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Author: Whoyoufooling One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 175094  
Subject: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 11:08
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Hi
Does turning off the radiators in rooms that you're not in using save money? My husband reckons it doesn't, but I can't see how it can't. Surely you're using less energy if only one or two radiators as opposed to seven are on?! Or would it be better to use the electric heater we have in the main living room? I always thought electric heaters are really expensive.

Thanks
WYF
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Author: ngaunt Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134917 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 11:32
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The key is that you only pay for heat you LOSE. Through walls, ceilings, windows and draughts. It doesn't make any difference whether that energy is being sourced by two radiators or seven.

If you turn a radiator off in a room, AND SHUT THE DOOR, then the entire of that room effectively becomes an extra layer of insulation for the rest of the house. The warm bits. So "shutting down" rooms does mean you lose "a bit" less heat, and thus save money.

Or would it be better to use the electric heater we have in the main living room?

If that means you only heat one room, rather than the whole house, then yes it might be better. Well, cheaper. For the reasons above.

I always thought electric heaters are really expensive.

Relatively, yes. But with all the extra insulation of the upstairs and other rooms, it may be that one electric heater is doing much less work than the central heating would.

ATB
Nige

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Author: wheatfree One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134918 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 11:34
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Whoyoufooling said;
"Does turning off the radiators in rooms that you're not in using save money? My husband reckons it doesn't,"


It's my opinion that your husband is correct but I don't have time to give evidence WHY.

However what I can say is, you could use as a general rule of thumb that your Husband is always right. You just need to try and rememeber that more often and then you could save valuable time and energy questioning his judgement, hence LBYM.

Hope I have been of some help.

:0)

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Author: Whoyoufooling One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134919 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 12:00
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LOL! I definitely won't be showing him this thread!
WYF

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Author: TamesisChild Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134921 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 12:05
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My parents have fitted thermostatic valves to most of the radiators in their house.

Using the ‘frost’ setting prevents empty rooms getting too cold, but greatly reduces the amount of heating that is wasted.
In addition, it helps to reduce the humidity levels in the house.

You can then use the thermostatic valves to tailor your heating requirements in the other rooms.

They also upgraded their loft insulation a couple of weeks ago. Surprisingly, the extra loft insulation has also reduced the amount of external noise heard in the house, as well as keeping the house warmer.

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Author: RodX Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134924 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 13:07
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I always thought electric heaters are really expensive

Those of us with kerosine boilers would beg to differ!

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Author: orchard101 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134925 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 13:09
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I don't know if this is relevent these days, but, some time ago I had loads of radiators which I didn't need to use, so turned most of them off. It blew my pump!. What is known as a false economy!.

Modern central heating systems may be different, but I now know that an old system can be compromised if you have more than 50% of radiators turned off.

Perhaps it is worth checking what your system does!.

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Author: Galst0nian Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134930 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 13:24
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Personally I would say turning off radiators where they are not required will save money but you will probably find that there will be arguments that state that the same amount of energy will be delivered via differing numbers of rads and the house will be heated via conduction as well as directly from the radiators.

Why not just measure consumption using one method then the other? That way you have the answer for your own personal situation which is more than likely unique to you anyway.

Post the results if you do.

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Author: Oneeyeddeer Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134931 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 13:35
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Does turning off the radiators in rooms that you're not in using save money?

Of course it does.

Ask your husband if you lived in 3 or 4 rooms in a fifty room mansion whether he thinks it would cost the same to heat those 4 rooms as heating 50.

There is a theoretical possibility of not making savings where the unheated room is completely surrounded on all sides and above and below by rooms which are heated, but that would be an unusual house.

The heat loss through walls and windows rises rapidly with the internal temperature (or for the pedants, rises rapidly with a rising temperature differential between inside and out). The hotter it is inside, the more heat you lose and therefore the more it will cost - and that also applies whatever level of insulation you have.

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Author: Firethorne Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134932 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 13:57
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Also:

On most boilers there is a thermostat that you can set - it controls the temperature of the water coming out of the boiler, normally a8 about 82 degC. Setting it a bit lower can save some energy but it makes the radiators a little less effective (might be a little cooler in the rooms).

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Author: pochisoldi Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134933 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 14:22
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I don't know if this is relevent these days, but, some time ago I had loads of radiators which I didn't need to use, so turned most of them off. It blew my pump!. What is known as a false economy!.

Modern central heating systems may be different, but I now know that an old system can be compromised if you have more than 50% of radiators turned off.


Make sure you've got a bypass valve fitted (e.g. http://content.honeywell.com/UK/homes/Catalogue/Non%20Electric/5.4%20DU144.pdf )

or have one radiator fitted with two lockshield valves so it can't be turned off.

PochiSoldi

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Author: pochisoldi Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 134934 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 23/01/2008 14:53
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Personally I would say turning off radiators where they are not required will save money but you will probably find that there will be arguments that state that the same amount of energy will be delivered via differing numbers of rads and the house will be heated via conduction as well as directly from the radiators.

You forget that there's a boiler thermostat which is controlled by the water temperature in the system.

If your CH system can't dissipate the heat being put into the system because the radiators are shut off, (manually or by thermostatic valves), then the boiler will shutdown until the water temperature drops.

A boiler which is turned off consumes a lot less fuel compared to one running at full pelt.

PochiSoldi

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Author: daveh01 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 135139 of 175094
Subject: Re: Turning off radiators Date: 29/01/2008 13:45
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Does turning off the radiators in rooms that you're not in using save money?

Of course it does.

.. is the right answer.


Consider that the heating has been running for so long that everything is steady i.e. the living rooms are at desired temperature, the temperature in the other rooms has stabilised, and the CH is ticking along providing enough heat input to balance the total heat loss.

Consider the room that is unused, which I'm assuming has at least one external wall.

Heat loss is (T_inside - T_outside) x R (where R depends on the materials between inside and outside).

In the 'steady state', then if the room is heated, it will get up to some temperature T1. If it isn't, it will get to some temperature T2. If the insulation between it and the heated rooms is fantasticly good, then T2 may be very low (close to T_outside); in reality, it will be somewhere between T1 and T_outside.

Now, the heat loss in these situations is:

Room heated: (T1 - T_outside) x R ... example, the difference may be 20C - 8C => 12 x R
Room unheated (well insulated room): difference may be 10C - 8C = 2 x R
Room unheated (not well insulated room): difference may be 16C - 8C = 8 x R.

Now, I made those numbers up, but they're not totally unrealistic (and could be conservative). The difference between the first and last case is 33%.

["but what about heat transfer between neighbouring rooms?" I hear you cry.... It doesn't matter: if the room is staying at the same temperature, then it is not 'storing' heat, so the heat flow in must equal the heat flow out. In the first case above, the two neighbouring rooms are at the same temperature and there is no heat transfer between them, but we have determined that the heat out is 12 x R, therefore this is coming from the CH. In the last case, there is no heat coming from the CH, so it must be coming from the room next door, but ultimately that heat comes from the CH too...]but this only 'costs' 8 x R]

Dave

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