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Around the World => UK Discussion => Topic started by: shelivesthedream on October 19, 2017, 02:23:23 PM

Title: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 19, 2017, 02:23:23 PM
We've been trying to avoid turning ours on for as long as possible but I just decided I am bloody freezing and whacked it on. I don't know what the indoor temperature was, but I was not comfortable. Have we done well or have we copped out early?
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on October 19, 2017, 02:30:26 PM
Our boiler keeps the house on the warm side when the heating is off - I was opening windows to cool down until a few weeks ago. I'm trying to hold out until mid-November (after our holiday), I think it was mid-late November last year. My body runs warm though. [Cambridgeshire]
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: marielle on October 19, 2017, 02:37:52 PM
Am I missing something or is this the wrong section?

I live in the southern US so I turn my heat on almost never I feel like. I use an electric blanket to compensate. I do have cats though so I can't keep it TOO cold, but it usually stays above 60-65 F (15-18 C) during the day. Being in an apartment helps of course.

Someone posted this awhile back which is pretty interesting:
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2015/02/heating-people-not-spaces.html
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 19, 2017, 02:42:31 PM
Am I missing something or is this the wrong section?

I live in the southern US so I turn my heat on almost never I feel like. I use an electric blanket to compensate. I do have cats though so I can't keep it TOO cold, but it usually stays above 60-65 F (15-18 C) during the day. Being in an apartment helps of course.

Someone posted this awhile back which is pretty interesting:
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2015/02/heating-people-not-spaces.html

Nope - I wanted UK answers because of course Alaska and Texas are going to be so different there's no comparison!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Chuck Ditallin on October 19, 2017, 03:55:10 PM
Today, coincidentally!

As our house was a complete renovation, we took the chance to install underfloor heating downstairs. It's cheaper to run as the water temperature is lower than in radiators, so we tend to put it on earlier in the Autumn and just leave it burbling away til Spring. Each room has a thermostat and is individually controlled.

Mmm, warm floors!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: v8rx7guy on October 19, 2017, 04:31:52 PM
We usually try to hold out until October.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: TartanTallulah on October 19, 2017, 04:45:13 PM
Ours was on for a few days a couple of weeks ago, but is off again. It hasn't been cold.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: katekat on October 19, 2017, 05:19:02 PM
Our current flat is well insulated and I've not been cold yet this year and I don't think I was ever cold last year. It was a different story entirely in our previous (drafty, damp) flat in the exact same city.

That said, we've started using the heating to dry clothes on the radiator gradually over the last couple of months as its reached the point that we otherwise find everything takes too long to dry, so our heating has generally been on for at least a couple of hours a week since the beginning of September.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PoutineLover on October 19, 2017, 05:42:30 PM
I haven't turned it on yet, but I don't think it's gotten below 0 yet and my apartment has been comfortable. Luckily I live above a bakery so I think that warms up my place (and makes delicious smells!)
I did pull out an extra blanket, so the heat will probably be on in the next couple weeks.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Lake161 on October 19, 2017, 08:03:30 PM
When we get our first night of freezing temps. We live in a mountain town, and it may be quite pleasant during the day, but not risking frozen pipes to save money on gas.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 20, 2017, 02:09:57 AM
Seems like we've done kind of average? The problem with this house is it's very dark compared to our last place. It's much less draughty but the old place could get away with it because it got sun through big windows literally from dawn til dusk. We were warm til about Christmas then started getting hot again around Candlemas. The orientation of the windows and the shadows cast by other buildings here mean we get proper sun at the front from mid-late afternoon and that's about it. So it never passively heats up the way our old flat did.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: former player on October 20, 2017, 05:03:47 AM
Mine has been on in kitchen, sitting room and wetroom for the last week, but not in the study (big south facing windows) or bedroom (no heating, just hot water bottles).  My excuse for having it on this early is mainly my elderly arthritic dog, who loves the underfloor heating in the kitchen and the radiator to cuddle up to in the sitting room.  The wetroom heating dries the floor after a shower when the temperature is such that having the skylight open no longer works.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: financialfreedom on October 20, 2017, 05:35:45 AM
No heating until the clocks go back! We use the woodburner mostly.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: londonstache on October 20, 2017, 05:49:08 AM
I like to keep Mrs londonstache cold as long as possible, but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to hold out before she starts vocally complaining. Planning to hold out until November at least.
The bonus is that she doesn't know how the thermostat works so hoping to be able to maintain it at a cost-effective 10C this year :)
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: dreams_and_discoveries on October 20, 2017, 07:45:28 AM
Not until November, unless it gets to freezing outside.

