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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Guy
    • By MSE Guy 4th Dec 12, 6:43 PM
    • 1,628Posts
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    MSE Guy
    Energy myth-busting: Is it cheaper to have heating on all day?
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 12, 6:43 PM
    Energy myth-busting: Is it cheaper to have heating on all day? 4th Dec 12 at 6:43 PM
    This is the discussion for the following MSE guide.


    Energy myth-busting: Is it cheaper to have heating on all day?
Page 2
    • sheffield lad
    • By sheffield lad 4th Dec 12, 11:33 PM
    • 1,942 Posts
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    sheffield lad
    This approach wastes an awful lot of money and energy. If your house really is well insulated then it would heat up quickly. If it doesn't heat up quickly, improve your insulation, but it is crazy to compensate for poor insulation by running your heating all the time.

    It is bizarre to have the house at 20 overnight. Turn the heating off at night and get a good duvet. The greater the difference between the inside and outside temperatures (outside is usually coldest at night), the greater the rate of heat loss.
    Originally posted by Herongull
    But it's not running all the time that's the reason my bills are low £56 per mth (4 bed detached 10yr old), the heating only kicks in if its needed, I was in on Sunday and the heating never kicked in. The same applies at night it does not kick in unless its bitterly cold outside. The digital stats are fantastic as the temp only has to vary by .5 degs before it cuts in which means you don't get variations in temp like you do with an old mercury switch type.

    Of course if you prefer to go cold before the heating comes back "only another hour throw me a blanket" then that's fine but not for me.
  • richardsoffice
    Should I use a tumble dryer?
    “Should I use a tumble dryer, or place washing on an airer with heating on? . . . A. An airer is better because tumble dryers use a lot of energy.”

    Martin, are you aware that drying cloths on an airer is one of the BIGEST causes of damp in people’s homes (especially flats) If you must dry clothes indoors in the winter use a tumble dryer which is rigged to vent outside either via a preinstalled vent, or a hose hung out of a window.

    I am a property landlord and I see this time and time again, drying clothes in a modern well insulated and draft proofed property without a power fanned vent such as from a tumble dryer causes black mould within the property this mould gives off spores that affect the occupants health especially young children this can lead in extreme circumstanced to developing pneumonia.

    !!! Please remove this dangerous and ill-founded advice from your latest Martin’s Money tips!

    Regards Richardsoffice
    • Richie-from-the-Boro
    • By Richie-from-the-Boro 4th Dec 12, 11:38 PM
    • 6,316 Posts
    • 4,753 Thanks
    Richie-from-the-Boro
    I can't imagine why MSE Guy is perpetuating this stupid myth by starting a 'debate' that has been done to death on here every time the weather turns chilly!
    Might as well start a thread on whether Neil Armstrong really walked on the moon...
    Originally posted by macman
    - I can, his job is introduced conversational controversy to keep the post count up
    - maybe there's an office bonus to someone whose idea generates 1000 # per thread posts
    - there I go, I'm making one more # towards his bonus, silly me
    Disclaimer : Everything I write on this forum is my opinion. I try to be an even-handed poster and accept that you at times may not agree with these opinions or how I choose to express them, this is not my problem. The Disabled : If years cannot be added to their lives, at least life can be added to their years - Alf Morris - ℜ
    • sheffield lad
    • By sheffield lad 4th Dec 12, 11:41 PM
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    sheffield lad
    “Should I use a tumble dryer, or place washing on an airer with heating on? . . . A. An airer is better because tumble dryers use a lot of energy.”

    Martin, are you aware that drying cloths on an airer is one of the BIGEST causes of damp in people’s homes (especially flats) If you must dry clothes indoors in the winter use a tumble dryer which is rigged to vent outside either via a preinstalled vent, or a hose hung out of a window.

    I am a property landlord and I see this time and time again, drying clothes in a modern well insulated and draft proofed property without a power fanned vent such as from a tumble dryer causes black mould within the property this mould gives off spores that affect the occupants health especially young children this can lead in extreme circumstanced to developing pneumonia.

    !!! Please remove this dangerous and ill-founded advice from your latest Martin’s Money tips!

