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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Guy
    • By MSE Guy 4th Dec 12, 6:43 PM
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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 3
    • hubb
    • By hubb 5th Dec 12, 9:26 AM
    • 1,806 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    hubb
    Victorian single brick and no cavity wall is what ? Again, not on at all v on all the time doesn't add up to being cheaper on account of using zero energy.
  • grahamc2003
    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.
    Originally posted by lisa701
    Doesn't it concern you that, assuming the weather and everything else were similar during the two weeks, and your data collection methods produced accurate results, your results seem to be at odds with scientific laws?

    Of course you may have produced the results you did if the weather were different and/or your methods were poor and/or measurements inaccurate and/or there was a systemic bias to a particular result.

    (Don't worry unduly, a certain branch of (so called) science suffer from the same attributes these days, but thermodynamics never has).
    • hubb
    • By hubb 5th Dec 12, 9:31 AM
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    hubb
    The laws of Physics have been changed on this thread ;-)

    Oh, and there is extra electricity running a boiler constant and wear and tear on the boiler resulting in it being repaired/replaced sooner.
    • macman
    • By macman 5th Dec 12, 9:36 AM
    • 41,320 Posts
    • 16,984 Thanks
    macman
    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.
    Originally posted by lisa701
    Sorry, but this is complete nonsense. For that to be remotely scientific, the ambient temp profile would have had to be the same for the whole of each week, which it wasn't.
    It would work only if your insulation was 100% efficient.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
  • kanemars
    When u go on holiday in winter, is it best to

    1) put your heating on for half an hour a day so you don't come back to an ice cold house
    2) turn heating totally off then when you come back blast the house with heat until it warms up
  • grahamc2003
    The laws of Physics have been changed on this thread ;-)

    Oh, and there is extra electricity running a boiler constant and wear and tear on the boiler resulting in it being repaired/replaced sooner.
    Originally posted by hubb
    Yeah, strange isn't it. I wonder if this 'on all the time is cheaper' just applies to heating, or whether is applies generally?

    For example, if we go round to the houses of people who have measured their consumption and know it to be less if on all the time, leave their tumble dryer on all the time because it's cheaper than turning it on and off. Are all their lights on constantly because it's cheaper? Is their the car engine left running 24/7 because it uses less petrol that way? TV on through the day and night to save electricity? Oven on all the time? (tried that with my AGA, which should dispell any myths about that being cheaper!).
  • Hmbeez
    On the subject of electrical items in standby, I am told that many Sky + boxes use 22 watts in standby! That's around £25 a year for most users, when not using it! It does give you an instant start, however. If you can live with just free-to-air channels only, get a Freesat PVR in place of you Sky box. It's a straightforward swap, and in exchange for a slow start you'll save power, as well as a Sky subscription. You can get an extra device from Triax or others to network the system through the house, if your sky setup included this. We did just this, and have never regretted it! Only downside is that Sky's remote control is was easier to use than any other.
    • macman
    • By macman 5th Dec 12, 9:50 AM
    • 41,320 Posts
    • 16,984 Thanks
    macman
    When u go on holiday in winter, is it best to

    1) put your heating on for half an hour a day so you don't come back to an ice cold house
    2) turn heating totally off then when you come back blast the house with heat until it warms up
    Originally posted by kanemars
    I assume this is a joke, right?
    If you are away for a week, how is having the heating on for half an hour 6 days prior going to have any impact upon the temp when you return?
    And 'blasting the heat' will not warm it up any quicker at all, it'll just overheat it beyond the temp you require.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • amiehall
    • By amiehall 5th Dec 12, 9:55 AM
    • 1,353 Posts
    • 1,609 Thanks
    amiehall
    When u go on holiday in winter, is it best to

    1) put your heating on for half an hour a day so you don't come back to an ice cold house
    2) turn heating totally off then when you come back blast the house with heat until it warms up
    Originally posted by kanemars
    I would never leave my heating OFF for an extended time in the winter. What if your pipes freeze? I would leave it on with the thermostat at 5-10 degrees so it will kick in before there's a disaster.