I may be considered cheating as I have an aga....

I was brought up with the put another jumper on approach!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on October 20, 2017, 08:22:44 AM
Still not sure how the resolve the stupid humidity here in the UK, running the dehumidifier every night seems like a silly thing (but needs doing).

Really? Do you live near water or are you used to a drier climate? I've only rarely had issues with humidity in the UK. Is it definitely the humidity rather than damp?
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: RWD on October 20, 2017, 08:25:39 AM
We're still using our A/C, thermostat set at 79 degrees... (The UK sounds cold)
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: former player on October 20, 2017, 08:46:39 AM
I'm never cold during the day (I just put on a jumper if I am), but I know it's time to turn it on when I wake up with a cough in the morning.

Turned the storage heater on almost a month ago (gradually increasing from 3 to now 5 out of 10) and I haven't turned on the bedroom heater yet.
(ground floor flat, lots and lots of windows, flat orientation is as you'd want it, but I have a few bushes/trees in front of my bedroom window so can't rely on the sun keeping me warm)

Still not sure how the resolve the stupid humidity here in the UK, running the dehumidifier every night seems like a silly thing (but needs doing).

We resolve humidity by opening the windows.  Specifically, air out your bedroom in the mornings by opening the windows for 5 or 10 minutes (need only be the small top window if you have one - that's what they are for), air out the kitchen after cooking (unless you have and use an efficient cooker hood), air out the bathroom after a bath or shower, and so on.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 20, 2017, 09:29:55 AM
I'm never cold during the day (I just put on a jumper if I am), but I know it's time to turn it on when I wake up with a cough in the morning.

Turned the storage heater on almost a month ago (gradually increasing from 3 to now 5 out of 10) and I haven't turned on the bedroom heater yet.
(ground floor flat, lots and lots of windows, flat orientation is as you'd want it, but I have a few bushes/trees in front of my bedroom window so can't rely on the sun keeping me warm)

Still not sure how the resolve the stupid humidity here in the UK, running the dehumidifier every night seems like a silly thing (but needs doing).

We resolve humidity by opening the windows.  Specifically, air out your bedroom in the mornings by opening the windows for 5 or 10 minutes (need only be the small top window if you have one - that's what they are for), air out the kitchen after cooking (unless you have and use an efficient cooker hood), air out the bathroom after a bath or shower, and so on.

It is so frustrating that the bathroom in our new house doesn't have a window. It has a little extractor fan in the ceiling and, to be fair, zero mould so far. Funnily enough the old bathroom with the window had chronic mould (like the bedroom which was also on the non-sunny side of the flat) but I *felt* better if I could open a window :)

+1 that I'm surprised you're complaining about the humidity unless you live in a river valley or peat bog. Running a dehumidifier every day seems excessive.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on October 20, 2017, 09:53:04 AM
I ran a dehumidifier in a rental a long time ago - the issue was a gas cooker with inadequate ventilation, a housemate who would open the bathroom door rather than window after a shower and a crap damp course. Happy days.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: sea_saw on October 20, 2017, 11:48:33 AM
I turned the storage heaters on two days ago - so far only two of them, and to only the lowest setting (1 / 5). But I'm in a flat on the top floor, you can feel the temperature gradient as you climb up the stairs... I've been in the ground floor flats and they are pretty chilly.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 20, 2017, 11:53:36 AM
Rather than turn off the heat, why not keep it on but set the thermostat really low?  This way you don't run the risk of freezing pipes from an overnight cold snap.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: ixtap on October 20, 2017, 12:02:01 PM
My answer is not UK specific:

I never understood setting a date. It makes way more sense to me to set a temperature, if you don't trust yourself.

I do pile on the clothes before reaching for the thermostat. I also use an electric blanket to heat the bed long before reaching for the thermostat. It makes all the difference in the world to me to be able to crawl into a warm bed when all else is cold and/or damp.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 20, 2017, 04:50:43 PM
Rather than turn off the heat, why not keep it on but set the thermostat really low?  This way you don't run the risk of freezing pipes from an overnight cold snap.

