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Old 27 December 2010, 06:56   #1
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To leave it on or switch it off debate!

Central heating and water heating. Is it cheaper to leave it on 24hrs a day or to have it on a timer?
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Old 27 December 2010, 07:28   #2
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Mine is timed except when its really cold (being consistantly -5 or thereabouts ) and it would take much longer to get the heat back up in the house
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Old 27 December 2010, 07:38   #3
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Mines timed but then the house isn't very big and heats up quickly, about ten minutes from the heating been put on.
Been a tight git I got a multifuel stove fitted and use that now, its on all the time and heats the house fine.
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Old 27 December 2010, 08:02   #4
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we leave ours on all the time ,,though there is always someone in the house
as a matter of intrest the boiler stopped working last week ,the condenser outlet drain pipe had frozen up and then the boiler safety then switched off , not being able to get anyone out to have a look at it for a few days i decided having a look at the manual discovered that the pipe has a switch if the pipe gets blocked up for some reason ,cleared the blocked pipe of ice and it started up even though the boiler had not been working for about 12 hours it took until the next day before the house got warm again and the tempreture settled again ,,it kept warm for a good few hours after the boiler stopped ,granted its an old solid stone 3 ft thick walled house and were fairly high up above sea level so it seems to us that its best keeeping it on .
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Old 27 December 2010, 08:16   #5
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We have ours on a timer which comes on in the morning for a couple of hours and then all evening from about 5 to midnight. Then just switch it on and off as we want.

I had a very intense debate with the father outlaw about which was the cheapest method and he said it had been proved that leaving the heating on all the time was cheaper (bit like the old fluorescent tube argument).

I've scratched the surface today because I've nothing better to do and found that the jury is still out on this one. There are just too many factors involved.

So I thought that from midnight tonight I would record the gas meter reading to check gas consumption over a 24 hour period with both methods and see. Not terribly scientific as we cook with gas, but should give me some idea.
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Old 27 December 2010, 12:10   #6
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We have ours on a timer which comes on in the morning for a couple of hours and then all evening from about 5 to midnight. Then just switch it on and off as we want.

I had a very intense debate with the father outlaw about which was the cheapest method and he said it had been proved that leaving the heating on all the time was cheaper (bit like the old fluorescent tube argument).

I've scratched the surface today because I've nothing better to do and found that the jury is still out on this one. There are just too many factors involved.

So I thought that from midnight tonight I would record the gas meter reading to check gas consumption over a 24 hour period with both methods and see. Not terribly scientific as we cook with gas, but should give me some idea.
Andy - as you say you could test it for yourself (although you'd want the weather (both temp and wind etc) to be similar on both days - or ideally weeks, and of course people in the house with lights, telly's, and even living will all contribute to heat the boiler doesn't need to produce). As I understand it the "answer" varies to some extent with the type of house (modern well insulated houses heating up much quicker than something with great big solid "heat sinks" for walls, as well as the type of boiler / hot water system.

However I know the argument with father-in-law who thinks he is an expert problem because someone once told him something; and usually just smile and walk away.
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Old 27 December 2010, 12:22   #7
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Taking a scientific approach, it should be cheaper to just turn the heating on for the periods of time you need and leave it off when not required. Unless it is a very old inefficient system that takes a lot of (wasted) energy to get it up to temperature (I mean pipes, rads, boiler here - not the house).

Your house will lose a certain amount of energy due to its specific insulation characteristics, and the higher the internal temperature relative to the external, the more energy will be lost. Ergo, the hotter and longer that your heating is on, the more energy you waste. Certainly when you turn it back on, there will be a delay whilst the fabric reheats, but the energy that was previously in the fabric will have dissipated both outwards and inwards when it cooled. Cycling it on and off should not use more energy than keeping it running, if anything it should use less with a modern system.

This is from a purely techinical point of view and not a practicality or comfort aspect.
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Old 27 December 2010, 13:16   #8
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We have an old granite cottage with CH and a wood-burning stove. The CH is ok for 'background' heat but if we want to feel really warm we use the stove. Old houses like ours are badly built and poorly insulated. Despite my putting 18" of insulation in the loft, a lot of heat is still lost through the walls. This year we've begun leaving the CH on in the kitchen, hallway and bathroom and it doesn't seem to be using that much more oil compared to having it on the timer. Thankfully oil is fairly cheap at the moment; I paid 54p a litre for 500l the other day. Oh, and if anyone is thinking of buying a stove as their primary rather than occasional heat source be aware how much wood these things burn. I reckon we get through two or three tons over the winter.
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Old 27 December 2010, 14:15   #9
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Nothing beats a Clearview stove. Absolutely fantastic, especially as the glass door never needs cleaning unlike lesser stoves. We have one in our dining room and I just wish it was simpler to connect it to the existing central heating system to benefit from some of the excess heat it pumps out.

Helps if you have a good supply of logs also, otherwise 54p/litre for oil is probably alot cheaper than the price of stove fuel.
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Old 27 December 2010, 15:21   #10
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Nothing beats a Clearview stove. Absolutely fantastic, especially as the glass door never needs cleaning unlike lesser stoves. We have one in our dining room and I just wish it was simpler to connect it to the existing central heating system to benefit from some of the excess heat it pumps out.

Helps if you have a good supply of logs also, otherwise 54p/litre for oil is probably alot cheaper than the price of stove fuel.
Clearview are the absolute governors that's for sure. We've had ours 10 years and it's as good as the day it went in.
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