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  • FIRST POST
    • mmmmikey
    • By mmmmikey 16th Apr 19, 9:25 AM
    • 187Posts
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    mmmmikey
    How do you manage your heating this time of year?
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:25 AM
    How do you manage your heating this time of year? 16th Apr 19 at 9:25 AM
    Hi - the title says it all - how do you manage your heating this time of year with cold, frosty morning and warm sunny days?


    Do you leave the thermostat to care of things for you (and does it work?) or do you have to keep fiddling with it to stop the house getting too hot in the day or too cold at night? Do you turn your main heating off and use something else, and is this to reduce cost or keep the temperature more stable (or both)?


    My solution of combining the storage heaters with a portable heater and opening the windows when needed works and is cheap but it's certainly wasteful and there's scope for both saving and controlling the temperature better. I have a few ideas but I'd be interested to know what others are doing....


    Thanks, Mike
Page 1
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 16th Apr 19, 9:39 AM
    • 398 Posts
    • 1,914 Thanks
    1961Nick
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:39 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:39 AM
    Tbh our Hive thermostat takes care of everything. For a bit of a daytime boost we use the ASHP because it's situated where we need the heat.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141) - 30 pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • Zarch
    • By Zarch 16th Apr 19, 10:11 AM
    • 240 Posts
    • 567 Thanks
    Zarch
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 19, 10:11 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 19, 10:11 AM
    I just let the Nest do its job (via programmed schedules) with the Combi and gas central heating.

    Sadly no immersion / iBoost / ASHP to mop up any excess Solar.
    5.1kWp system, 17 x 300w JA panels, full 3680 SolarEdge in Sunny Sheffield.
    3 x NE, 14 x SW at various pitches on multiple aspects on PVOutput.
    Installed by CTS Renewables, September 2018.
    • legoman62
    • By legoman62 16th Apr 19, 10:20 AM
    • 2,710 Posts
    • 14,013 Thanks
    legoman62
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 10:20 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 10:20 AM
    I keep turning it down/off Mrs l keeps turning it back on
    16 Sanyo Hit 250s.4kWp SMA 3.8kWp inverter. SW roof. 28 pitch.
    Minimal shade. Nov 2011 install. N.E Lincs Coast. Hybrid car
    • JKenH
    • By JKenH 16th Apr 19, 11:03 AM
    • 312 Posts
    • 1,313 Thanks
    JKenH
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:03 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:03 AM
    We have had the central heating on half a dozen times in the last month usually for 60-90 mins in the morning when it has been frosty, mainly to dry towels as our hot water cylinders are so well insulated (with spare blankets, pillows etc) they aren’t much use for airing. We do use a 750 watt convector heater in the bathroom which usually runs fine on solar as we shower after breakfast.

    I have been putting the ASHP on in the kitchen when I get up and on sunny days there is enough solar to run that. (We tend to have 1kw of PV by 7am this time of year when it is sunny). Today, I put it on the timer on a low setting for 6am accepting that it might use a bit of E7 but that didn’t work so well as a quick blast at higher power when getting up.

    The ASHPs then run most of the day even if, on a dull day that means giving the IBoost 30 mins on E7 the following morning. The evenings are the weak spot. We do have a coal fire in our sitting room which is fuelled by home grown timber which we planted 29 years ago but if we are in the living room then the ASHP will go on on the ultra low setting for a couple of hours. If we are watching a movie in the cinema room then we will probably use a 750 watt convector heater for 90mins on the basis it isn’t worth firing up the oil fired heating for just one room particularly as the pump uses 200-250 watts which is totally wasted. I have tried warming the room up with an oil filled radiator running on solar PV but that gets switched off while we cook tea (all electric) and it has lost its heat by the time we get in there.

    What I really want is some form of portable storage radiator that I can fill with solar PV to release heat during the evening.

    My best tip however is to go to bed early (ideally when the sun goes down).
    Last edited by JKenH; 16-04-2019 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Smiley
    Northern Lincolnshire. 7.8 kWp system, (4.2 kw west facing panels , 3.6 kw east facing), Solis inverters, Solar IBoost water heater, Mitsubishi SRK35ZS-S and SRK20ZS-S Wall Mounted Inverter Heat Pumps
    • mmmmikey
    • By mmmmikey 16th Apr 19, 11:12 AM
    • 187 Posts
    • 265 Thanks
    mmmmikey
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:12 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:12 AM
    All interesting stuff, thanks.