I am confronting this problem now because I've never lived anywhere before where: a) I had total control over the heating; b) My boiler has settings to just eat water for radiators, just heat water for taps, or both. That's what I've really now turned on. I'm not having the boiler heat up water I don't want!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: CrabbitDutchie on October 21, 2017, 06:16:00 AM
In our all electric flat in Scotland the storage heaters are still off.
I have had the wee electric heater in the bathroom on to make getting out of the morning shower bearable, but I'm not sure that really counts.

Neither of us are in the flat much and we don't really need to worry about frozen pipes thanks to the neighours.
The storage heater in the living room will be turned on when I'm wandering around with thick socks, slippers, a couple of jumpers, blanket, hot water bottle and pretty much constant cups of tea. I run pretty cold so this corresponds to an inside temperature of about 13-14C. Hoping to be able to hold off till at least mid november, but it wouldn't be unusual to have a cold snap before then and turn on the heater for a couple of days.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: never give up on October 21, 2017, 05:00:14 PM
When my parents come over!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 22, 2017, 07:26:11 AM
I set the thermostat permanently to 17 degrees this morning and all the radiators instantly came on. Clearly I wasn't making it up about being cold before! Frustratingly, it's an old dial thermostat so we have no idea how cold it was so I'm Freegling for a room thermometer.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Laserjet3051 on October 22, 2017, 10:39:54 AM
With temps predicted to hit 106įF today (yes, its late October), the thought of turning on central heating is nothing more than a distant dream. We will be struggling over the next week to NOT turn on our A/C. 106įF in the shade feels A LOT HOTTER when one is in the sun.

Might be one or two super cold nights next year in January where I might consider turning on the heat for a few hours............or maybe not.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: dreams_and_discoveries on October 22, 2017, 12:41:07 PM
Ah, I'm so glad we don't have to bother with aircon here in the UK.

I'm going to hold out until Nov to put the heating on; it's not been that cold yet and has been unseasonably hot in my opinion.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: AnswerIs42 on October 22, 2017, 12:48:52 PM
I haven't turned mine on yet. I have been doing a little Ethereum mining to keep me warm, though :)
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: itimjim on October 22, 2017, 12:50:49 PM
From about 0 mins to 60 mins a day at the moment. House was built in 1826, so not very effecient, despite dot/dabbing exterior walls, insulating the loft, triple and double glazing!

Started last week. Using Nest, but I think it's negligible if it pays for itself.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: cerat0n1a on October 23, 2017, 07:50:51 AM
I haven't turned mine on yet. I have been doing a little Ethereum mining to keep me warm, though :)

Youngest son's ethereum (& bitcoin in the past) mining is a useful heat source for some of my not-so-hardy plants through winter.

I don't think there's a single month of the year when my wife has not had the heating on. There have certainly been days in June, July & August at some point in the last decade when she's decided she was too cold. I spent several years of my childhood in a house with no heating (we sat in the living room with blankets wrapped round us) so I'm not a good judge of such things.

We have not had anything close to a frost yet - last year we had first frost in September. I'm still picking tomatoes and strawberries from the garden. So I think it's been a relatively warm autumn in the sense of no cold nights so far.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: poppydog on October 29, 2017, 02:39:11 AM
Weíre in Glasgow, having endured a pretty rotten summer - as Billy Connolly once said, we have two seasons, June and winter!

Our heating has never been fully off.  Itís timed to be available during waking hours and if a room thermometer asks for heat, it will get it.  I do tweak the thermometers down in summer though, and as we are empty nesters weíve got a couple of rooms closed down completely. Should really move to something smaller I guess.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 29, 2017, 02:43:15 AM
I've been tweaking the thermostat around and 16 is a wee bit too cold and 17 is a wee bit too warm. I miss our old programmable thermostat. Anyone have any idea what the ballpark payback time is for installing one?
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on October 31, 2017, 04:08:08 AM
I've been tweaking the thermostat around and 16 is a wee bit too cold and 17 is a wee bit too warm. I miss our old programmable thermostat. Anyone have any idea what the ballpark payback time is for installing one?

Not what you asked but: we have programmable thermostat valves  on every radiator. Bought them on offer for £2 each (out of the discount bin - we were lucky). Easy to install, they just replace the radiator valve. Reduced our gas bill by around £30 per month the first month (but IMO the house was crazy warm before this). You can set different temperatures for different times of the day and on different days in different rooms, and over ride if you want to change the temperature in one room. It does make it more difficult to say the house feels cold, let's turn the heating on in every room (you'd need to change each radiator). And you can set the temperature in 0.5ļ increments!

