Home Office Heating

I'm looking for advice on home office heating 🔥 I've done a lot of research, but most paths lead to running the central heating - but my situation has a few nuances:

  • We live in a large, very old house. Running the central heating costs nearly £2 per hour 📈
  • We are on a Octopus Intelligent Go tariff meaning our electricity costs are relatively high during the day 29.78p / kWh but very cheap at night 7.5p / kWh 📉

My partner and I both work from home in separate rooms. They are fine first thing, but within a couple of hours of the central heating going off we both move to the kitchen where the AGA is running (cost around 7p / hour). However this is not ideal because it's disruptive.

What would be the best way for us to heat the rooms we work in? Two options I am already considering:

  • Infrared heating - I understand these heat the person not the space? Does anybody have any experience of using these and running costs?
  • Storage heating - Would it be possible to harness the cheaper electric energy at night to use during the day?

Do any of you Money Saving Experts have any experience or advice?

Thank you in advance for your help 🙏

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Comments

  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,772
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    What powers the Aga and central heating?
  • TheElectricCow
    TheElectricCow Posts: 452
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    Assuming the central heating is gas rather than a wet electric system, what’s your gas unit rate?

    Gas will almost certainly be the cheapest overall. Anything running on your daytime electric rate will likely work out more expensive than just using the gas. 

    Storage heaters on the night rate might come in slightly cheaper to run but the purchase/install cost probably won’t be worthwhile. If the house has never had them before there may be quite the wiring job to get them in, and for a decent sized modern High Heat Retention storage heater you can expect a purchase price in the region of £800 per heater.

    Whether or not these would save you anything at all depends on your gas price, but it’s not going to be £1600 worth of savings anytime soon compared to putting gas central heating on. Not to mention that payback time depends entirely on your gas/electric tariffs which may go up or down in future.

    If the central heating isn’t gas powered that does change things considerably. For an all electric property you’d really want to be looking at either storage heaters for the whole home or a heat pump of some description, as those are realistically the only ways you’ll get more heat with lower fuel costs without gas.

    Generally, the most cost effective way to increase warmth in the home is going to be whatever insulation can be installed. Keeping the heat you’ve already got inside is usually cheaper than installing new heating systems and will save more in the long term than finding ways to put extra heat into the house.
    Moo…
  • Petriix
    Petriix Posts: 2,018
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    Split air to air heat units (basically aircon with heating) is almost certainly the cheapest heating system to run for localised heat. It likely qualifies as a tax deductible business expense (if you're running your own business) so the initial expense would be mitigated to a degree. You could precondition the rooms on the cheap overnight rate (and if you ever get any bonus charging slots).

    You could try routinely plugging the car in at 9am to see if you get cheap electricity then. This would help with any electric heating options but would make the air-to-air option especially cheap.

    Another option is to install smart TRVs throughout the house so that the heating could be used just for the two rooms. This can be expensive though. 

    It's probably also worth beefing up the insulation in the rooms where you work so that heat can be contained.
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,680
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    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • Thanks for your replies. Here's some answers to your questions:

    • We use gas central heating. It costs around £2 per hour at current energy prices to run.
    • It's a listed building, so further insulation isn't really an options without serious £££s
    • The lower tariff is applicable between 11.30pm - 5.30am - so not during the hours in need to use the heating.
    Thank you also for posting related posts, but obviously each situation is unique, so I was hoping to get some more bespoke advice. 



  • Alnat1
    Alnat1 Posts: 3,171
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    The gas might be using £2 per hour when the boiler is working hard to get your property up to temperature but this should modulate down once it's only maintaining the set temperature.

    Is your thermostat portable and could be moved to one of the office rooms? If so, using TRVs to keep the heat lower in other rooms should work. Possibly consider larger radiators in the 2 rooms you do use for work, so they can throw out more heat.
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Solar PV 5.25kWp SW facing (14 x 375 Longi) Lux 3.6kw hybrid inverter and 4.8kw Pylontech battery storage installed March 22
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  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,680
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    We use gas central heating. It costs around £2 per hour at current energy prices to run.
    At current prices, mains gas is a similar price to your off-peak electricity. I doubt you'd see any belefit from storage heaters; the cost of installation is likely to exceed any potential savings.
    Alnat1 said:
    The gas might be using £2 per hour when the boiler is working hard to get your property up to temperature but this should modulate down once it's only maintaining the set temperature.
    I agree. £2 an hour would suggest a gas consumption of ~25kW. Your steady-state heat loss once the property has warmed up should be somewhat less (assuming you're not living in a stately home).
    ... we both move to the kitchen where the AGA is running (cost around 7p / hour).
    If your Aga is gas-fired and costs 7p/hr, that suggests it only takes 1kW to keep the kitchen warm. Unless your offices are considerably more draughty than your kitchen, it could also only take 1kW to keep each of your offices warm once the house is up to temperature and your TRVs are working.
    You do have TRVs on your radiators? You have set them appropriately?
    My partner and I both work from home in separate rooms. They are fine first thing, but within a couple of hours of the central heating going off we both move to the kitchen where the AGA is running (cost around 7p / hour). However this is not ideal because it's disruptive.

    What would be the best way for us to heat the rooms we work in?

    The suggestions on those other threads from forum members who work from home was generally to heat the worker, not the room. Solutions included:
    • Heated seat mats or throws;
    • Heated foot pads or rests;
    • Hot water bottles or wheat bags;
    • Heated clothing.
    Would any of these work for you?
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • wakeupalarm
    wakeupalarm Posts: 1,101
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    edited 5 January at 1:16PM
    Go into the office, heating is provided free. :)
  • Green_hopeful
    Green_hopeful Posts: 601
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    Just bought a Lakeland heated poncho for my husband. It’s discounted at the moment and we got a further discount for signing up to the website thing. My husband is refusing to take it off so I guess it’s a success. It’s quite bulky but if he leaves it on the back of his chair and wraps it around himself on the computer I think he will be toasty. 
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,680
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    Just bought a Lakeland heated poncho for my husband.
    One of these?
    Interesting idea, glad to know it's popular with Mr Hopeful!

    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
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