    A couple of posts there about Hive/Nest controls. Haven't really looked at these - are they "just" thermostats that you can control remotely via smart phone app, etc. or are they smart in the sense that they learn how long it takes to heat up the room and adjust start times accordingly? If the latter, how well does this work?
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 16th Apr 19, 11:39 AM
    • 398 Posts
    • 1,914 Thanks
    1961Nick
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:39 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:39 AM

    What I really want is some form of portable storage radiator that I can fill with solar PV to release heat during the evening.
    Originally posted by JKenH
    That'll be batteries.....
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141) - 30 pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • mmmmikey
    • By mmmmikey 16th Apr 19, 12:39 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 265 Thanks
    mmmmikey
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 12:39 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 12:39 PM
    That'll be batteries.....
    Originally posted by 1961Nick
    It's the possibility of using batteries that got me thinking about this again. When I replaced the Fischer Future Heaters with night storage heaters last year, I always had the expectation that I'd struggle to control them in the shoulder months, but would be able to manage it easily enough with portable electric heaters. This worked better than expected in the Autumn, but isn't working so well at the moment - sometimes cold and sometimes opening windows to cool things down.

    I'm installing an ASHP in the bedroom at the moment (mainly for air-conditioning in the summer but of course I'll use it for heating too) and my PowerVault is being installed tomorrow. So all being well that sorts out the evenings - free, solar powered heat for the bedroom and I have a woodstove in the living room.

    Martyn posted a comment a few days ago that made me realise that I could do something similar in the morning by charging the PowerVault overnight with E7, using the energy for heating in the morning and still having plenty of time left to recharge it with solar during the day. A benefit I hadn't really factored in.

    So I've been looking for a low-powered heater for the living room. The room has a large south facing window, gains a lot of heat from the sun during the day and only needs a little bit of heat to make it much more comfortable after a frosty start in the morning. I can do this with a portable heater but I'd like something more controllable and permanent.

    Thinking of an IR ceiling panel, which could be timed to come on using E7 then left on for a couple of hours, powered by the battery. But before I add another project to the ever growing list thought I would ask what others are doing....
    • KevinG
    • By KevinG 16th Apr 19, 2:50 PM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,847 Thanks
    KevinG
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 2:50 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 2:50 PM
    Timer is always set for 90 minutes in the morning and 90 minutes in the evening, thermostat at 19.5 (which it doesn't often hit at the coldest time of year). In the depth of winter we sometimes give it a boost during the day. Had it off for a few days last month and it will probably go off in a day or two when it warms up.
    Baxi Ecogen 24/1.0 Micro-CHP boiler installed Oct-2010; 2kWp Solar PV - 10*200W Kioto, SMA Sunny Boy 2000HF, SSE facing, some shading in winter, 37 pitch, installed Jun-2011, inverter replaced Sep-2017.
    • maisie cat
    • By maisie cat 16th Apr 19, 2:53 PM
    • 675 Posts
    • 835 Thanks
    maisie cat
    ditto (ish)
    I keep turning it down/off Mrs l keeps turning it back on
    Originally posted by legoman62
    I keep turning it off & hubby keeps putting it back on
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 16th Apr 19, 3:00 PM
    • 10,462 Posts
    • 127,538 Thanks
    kazwookie
    I turn it down, OH turns it back up again. I then turn it off at the main switch, he then moans!!
    Sun, Sea
    Slinky is back on! - 21 and counting
    I can do this, I will do this...
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 16th Apr 19, 4:38 PM
    • 8,302 Posts
    • 13,065 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Just (only just) about managing with GCH off this month, but small ASHP (3.5kW) running all day off PV generation.

    Noticed neighbour varying between GCH (boiler vent is visible from kitchen window) and opening french windows!
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • joefizz
    • By joefizz 16th Apr 19, 4:40 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 141 Thanks
    joefizz
    Thinking of an IR ceiling panel,
    Originally posted by mmmmikey

    Ohhhh, I like that idea. I have an IR sauna and never thought about using the panels. I see the german ones are white and as you say ceiling mountable.... hmmm not for living room for me but for directly over the bed.... Im not sure on being used to heat the space though, it tends to heat things rather than spaces (hence ideal for the sauna).