They are similar to this one https://www.screwfix.com/p/pegler-terrier-i-temp-i30-white-programmable-thermostatic-radiator-valve-x/71054 (https://www.screwfix.com/p/pegler-terrier-i-temp-i30-white-programmable-thermostatic-radiator-valve-x/71054)
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 31, 2017, 04:45:30 AM
I've been tweaking the thermostat around and 16 is a wee bit too cold and 17 is a wee bit too warm. I miss our old programmable thermostat. Anyone have any idea what the ballpark payback time is for installing one?

Not what you asked but: we have programmable thermostat valves  on every radiator. Bought them on offer for £2 each (out of the discount bin - we were lucky). Easy to install, they just replace the radiator valve. Reduced our gas bill by around £30 per month the first month (but IMO the house was crazy warm before this). You can set different temperatures for different times of the day and on different days in different rooms, and over ride if you want to change the temperature in one room. It does make it more difficult to say the house feels cold, let's turn the heating on in every room (you'd need to change each radiator). And you can set the temperature in 0.5ļ increments!

They are similar to this one https://www.screwfix.com/p/pegler-terrier-i-temp-i30-white-programmable-thermostatic-radiator-valve-x/71054 (https://www.screwfix.com/p/pegler-terrier-i-temp-i30-white-programmable-thermostatic-radiator-valve-x/71054)

What witchcraft is this?! I have questions...

1. I have never significantly interacted with a radiator before. Do radiators have sizes? Do you just screw the cap off and screw this on? Is there any danger of boiling water spurting everywhere?
2. How does this interact with the main thermostat? Presumably you have your main thermostat set on the highest setting that your radiator ones are on, otherwise the radiator would be pumping cold water around?
3. We don't actually have controls on our current radiators, just a plain white cap. Is this likely to be a problem?
4. What if I just buy one? The main thing is that I don't want to be heating the bedroom all day, so could I just buy one to shut the heating off in there except in the morning and at night?
5. Is there a temporary manual override? In our old flat, if we felt cold we could whack the temperature up on the thermostat but then whenever it entered the next programmed period it would go back to whatever the programming was, so we could turn it up a few degrees of an evening without then needing to remember to change it back again.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on October 31, 2017, 05:28:55 AM
1. We just unscrewed and screwed. It was straightforward, there was no boiling water, but we had an old towel underneath and a bucket near by out of an abundance of caution. These were new style radiators (rather than the old cast iron ones), I believe that there is a single valve size.
2. Yes
3. This might be a deal breaker. I think the term to google is a "slave" radiator, I've seen them in houses that also have some radiators with individual controls, so it seems possible to add the control valve, but it could be a job that involves draining the system. This is beyond my knowledge sphere.
4. Yes, you can do this. It probably makes sense to buy one first to see if you get on with it.
5. Yes, there is a manual control that defaults back to the next programmed temperature, just as you describe (it is possible that this isn't on every model though, but that is how ours work).
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 31, 2017, 05:42:55 AM
1. We just unscrewed and screwed. It was straightforward, there was no boiling water, but we had an old towel underneath and a bucket near by out of an abundance of caution. These were new style radiators (rather than the old cast iron ones), I believe that there is a single valve size.
2. Yes
3. This might be a deal breaker. I think the term to google is a "slave" radiator, I've seen them in houses that also have some radiators with individual controls, so it seems possible to add the control valve, but it could be a job that involves draining the system. This is beyond my knowledge sphere.
4. Yes, you can do this. It probably makes sense to buy one first to see if you get on with it.
5. Yes, there is a manual control that defaults back to the next programmed temperature, just as you describe (it is possible that this isn't on every model though, but that is how ours work).

This is very exciting. I will look into #3 further.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: never give up on October 20, 2018, 02:57:12 AM
I see the anniversary of this thread by SLTD was yesterday. How are people doing this year? It is getting cold at night and first thing in the morning now where I live , but Iím still holding out so far.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: former player on October 20, 2018, 04:10:39 AM
I would still be fine on my own account but I have an elderly dog with arthritis and I noticed him yesterday evening lying along the (cold) night storage heater in my living room - the first time he's done that since last winter - so the heating went on for him last night. 170 for the underfloor heating in the kitchen where his bed is, and the night storage in the sitting room on 2 out of 6.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: never give up on October 20, 2018, 04:17:31 AM
Thatís such a lovely image former player. When I had a dog as a kid, he used to love to stretch out by the fire in the winter, he looked as peaceful as anything could ever be. Underfloor heating sounds like absolute heaven for a dog!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: SupersavingMMM on October 20, 2018, 04:32:57 AM
An embarrassingly unmustachian couple of weeks here.  Only in occasional little bursts though, still a fan of snuggly blankets. 