    Regards Richardsoffice
    Originally posted by richardsoffice
    But this is money saving and tumble dryers waste a lot of money 30-50p per hour. Agree about mould (I perform property surveys), and the advice should also come with a caution (in some cases), especially "if" there has been mould or damp issues.
  • grahamc2003
    But this is money saving and tumble dryers waste a lot of money 30-50p per hour. Agree about mould (I perform property surveys), and the advice should also come with a caution (in some cases), especially "if" there has been mould or damp issues.
    Originally posted by howee
    My tumble dryer is cheap to run and wastes precisely zero energy.

    It's AAA of course, and condensing, and it's run at night on e7. It uses 1.8kWh per cycle with straight from the machine spun clothes, which costs me 10.6p. Because it's condensing and is situated in the living area, the 1,8kWh it consumes contributes to the room heating. In fact, it is much better than my storage heaters for that amount of heating, because it dries clothes as well as heating the room.

    If the washing has been on the line for a while but not fully dried (typical in cold/damp weather), then it uses 1kWh to dry.

    I've measured the consumptions several times now, with an accurate enough plug in monitor (much more accurate than an Owl or any other clip on device) - mainly because it is lower than I expected.
    • sheffield lad
    • By sheffield lad 5th Dec 12, 12:05 AM
    • 1,942 Posts
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    sheffield lad
    My tumble dryer is cheap to run and wastes precisely zero energy.

    It's AAA of course, and condensing, and it's run at night on e7. It uses 1.8kWh per cycle with straight from the machine spun clothes, which costs me 10.6p. Because it's condensing and is situated in the living area, the 1,8kWh it consumes contributes to the room heating. In fact, it is much better than my storage heaters for that amount of heating, because it dries clothes as well as heating the room.

    If the washing has been on the line for a while but not fully dried (typical in cold/damp weather), then it uses 1kWh to dry.

    I've measured the consumptions several times now, with an accurate enough plug in monitor (much more accurate than an Owl or any other clip on device) - mainly because it is lower than I expected.
    Originally posted by grahamc2003
    Nice one, especially using the line as well true money saving.

    For folk not on e7 though they are looking at 23-25p (sorry not got a cal and based it on .13p per kw).

    Plenty on here inc me enjoy saving but I often see empty lines with the tumble dryer churning away and these forums often show how surprised folk are at the costs of using electric when a heating element is involved.
    • oldskoo1
    • By oldskoo1 5th Dec 12, 12:55 AM
    • 599 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    oldskoo1
    But it's not running all the time that's the reason my bills are low £56 per mth (4 bed detached 10yr old), the heating only kicks in if its needed, I was in on Sunday and the heating never kicked in. The same applies at night it does not kick in unless its bitterly cold outside. The digital stats are fantastic as the temp only has to vary by .5 degs before it cuts in which means you don't get variations in temp like you do with an old mercury switch type.

    Of course if you prefer to go cold before the heating comes back "only another hour throw me a blanket" then that's fine but not for me.
    Originally posted by howee
    I'm really struggling to believe your house looses no heat at 20c for an entire night when the outside temperature was around -1 to 2c depending on where you live.

    I live in an 8 year old 5 bed and my bills are £130 a month in gas at the moment. It seems to loose 0.5c per hour or 2 at the coldest. And at 7c outside it will hold a temperature for several hours.

    It seems the low point where heat drop off rapidly decreases for my house is 13.5c in the hall or around 15c downstairs and 16c upstairs. It could stick here for 24hours.

    But at 20c surely it's loosing heat every hour? Meaning your boiler is constantly topping up.

    I infact run my heating from 6am to 11pm regardless of the day, but no need to have it on overnight.
  • laptop80
    Half the cost of broadband router use by turning it off overnight when it isn't used.
    Originally posted by oldskoo1
    Off-topic I know, but the amount of money saved by switching your broadband router off at night will be pretty negligible - probably less than a tenner a year.

    However, there's a chance it may significantly decrease your internet speeds as line management by your phoneline provider will detect the drops (a switched off router looks the same to them as a lost connection for any other reason) and lower your line speeds to try to increase reliability.