    As with the rest, have posted on the battery thread, just installed ashp for shoulder through summer but cant do without oil heating the rest of the time.
    Work from home so bought a greenhouse type heating tube (90W) for under my desk in the office in the morning in winter (equipment usually brings the temp of the room up to 21-22 without heating most days).

    Bought a controllable one, more than sufficient for some localised heat.


    My living room is probably similar to yours, although I do have the option of the solid fuel fire/heater I tend to just use another jumper and use the last of the panasonic plasmas that give out 200W of heat as losses to take the chill off the room ;-)


    Wait and see what your usage is like with the batteries, you could find you have spare capacity in the morning for a timed local heater easily enough, even if it just gets the temperature up to 'tolerable' ;-)
    On the sofar/pylontech system I have you can set the timings for E7 so if you find you just need an extra kw then just take that from E7. I can usually see what Im going to need for the next few days just from the weather forecast! I know if the batteries are going to be charged by 10am or if I need the batteries to last 3 days (like this week) and use accordingly (washing machine and dishwasher going on tomorrow..)
    • michaels
    • By michaels 16th Apr 19, 6:02 PM
    • 22,315 Posts
    • 102,887 Thanks
    michaels
    Our boiler has weather comp control, set peak and off peak temp and hours and leave it to get on with it throughout the year.
    Last edited by michaels; 16-04-2019 at 6:35 PM.
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 16th Apr 19, 7:25 PM
    • 3,530 Posts
    • 2,260 Thanks
    Ectophile
    I do it the same as I do any other time of year. The heating is on a timer and a thermostat. I just leave those to get on with it 365 days a year.


    There's no need to adjust anything. If it's cold, the heating comes on. if it's warm, it doesn't.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • mmmmikey
    • By mmmmikey 16th Apr 19, 8:04 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 265 Thanks
    mmmmikey
    A fair spread of answers, many thanks to all who have posted. So it looks like a lot (most?) of you have heating controls that work to your satisfaction, whereas some are tinkering a bit for comfort and/or economy. And a few potential marital issues

    Always interesting to see what others are doing before you start spending money, a few ideas there for me to follow up on.....

    Thanks again, Mike
    • Coastalwatch
    • By Coastalwatch 16th Apr 19, 8:47 PM
    • 508 Posts
    • 1,966 Thanks
    Coastalwatch
    Hi - the title says it all - how do you manage your heating this time of year with cold, frosty morning and warm sunny days?
    Do you leave the thermostat to care of things for you (and does it work?) or do you have to keep fiddling with it to stop the house getting too hot in the day or too cold at night? Do you turn your main heating off and use something else, and is this to reduce cost or keep the temperature more stable (or both)?
    My solution of combining the storage heaters with a portable heater and opening the windows when needed works and is cheap but it's certainly wasteful and there's scope for both saving and controlling the temperature better. I have a few ideas but I'd be interested to know what others are doing....
    Thanks, Mike
    Originally posted by mmmmikey
    Hi Mike, I originally thought what a strange question, surely everybody just leaves the thermostat to take care of it. Then I noticed you're suffering from night storage heaters.
    If they were mine it wouldn't be a case of how can I best work with them, but how soon can I replace them with a better alternative!
    If you're fitting an Air to Air Heat Pump then you'll soon find how efficient and effective they can be. They are certainly more cost effective on standard rate leccy than night storage heaters on E7 and just immensely more flexible.
    We had two such items fitted last year to replace the majority of the heating supplied by GCH. Since December they've supplied the majority of heating we've needed, using GCH only to heat a couple of rooms(kitchen and en-suite) not reached by the ASHP's when outside temps dipped below freezing. I know the seasons vary considerably year to year and last winter was a cold one compared to this. However, in that period we've consumed 3855kWh's less gas while increasing leccy by 532kWh's. I've only recorded monthly figures for the last three years and from these can see that monthly consumption, year to year, varies by upto a factor of 2:1. So maybe the actual amount of gas saved is just half the figure used as a comparision.
    I've no way of knowing how much higher the leccy consumption would have been without the Solar panels but the time period does cover the darkest months with the lowest generation.
    As a further complication we were also charging the EV during this period, which we didn't have prior to last June!