Possibly, I need to look at being more mobile and active at home, in order to generate my own heat.

Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 20, 2018, 08:20:44 AM
Were having a terrible time with our heating at the moment! BabySLTD sleeps best in a warmer room, around 21 degrees. His room gets lots of sun during the day and heats up a lot, but then the temperature plummets during the night. We're trying to find a setting on our hall thermostat that will make his room a comfortable temperature. I know we should get round to installing those individual radiator thermostats...
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Gone Fishing on October 20, 2018, 08:48:04 AM
Fired up the woodstove last night!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on October 20, 2018, 03:50:28 PM
Fired up the woodstove last night!
We've needed to use ours a few times over the last couple of weeks.  Do you have a fan on yours to blow the warm air about?  If not then I thoroughly recommend them.  Trying to hold out until November for the central heating, but we only use that for the bedrooms as the stove heats our main open plane living area.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Runner5 on October 21, 2018, 04:51:45 AM
I caved probably around mid-September, but only in so far as telling the thermostat robot that it's allowed to turn the heating on in these particular time periods if it gets below X degrees, so in my defence it's been not coming on as much as it has been coming on in the past week or so.  This is largely due to our house being insulated with absolutely bugger all, which will be getting fixed when we get a new roof in December [insert praise hands emoji].

Re: the discussion further up around dehumidifiers - we have to have one running constantly in our cellar to make it usable as a storage room, otherwise it gets to 90%+ humidity. Could probably do with one in the laundry-drying-room, too, tbh, but can't justify the initial outlay or the running costs (they're expensive buggers in both senses).
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: never give up on October 21, 2018, 11:50:13 AM
I wanted to hold out until November but my parents are coming around tonight and it really is very cold. Although Iím happy enough in my three layers Iíve reluctantly switched on the central heating for the first time. I would have felt just too guilty if they had sat there huddled together for warmth! The trials and tribulations of being a host. Iím still debating whether to charge them 50p on entry :-)
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: ExitViaTheCashRamp on October 21, 2018, 12:00:19 PM
Call me Mr Spendypants.... it's never off. If the house is ever (all year around) below 20 degrees, then on switches the heating automatically. Well more accurately the kids room as that is where the sensor is.

 Whats worse is that my house was built in 1899, so insulation is not exactly world class.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: never give up on October 21, 2018, 12:16:38 PM
Well we can certainly call you Mr Warmpants :-) I did this one year. I had it turned down to about 9 degrees at night and 14 during the day and was sure it would never come on for 7 months of the year. As far as I knew it didnít. I found though that my bill was a lot higher in this year. Since then I have fully turned the boiler off from March/April through to Ocober and my bill fell again. I never looked into the reason why but assumed keeping it on was working the boiler harder in some way and costing me money somehow. Not sure if there are any plumbing experts able to confirm the correct procedure for central heating settings in the summer but it may be worth experimenting with ExitViaTheCashRamp.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Squelchy on October 22, 2018, 02:56:57 PM
We recently came to the conclusion that it's a false economy to hold out, as once the walls cooled we started getting a damp issue, which would only heat loss. As autumn is the worst time for humidity, we have shifted to putting the house on a thermostat (18 degrees upstairs, which so far has triggered only once this autumn). SLTD, if you do go for thermostatic valves on the radiators, be aware that one rad must always be left without one, usually the bathroom if you have one there. I can't remember the exact reason, but it has to do with the main thermostat telling the boiler to heat, but the radiator ones telling them not to heat, and the tank therefore overheating or something like that. Also, whilst I can in no way predict the behaviour of baby SLTD, I have spent the past three winters re-adjusting the valves after mini Squelchy has gone through and changed them to whatever number is his current favourite. This, at least, is better than the time we called the plumber out because we had no hot water only to find that this too was controlled by a tempting little dial at toddler height that we hadn't known he'd spotted.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Squelchy on October 22, 2018, 03:04:08 PM
PS re baby's room, this sounds very much like the situation we had with our old one before we moved. We did find an improvement after adding proper loft insulation. Is there any chance that might help in your situation? Failing that, cheap thermal blockout blinds (ours about £10 from Tesco) made a significant difference to heat retention. For context, this was the box room of a victorian terrace (above the kitchen) with an older double-glazed window.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: sea_saw on October 23, 2018, 02:10:44 AM
I have a top floor flat, under a reasonably well-insulated roof, so I get the benefit of the heating from the flats below me. Heating went on yesterday!