    I had it happen when I first go a wireless router and thought that I was being sensible by turning it off at the wall each night. They manually reset the line speed for me, but I understand it should go back up by itself over time. Also, routers are designed to be 'always on' and frequently switching the power on and off could potentially shorten their lifespan in some cases.
  • laptop80
    I'm really struggling to believe your house looses no heat at 20c for an entire night when the outside temperature was around -1 to 2c depending on where you live.
    Originally posted by oldskoo1
    A house that lost no heat at all would be quite something, wouldn't it? If houses retained 100% of their heat then the "keep it on all the time" argument would make sense, although we probably wouldn't need heating systems at all - the builders could just warm it through when they finished the house and that would be that.

    Unfortunately, if the efficiency of the insulation is less than 100% then any time we heat a house we are losing energy into the atmosphere. So it stands to reason that the longer we heat the house above the outside ambient temperature, the more energy we lose. Modern houses with good insulation will make "always on" a more feasible option, but it's always going to cost more than not having the thermostat up all the time.

    Also, the greater the difference in temperature between the house and outside, the faster the rate of cooling (as per Newton's Law of Cooling). As oldskoo1 has noted, temperature doesn't drop in a straight line until it's the same as outside - it cools quickly at first and then more slowly.

    Taking it to the logical extreme, "always on" theory would suggest that it doesn't matter what temperature you had your thermostat set to, as once you reached it, it would then take next to nothing to 'top it up'. This is plainly false. If you ran a blast furnace in your cellar and kept your room temperature at 60c you would lose drastically more of that heat in an equivalent time than someone whose room was at 20c. On a much smaller scale, the same idea applies with thermostats set at 21c and 20c, although as it won't put £40,000 on your energy bill it's less likely to be noticeable.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many heating engineers are adamant that "always on" is the most cost-effective way of heating a house. I can understand why a lot of people prefer doing it, and if you have a well insulated house and are sensible with the thermostat then the level of additional expense might well be worth the extra comfort, but it doesn't stack up based on the science.
    • david29dpo
    • By david29dpo 5th Dec 12, 7:34 AM
    • 3,665 Posts
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    david29dpo
    Lets cut the chase.
    Most of these "myths" come from pub talk. There is always some smart a*se who knows everything but people believe it and nothing you tell them will change there minds.
    • 2010
    • By 2010 5th Dec 12, 7:43 AM
    • 4,149 Posts
    • 3,318 Thanks
    2010
    Lets cut the chase.
    Originally posted by david29dpo
    If it`s on it uses energy, if it`s off it don`t.
  • hansonaj
    It IS cheaper to have the heating on all day....
    "Should I leave the heating on low all day, or turn the thermostat up and down?"

    A heating engineer told me this once and I also thought it must be rubbish and a myth.

    Yet I disagree with this myth being busted....and agree with those who say it is true.

    Why ?

    Because I installed a thermostat in my house and over the year I used less gas than previous years , as calculated by the meeting reading i take monthly

    ......AND we actually had a warm house.

    Living in a large old house and having tje heating on a timer morning and night just meant years off cold. By the time the house had heated back up in the evening it was time to go to bed.

    So for me the boiler running full on twice a day for 3-4 hours (yes it can take that long to heat up the house in winter), versus once for 3-4 hours in the morning andthen as needed seems to make sense to me. And my figures agree.

    Maybenit is down to the age of the house, the insulation (I can mot have cavity wall insulation) etc. Rather than a blank myth or no myth!
    • hubb
    • By hubb 5th Dec 12, 8:01 AM
    • 1,806 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    hubb
    If it`s on it uses energy, if it`s off it don`t.
    Originally posted by 2010
    Exactly. I only turn our heating on here and there when we are home in the evening (I work from home in the day but choose not to have it on as the small studio bedroom's electronic gear tends to produce heat in itself) We have a coal fire lit in the room where we sit at night. The heating, if really cold, gets a few bursts here and there but the coal fire keeps the room warm enough. The kitchen has no rads so it's always freezing (tried to get a few plumbers to put one in but that's another story)

    Our heating bill for a 2 bed Victorian semi (just the two of us) is around £760 a year (before the new prices). I bet if our heating was on all the time it would be a lot lot more and we don't have thermostats on the rads (again, for want of getting a reliable plumber who will come back and do the job)
    • sheffield lad
    • By sheffield lad 5th Dec 12, 8:25 AM
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    sheffield lad
    I'm really struggling to believe your house looses no heat at 20c for an entire night when the outside temperature was around -1 to 2c depending on where you live.

