestocky for supplying the link to the previous thread. I suspected there must be one, but I couldn't find it.

I must admit that I find it frustrating that a lot of people seem to have strong opinions, but there actually seems to be no scientific proof! However, "mech" seems to have come closest by measuring his gas consumption every 30 minutes (see posting [FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']1:30pm on 4 Sept 2008 http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...n+all+the+time[/FONT]
[FONT='Calibri','sans-serif'][/FONT]

From reading "mech's" posting, my conclusion is: if you keep the heating on permanently about 11% more gas is used, but then it's possible to turn down the thermostat by at least 1 degree which saves 10% of the gas useage and effectively negates the extra used, so the comfort of the house is maintained, and yet it costs no more to run than if the thermostat is set at a higher temperature and the house blasted with heat in the morning and evening.

I wonder if his "little black box" would be easy to get to work with most meters, and if so, would there be enough interested people on this forum to try and work the answer out scientifically?

PhilC
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# 6
Cardew
Old 29-10-2008, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilC1957 View Post
I must admit that I find it frustrating that a lot of people seem to have strong opinions, but there actually seems to be no scientific proof!
PhilC
There really is scientific proof - the laws of thermodynamics are quite unambiguous.

The difficulty is quantifying the differences in leaving heating on all the time or timed.

This quote is from the Energy Saving Trust:

Quote:
Question
Is it more economical to leave my heating on 24hrs in the winter?

Answer
No. It is a common misconception that it is cheaper to leave your hot water and heating on all the time. Boilers use more power initially to heat water from cold, however the cost of this is greatly exceeded by the cost of keeping the boiler running all of the time.

The best solution is to programme your heating system so that it comes on when you need it most (possibly early morning and in the evening), and goes off when you don't need it (when you are out of the house or asleep). There are a range of controls that can be used and your heating engineer will be able to provide you with the most appropriate solution.

Depending on your circumstances it may be necessary to keep the heating on all day during winter but it will cost more than if you turn the heating off when you don't need it.
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# 7
oldskoo1
Old 29-10-2008, 2:02 PM
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Dont just listen to Cardew

He pops up in these threads to swear blind leaving heating on 24/7 is the craziest idea in the whole world.


So far it has been cheaper for me to leave the CH on 24/7 set at 17dC. Its using about the same or slightly less gas as having it come up at 20 or 21 twice a day for about an hour in the morning and 4-5hours in the evening.

The benefit is our house in constantly warm.


So, try it yourself for 1 week. Read the meter day 1 and day 7 running 24/7 at 17d. Then following week have it come on twice and take readings hoping the weeks temp are similar! Otherwise you have to repeat. You could do it in a few days instead if you like.

Our house is around 10years old, 270mm loft insulation, cavity filled walls, UPVC DG, composite doors and draft protection so we are well insulated.

However in your case you could potentially loose a lot of heat due to lack of insulation in which case it will cost a lot so you DO have to do your experiment first just make sure daily temps are similar.


We do have an excuse to leave it on 24/7 with having a small baby but we are only using 2 gas units a day, 3 at most.
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# 8
Cardew
Old 29-10-2008, 2:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldskoo1 View Post
Dont just listen to Cardew

He pops up in these threads to swear blind leaving heating on 24/7 is the craziest idea in the whole world.


So far it has been cheaper for me to leave the CH on 24/7 set at 17dC. Its using about the same or slightly less gas as having it come up at 20 or 21 twice a day for about an hour in the morning and 4-5hours in the evening.

The benefit is our house in constantly warm.


So, try it yourself for 1 week. Read the meter day 1 and day 7 running 24/7 at 17d. Then following week have it come on twice and take readings hoping the weeks temp are similar! Otherwise you have to repeat. You could do it in a few days instead if you like.

Our house is around 10years old, 270mm loft insulation, cavity filled walls, UPVC DG, composite doors and draft protection so we are well insulated.

However in your case you could potentially loose a lot of heat due to lack of insulation in which case it will cost a lot so you DO have to do your experiment first just make sure daily temps are similar.


.
You completely misunderstand my posts and that of everyone else I am afraid, as well as misunderstanding the laws of Physics.

You have also misunderstood the OP's post which was about leaving the house at a constant 19C NOT as you suggest varying the temperature; may I suggest you read his post again.

I have never said leaving the house at a constant temperature is crazy; merely that it is more expensive than timed.

Your example of leaving it at a constant 17C rather than 20c to 21C on a timer, might well be true for your house - nobody is disputing that.

I might just as well say that having the house set at a constant 14C is cheaper than having it "come up at 17C twice a day for about an hour in the morning and 4-5hours in the evening." Completely meaningless in the context of this thread.

However leaving your house set to 17C all day is more expensive than having it on a timer. Provided that during the timed spells the temperature doesn't exceed 17C.

Last edited by Cardew; 29-10-2008 at 2:41 PM.
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# 9
Pssst
Old 29-10-2008, 4:15 PM
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Your real priority here is to prevent heat loss and to mitigate demand by wearing more clothing!

In this day and age you cannot afford to have your home leaking heat like a sieve.

Can you do something with your open fireplace i.e use it to burn logs/offcuts (free or cheap) or if not,board it up with something decorative to prevent heat being sucked out of your home?
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# 10
1carminestocky
Old 29-10-2008, 4:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldskoo1 View Post
Dont just listen to Cardew

He pops up in these threads to swear blind leaving heating on 24/7 is the craziest idea in the whole world.


So far it has been cheaper for me to leave the CH on 24/7 set at 17dC. Its using about the same or slightly less gas as having it come up at 20 or 21 twice a day for about an hour in the morning and 4-5hours in the evening.

The benefit is our house in constantly warm.


So, try it yourself for 1 week. Read the meter day 1 and day 7 running 24/7 at 17d. Then following week have it come on twice and take readings hoping the weeks temp are similar! Otherwise you have to repeat. You could do it in a few days instead if you like.

Our house is around 10years old, 270mm loft insulation, cavity filled walls, UPVC DG, composite doors and draft protection so we are well insulated.

However in your case you could potentially loose a lot of heat due to lack of insulation in which case it will cost a lot so you DO have to do your experiment first just make sure daily temps are similar.


We do have an excuse to leave it on 24/7 with having a small baby but we are only using 2 gas units a day, 3 at most.

Agreed. I actually am not totally swayed either way mainly because AFAIK there has never been a scientific study that QUANTIFIES the savings of not leaving your heating on 24/7. Of course, if it wasn't for thermostatic control it's entirely clear that leaving it on 24/7 would be foolish but obviously all central heating systems DO have thermostats.

PS You are right about Cardew, he pops in most threads swearing blind his view is the definitive one and who are mere mortals like us to question the great man's authority. A legend in his own lunchtime that man. :rolleyes:
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# 11
lemontart
Old 29-10-2008, 6:27 PM
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thermals to start with so only turn heating on when needed also only heat the rooms you use., wear slippers to keep yr feet warm
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