Sadly I have storage heaters, so the place is at its warmest at about 8am when I'm leaving for work, and at its coldest from 8-12pm when I'm home.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Linea_Norway on October 23, 2018, 02:42:04 AM
We've been trying to avoid turning ours on for as long as possible but I just decided I am bloody freezing and whacked it on. I don't know what the indoor temperature was, but I was not comfortable. Have we done well or have we copped out early?

We turn it on in October. But we have a wood stove that we occasionally use in September (and often in the rest of the winter).

Yesterday evening I was cold. I put on a sweater, turned on the woodstove and put a thick blanket on my lap when watching TV. The central heating was on 20C.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Zola. on October 23, 2018, 05:35:31 AM
Your house is meant to be warm and comfortable, since you live there. If you are cold, stick the heat on (after you have layered up) :)
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: dashuk on October 23, 2018, 06:55:17 AM
On thermostatic valves, if the point is still relevant: AFAIK you are supposed to have them everywhere *except* the room where your main thermostat is, so that if everything else is shut down that space heats up and turns the boiler off.

On baby's rooms: Wild guess that you're in a fairly typical oldish British house with a small bedroom above the hall/stairs, which seems like a great place to store a small person, until you realise it has a lot of external walls relative to the size and it's virtually impossible to control the temperature.

On humidity:

Call it damp if you like, but in our case I'm 99% it's not coming in from outside (either from above or below), it's just the product of four people breathing (plus cooking, washing, drying clothes) in an old house which manages to be slightly draughty in places but also not actually change enough air. Makes sense to me to call it humidity.

Opening the windows in the morning is all very well, but comes with a heating cost. Also at this time of year the air outside is also pretty wet. Yes, because of how relative humidity works, outside air at the same relative humidity is drier, but still limits the difference it can make.

We're looking at dehumidifiers and various other options as a short term fix - it used to be tolerable in our place but with more bodies, more cooking, more washing, etc it's getting less so.