    Food for thought perhaps.
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23 pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus one dirty diesel. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
    • mmmmikey
    • By mmmmikey 16th Apr 19, 9:38 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 265 Thanks
    mmmmikey
    Then I noticed you're suffering from night storage heaters.
    Originally posted by Coastalwatch
    Interesting post, thanks.

    I actually only put the storage heaters in last year and overall I've been very pleased with them. I was a bit reticent about installing them having read lots of comments along the line of yours, which certainly seems to represent the majority view. But on paper it looked like a more cost effective option than gas for me, and for environmental reasons I wanted to avoid gas. So I hedged my bets and bought reconditioned storage heaters for less than the price I got for selling the Fischer Future heaters I took out (and I've still got a couple of those left to sell).

    I did consider ASHPs before deciding on the storage heaters, but ruled out having more than one because of limitations around the placement of the outside units. The installation of the ASHP now has been driven more by wanting summer aircon (seems extravagant, but I have a medication regime that makes hot, sticky nights a nightmare), although having got one (installation in progress) it would be daft not to use it for heating as well. I was also nervous about COP ratings in the dead of winter when I'd be using them the most.

    Other than fiddling with the controls to find the right starting point settings when the heating season started, the storage heaters have kept the bungalow to a remarkably consistent 20 degrees +/- 1 degree with minimal intervention until the last couple of weeks. I was expecting a fair bit of effort to get them right so I have temperature data loggers in all the rooms. In reality they've pretty much just worked and I can see this with confidence from the data loggers so I'm not kidding myself. The costs are absolutely in line with expectations. I've more or less halved my electricty bill, and when you factor in the additonal standing charge for gas, annual maintenance and ongoing repairs I'm confident I made a decent choice.

    The problem I'm having now is no worse than it was than I had in my last house with gas central heating - liveable with but just not as efficient as I would like (I'm really into the realms of fine-tuning here). In the last house, I found that the variation in temperature throughout the house this time of year was so different from room to room the controls never really worked well, with quite big lags leading to the house getting too warm, so turning the thermostat down and then finding it too cold in the evening. I posted the question to see how common this was and to see if it threw up any ideas that I hadn't thought of, as is so often the way. It seems that one or two people may have this kind of issue, but almost certainly a minority.

    Coming back to my current situation, I had always expected to add a bit of instant heating here and there (very much the norm with storage heaters) but thought I would experiment with portable heaters first. They've worked OKish but a bit wasteful, and I'm doing loads of house stuff at the moment (hence the ASHP, battery, thermal store & numerous posts) so now's the right time to do something a bit more permanent than the portable heaters for the shoulder months going forward. I also have the opportunity to use solar energy stored in the battery.

    I'm not disgareeing with anything you've said, by the way, judging by comments on this and other forums you're in the majority when it comes to not liking storage heaters and having central heating controls that work well. And thanks very much for the detailed post. It's always good to hear what people have to say as a sanity check on your own reasoning.

    Thanks again, Mike
    • melanzana
    • By melanzana 16th Apr 19, 9:49 PM
    • 3,129 Posts
    • 8,229 Thanks
    melanzana
    I just turn heat on if I feel cold. What's the problem?

    It is timed for evening and morning, but since I have hung up my boots I budgeted for extras. So that's the way I work it.

    Cannot abide being too cold, or too hot either.

    According to my weather station it is 6.9d outdoors, but 21.6 indoors and that is with no heat on since 9pm. Residual I suppose.

    Electric underblanket beckons later too. Bliss.
    Last edited by melanzana; 16-04-2019 at 9:52 PM.
    • Coastalwatch
    • By Coastalwatch 16th Apr 19, 10:22 PM
    • 508 Posts
    • 1,966 Thanks
    Coastalwatch
    I actually only put the storage heaters in last year and overall I've been very pleased with them.
    Originally posted by mmmmikey
    Ooops! Sorry Mike, not very diplomatic of me, so apologies there.
    Glad to learn you've been pleased with them otherwise and they certainly seem to be keeping temps very stable which I suspect the ASHP would do well to replicate. It will be interesting to see how it performs for you once up and running.


    Started stripping out the airing cupboard today, will make a start on the bathroom tomorrow to get the plumbing all sorted and in situ ready to receive the thermal store. Still debating whether to go for the 160 which is adequate for the two of us, or the 210 to cater for the long winter days of iffy generation!
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23 pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus one dirty diesel. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
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