    I live in an 8 year old 5 bed and my bills are £130 a month in gas at the moment. It seems to loose 0.5c per hour or 2 at the coldest. And at 7c outside it will hold a temperature for several hours.

    It seems the low point where heat drop off rapidly decreases for my house is 13.5c in the hall or around 15c downstairs and 16c upstairs. It could stick here for 24hours.

    But at 20c surely it's loosing heat every hour? Meaning your boiler is constantly topping up.

    I infact run my heating from 6am to 11pm regardless of the day, but no need to have it on overnight.
    Originally posted by oldskoo1
    I turned the stat down last night to 18 degrees and the tepm when I goot up was also 18 deg so if the stat had been set to 20 last night the heating would have kicked in. Its took the boiler 35mins to bring the temp back to 20d. What I am going to do is look how many units I use on the meter over the next 2 nights one running it at 20 all night and one running at 15 (it does not fall below this), and turning up to 20 in the morning.

    Bill wise the £56 per month is gas only divided by 12mths so summer and winter use. I am surprised at what you are using as your property will be better insulated and you will have a far better boiler than my F rated balanced flue ideal classic.
    • nande2000
    • By nande2000 5th Dec 12, 8:25 AM
    • 210 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    nande2000
    I suspect this myth comes from contrallabilty and human nature rather than the laws of physics.

    What I mean is if you come in from work to an unheated house then the temptation is to over compensate and overheat the house.

    Somewhere inbetween on all day and on demand is where the most efficient point is, depending on the thermal mass of your house.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 5th Dec 12, 8:31 AM
    • 6,214 Posts
    • 5,004 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    Heating engineers install and maintain heating systems. They have opinions, but are not energy use experts.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.
    • lisa701
    • By lisa701 5th Dec 12, 8:45 AM
    • 413 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    lisa701
    I decided to test the theory about it being cheaper to have the heating on all day. My hubby thought I was mad checking the meter and temperature of each room every day morning & evening.

    After a week of it being on timer, and a week of it being on constant I found I used much less gas with the heating on constant. House was a lot more pleasant to be in too.
  • fagen
    Keeping heat on all day
    During the bad winter of 2010/2011 I decided to experiment and leave the central heating on full time. I had read a few articles by Jeff Randall in the Daily Telegraph saying it worked.

    I have individual thermostats and have a policy of closing doors. I was dreading my bill but it was amazing to see that in consumption and price I paid no more than the previous winter. The great advantage too was that I was never cold especially in the morning.

    With this system you notice the boiler just kicks in every now and again.

    PS Last year I was away quite a bit so can't judge as system turned down and on timer.
    • notanewuser
    • By notanewuser 5th Dec 12, 9:19 AM
    • 8,001 Posts
    • 13,912 Thanks
    notanewuser
    Exactly. I only turn our heating on here and there when we are home in the evening (I work from home in the day but choose not to have it on as the small studio bedroom's electronic gear tends to produce heat in itself) We have a coal fire lit in the room where we sit at night. The heating, if really cold, gets a few bursts here and there but the coal fire keeps the room warm enough. The kitchen has no rads so it's always freezing (tried to get a few plumbers to put one in but that's another story)

    Our heating bill for a 2 bed Victorian semi (just the two of us) is around £760 a year (before the new prices). I bet if our heating was on all the time it would be a lot lot more and we don't have thermostats on the rads (again, for want of getting a reliable plumber who will come back and do the job)
    Originally posted by hubb
    My bill for last year was £820 - 4 bed detached, 10 years old. That was with the heating on constant.

    Previous year, with rads in unused rooms off and heating on a timer - £950.
  • Hmbeez
    Not that simple!
    If your home is or brick-and-block construction, and is well insulated, it has high thermal mass and will take hours to heat up, but will stay warmish for some time. If it has an inner timber frame, you are only heating up plasterboard, therefore it has low thermal mass, and will heat up / cool down quickly.

    For high thermal mass, you should have a step-down or programmable room thermostat, costing about £15, and set it low for night time and when you are at work, and high for when you are in (you can override it for other occasions). This is the best comfort/cost compromise.

    For low thermal mass, have the system off whenever possible - it will quickly heat up. A step-down stat is still useful.

    If your house is high thermal mass and poorly insulated, it will cost you lots whatever you do. If feasible, improve it!
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