    That issue aside, why anyone would want to heat a vacant house so it's not cold when they get home just completely escapes me.
  • elcid1
    I am away for 2 weeks over Christmas and been advised to leave my new Vaillant condensing combi on permanently but with the room stat in my hall set to 10. My frugal mind says leave heating set to come on 8a.m. to 10a.m. early morning and say 11p.m. to 1a.m. at night. My house was flooded 2 years ago due to old system having storage tank in the loft and I was away at Christmas for 2 weeks having left heating set as above, but it was not enough to protect pipe above loft insulation. New boiler now so that cannot happen again but which setting is advised. Plumbers all say leave permanently on but 10deg.on room stat.
    • ariba10
    • By ariba10 5th Dec 12, 10:25 AM
    • 5,162 Posts
    • 5,613 Thanks
    ariba10
    When we go abroad in the winter, the heating is set to come on for an hour 3/4 o'clock in the morning (The coldest time)

    Never had a problem or any concerns.
    I used to be indecisive but now I am not sure.
    • macman
    • By macman 5th Dec 12, 10:30 AM
    • 41,320 Posts
    • 16,984 Thanks
    macman
    I am away for 2 weeks over Christmas and been advised to leave my new Vaillant condensing combi on permanently but with the room stat in my hall set to 10. My frugal mind says leave heating set to come on 8a.m. to 10a.m. early morning and say 11p.m. to 1a.m. at night. My house was flooded 2 years ago due to old system having storage tank in the loft and I was away at Christmas for 2 weeks having left heating set as above, but it was not enough to protect pipe above loft insulation. New boiler now so that cannot happen again but which setting is advised. Plumbers all say leave permanently on but 10deg.on room stat.
    Originally posted by elcid1
    Combi = no loft tank, so nothing up there to freeze. All new boilers have a frost 'stat anyway, which should kick in at around 10C-consult the manual.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • amiehall
    • By amiehall 5th Dec 12, 10:48 AM
    • 1,353 Posts
    • 1,609 Thanks
    amiehall
    You want the boiler to kick in whenever the temperature in your home is low enough for there to be a risk of your pipes freezing no matter what the time of day. This is clearly most likely to be at night.
    • wiggers
    • By wiggers 5th Dec 12, 11:21 AM
    • 64 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    wiggers
    Interesting that the 'Myth Buster' just seems to express a general opinion. No qualifications are given for the type of structure, type of heating system, occupancy patterns nor any evidence of controlled tests to prove what they are saying is at all accurate. Also, drying clothes takes the same amount of energy to evaporate the water regardless of whether you are using a tumble drier or your central heating system. (Assuming it is too cold to hang outside.) More important to make sure the spin cycle removes as much water as possible before you start drying. As other posters have pointed out, if you don't have trickle vents on your double glazing then hanging to dry indoors will cause condensations problems, which will also make the house feel colder when the heating comes back on. All the water that has condensed back onto the walls will have to be evaporated again.
    If your outgoings exceed your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.
    -- Moe Howard of The Three Stooges explaining economics to brother Curley
    • Herongull
    • By Herongull 5th Dec 12, 11:31 AM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 721 Thanks
    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.
    Originally posted by howee
    Sounds like there is something wrong with your meter. The gas company will end up chasing you for the arrears.

    My house warms up really quickly when I turn the heating.

    Improve your insulation if you have a problem with rate of heating or perhaps your boiler isn't up to scratch?

    Wasting energy as you do is not environmentally friendly
    • Herongull
    • By Herongull 5th Dec 12, 11:38 AM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 721 Thanks
    Herongull
    "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!
    Originally posted by hansonaj
    This implies you have very poor insulation, so the heatloss when the heating is on is very high

    You probably just had a mild year when you did the comparison.
    • Herongull
    • By Herongull 5th Dec 12, 11:41 AM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 721 Thanks
    Herongull
    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.
    Originally posted by lisa701
    It is not a "theory"! It is a myth.

    Your "test" just happened to involve a week of milder weather.
    • Herongull
    • By Herongull 5th Dec 12, 11:56 AM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 721 Thanks
    Herongull
    The logic is really simple, so can't understand why anyone even thinks of doing unscientific "tests".

    Heat loss to outside = money (and energy) wasted. Anyone disagree with this?

    Heat loss is minimised when:

    1/ insulation is good. Anyone disagree with this?

    2/ The difference between inside and outside temperatures is less. (Greater heat loss on cold nights. Greater heat loss if you heat the house to higher temperatures). Anyone disagree with this?

    Therefore if you only heat the house when you need the heating on (ie when you are home and awake), you greatly reduce the heat loss.

    Always have the heating off after you go to bed, because warm house and cold nights = very high heat loss. Keep the heating turned low in bedrooms when it is on, and get yourself a lovely John Lewis 13.5 tog down duvet
  • hansonaj
    So there is evidence , gas usage a bill costs that show the myth is actually a reality.

    From what hmbeez states the science would definitely imply it is only a myth for certain types of houses.

    Would have thought the energy saving trust should know these details.....
  • hansonaj
    This implies you have very poor insulation, so the heatloss when the heating is on is very high

    You probably just had a mild year when you did the comparison.
    Originally posted by Herongull
    Yes poor insulation....but it is 100 year old house and there is only so much that can be done...

    From my recollection last year was not a cold winter and comparable to the year before......

    I would say this is just not an easy one size fits all myth to bust.
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