Author Topic: Teach me about heating.  (Read 4709 times)

Kaminoge

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Teach me about heating.
« on: January 31, 2014, 03:56:14 AM »
For the first time in my life I'm living somewhere with central heating.

Obviously to be as frugal as possible I should keep it turned down low but I'm wondering whether I should

a) Keep it turned on the same low setting all of the time (there's no thermostat, you just twist a knob on each individual radiator and it seems to open a valve more or less) or

b) Turn it off completely when I'm out during the day and then turn it up a bit higher to try and warm the house back up when I return.

In line with that is turning it off a bad thing? I've asked people I work with. Some say yes, some say no. I can't imagine pipes would freeze or anything. The temperature is below zero (Celcius) but it's an apartment so there are other apartments below and above.

And please don't suggest experiementing and seeing what the cost is. The whole system is very vague. I haven't been billed yet and no-one seems too sure when I will be. According to the internet bills in Bulgaria are paid monthly but I've seen no evidence of that as yet.

Half-Borg

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Re: Teach me about heating.
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 04:54:00 AM »
Does the knob kinda look like this: http://www.hellweg.de/out/pictures/generated/product/1/665_665_75/557259_heimeier_thermostat-kopf_weiss_01.png
That IS a thermostat. You set a temperatur (2 is usually about normal room temperature) and it opens or closes the valve, depending on room temparture
You should turn those down when you are not at home, you can turn them off completly, the snow flake means, that it ensures that the pipes don't freeze.
If you should do that depends on how long it needs to reheat the home. Mine needs about 2 days, so it's not really an option to turn them to zero. Also people say you are going to get mold if you don't heat your home, to at least 18C. I never heat to 18C and didn't have issues so far.

You should remeber to give the radiators some air, don't place furniture right in front off it.

justchristine

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Re: Teach me about heating.
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 05:05:15 AM »
I live in a top floor apartment with thermostats like that.  Ive found that I can't just set them at one setting and stay comfortable.  The temp in my apt depends on how warm the apartments below/beside me are, how cold it is outside, how sunny it is...etc.  last year was fairly mild and I turned my heat off and had the windows open when it was 32F outside.  This year has been bitter cold so I've been constantly fiddling with the thermostat trying to keep the temp inside between 60-65F.  After a year and a half of trial and error I have found no reliable system for keeping the temp at a comfortable range.  I absolutely hate these thermostats...good luck with yours.

ZiziPB

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Re: Teach me about heating.
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 07:03:40 AM »
If it's an apartment in a large apartment building, it's very likely that the heat is included in the common charges payable to the association/management company that manages the building.  And that is typically included in the rent payable (so you as a tenant just pay rent to your landlord who in turn pays the common charge that usually includes heat, hot water, maintenance of the common areas, etc.).  Other utilities (gas for cooking, electricity) are usually metered separately and payable by the tenant at regular intervals.  At least that is how it works in Poland, unless your apartment has an individual heating unit (not very common).  You should check with your landlord to see what the story is.  If the heat is included in the common charge, then just set the individual radiators by turning the knobs at the level that feels comfortable to you and leave it be.  Your individual usage will not affect the overall common charge.

Kaminoge

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Re: Teach me about heating.
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 08:24:27 AM »
Thanks for the replies.

Half-borg some of them have knobs that look like that. Others just have knobs with no numbers on them but which are presumably the same thing.

Izeve who knows. I was told I would be billed. And there was a big production earlier in the year about them having to install meters into the apartments - my landlady said I didn't need to worry since I already had them.

Sounds like what I'm doing is the best idea. Keeping them on low but not fiddling with them all the time. I need to wear a few layers when inside but I'm not suffering horribly. I moved here from Tokyo where they didn't really believe in either insulation or heating (apart from space heaters which are fairly useless without insulation) so I have to say I'm loving have the radiators.

Hedge_87

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Re: Teach me about heating.
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2014, 09:16:40 AM »
I live in a top floor apartment with thermostats like that.  Ive found that I can't just set them at one setting and stay comfortable.  The temp in my apt depends on how warm the apartments below/beside me are, how cold it is outside, how sunny it is...etc.  last year was fairly mild and I turned my heat off and had the windows open when it was 32F outside.  This year has been bitter cold so I've been constantly fiddling with the thermostat trying to keep the temp inside between 60-65F.  After a year and a half of trial and error I have found no reliable system for keeping the temp at a comfortable range.  I absolutely hate these thermostats...good luck with yours.

This I something I miss about apartment living.  I went a whole winter without turning my heat on. Thank you neighbors lol.

nordlead

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Re: Teach me about heating.
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2014, 10:17:30 AM »
I lived in an apartment with water based heating and the pipes froze.

Typically even with it all the way down our apartment would be +70F (21C). Until one day we turned it all the way down and the wind changed directions (to hit our outside wall instead of the opposite side of the building) and was blowing hard (+30MPH winds all night) and the pipes froze. We woke up to a 45F (7C) apartment.

If you are going to turn it down, keep it >= 55F (13C).

Kaminoge

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Re: Teach me about heating.
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2014, 01:27:47 AM »
Thanks for the warning. I have no idea what temperature it is in the house but I'm guessing around 15 degrees so I'm probably ok. Bulgaria is having an unusually warm winter this year so I haven't really had to worry too much about the heating so far but of course a cold snap could change that quickly.

One more question. If I turned some radiators on and some off and the temperature dropped really low would the fact that some were on stop damage being done? I'm going away for a week and I thought maybe I could turn most of them off and just leave one on low in case there was a sudden freeze.

Maybe I should invest in a thermometer.