I think the 'proper' answer is heat recovery ventilation, which would be like leaving windows open all the time without the heating bill. Ought to be law for new-build because it's not usually terribly easy to retrofit, but given a government intent on watering down anything that might cause housebuilders to have to improve, don't hold your breath.  Think it might be practical in ours without too much upheaval, just need to somehow conjure up the mental bandwidth to deal with another project.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on October 23, 2018, 09:36:47 AM
We recently came to the conclusion that it's a false economy to hold out, as once the walls cooled we started getting a damp issue, which would only heat loss. As autumn is the worst time for humidity, we have shifted to putting the house on a thermostat (18 degrees upstairs, which so far has triggered only once this autumn). SLTD, if you do go for thermostatic valves on the radiators, be aware that one rad must always be left without one, usually the bathroom if you have one there. I can't remember the exact reason, but it has to do with the main thermostat telling the boiler to heat, but the radiator ones telling them not to heat, and the tank therefore overheating or something like that. Also, whilst I can in no way predict the behaviour of baby SLTD, I have spent the past three winters re-adjusting the valves after mini Squelchy has gone through and changed them to whatever number is his current favourite. This, at least, is better than the time we called the plumber out because we had no hot water only to find that this too was controlled by a tempting little dial at toddler height that we hadn't known he'd spotted.
The reason to leave one rad open is that when the thermostat turns the heating on it turns on a pump to drive the hot water round the circuit.  If all your TRVs close, then the water has nowhere to go unless you have one rad permanently open.  Modern systems will also have an overpressure relief valve to deal with this problem, but better to keep that as a last line of defence.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Distant dreamer on October 23, 2018, 01:01:23 PM
Been on for at least a month here. I think thatís a combination of me being a very cold person and it generally being colder up here than where many of you are based (very un-MMM place to live). The house would sit around 14-15 degrees without it which is too cold for me. The de-icer has already been out for the car in the mornings so thatís definitely heating time in my book.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Squelchy on October 23, 2018, 01:17:29 PM
Re. "damp", you are quite right, I do mean humidity, and agree that if we could just refrain from breathing inside the house, it really wouldn't be a problem any more. Even so, we are having particular issues that I haven't had anywhere before with one room where we suspect that the cavity wall insulation has slumped leaving a cold bridge. As I'm not happy with having a child sleeping in a room with black mould growing on the walls until we can get it properly rectified, we're using the dehumidifier, opening windows in the morning or after a shower, heating etc to keep it all dry. Actually, I spent several days this summer making good last winter's damage there, but that's another story. We have also looked into heat recovery ventilation, but can't face the disruption right now, or the expense, as the one company who thought they could do it without ripping all of the ceilings out was a very small one who pulled out for personal reasons.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 23, 2018, 02:11:33 PM
To anyone who has thermostatic radiator valves: how much is it reasonable to pay for them? I thought I would try getting just the one for starters for BabySLTD's room because it overheats compared to the rest of the house but I am somewhat overwhelmed and many of them seem hugely over-engineered. I do not require something I can control from my smartphone or something that learns my radiator's inside leg measurement. I just want something that I can set at a particular temperature for that room and that's that.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: never give up on October 23, 2018, 02:31:01 PM
Mine are by Drayton. I donít know their cost individually but a quick search seems to give a range of relatively simple ones. Mine are internet free! I agree. Why does everything nowadays need to be controlled by a phone!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on October 23, 2018, 03:38:23 PM
A bog standard TRV that just turns off that one radiator based on room temperature will set you back about a tenner from somewhere like Screwfix or Toolstation.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Linea_Norway on October 24, 2018, 01:26:43 AM
Mine are by Drayton. I donít know their cost individually but a quick search seems to give a range of relatively simple ones. Mine are internet free! I agree. Why does everything nowadays need to be controlled by a phone!

My idea... Everything connected to the internet is vulnerable to hacking.
But it is neat if a heating system is programmable, with or without the help of a phone.

We have electric warm water heating, with floor heating, as well as some separate electric radiators in the bedrooms. The thermostat for the floor heating is not programmable, in a 7 year old house! My parents house already had a programmable thermostat 25 years ago. And our previous house had a programmable warmth pump. This is such a stupid house...
There is a switch that we could put on night temperature, which makes it 2C colder. But who wants to remember flipping this twice a day? I have of course searched the internet for a different thermostat to connect to this kettle, but it isn't available. So we have the temperature on 20C the whole day and night. Very annoying.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Zola. on October 24, 2018, 03:00:53 AM
A bog standard TRV that just turns off that one radiator based on room temperature will set you back about a tenner from somewhere like Screwfix or Toolstation.

How do you retrofit them?

Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on October 24, 2018, 06:33:21 AM
A bog standard TRV that just turns off that one radiator based on room temperature will set you back about a tenner from somewhere like Screwfix or Toolstation.

How do you retrofit them?
Personally I'd drain down the system, swap the valves and then fill it back up again using the filling loop on the boiler.  It can be done without draining the system if you get a pipe freezing kit and work quickly, but I've never tried one of those myself.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 24, 2018, 11:05:23 AM
Some are advertised that you don't need to drain the system or use special tools to install. Unclear how this works, but I'm looking at this one: https://www.reichelt.com/gb/en/electronic-radiator-thermostat-model-n-eht-classic-n-p144068.html?CTYPE=0&MWSTFREE=0&PROVID=2788&gclid=Cj0KCQjwjbveBRDVARIsAKxH7vmGmcCT1CrYN4iZFrQfAVi5mxFvqccARFFdVPYAYD7kJaMZ6HcHpF0aAmnSEALw_wcB&&r=1
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Arian on October 24, 2018, 12:39:08 PM
In South Wales; have just put the heating on for the first time this year. Aiming to just put it on for an hour or so to take the chill off.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on October 24, 2018, 11:13:23 PM
Some are advertised that you don't need to drain the system or use special tools to install. Unclear how this works, but I'm looking at this one: https://www.reichelt.com/gb/en/electronic-radiator-thermostat-model-n-eht-classic-n-p144068.html?CTYPE=0&MWSTFREE=0&PROVID=2788&gclid=Cj0KCQjwjbveBRDVARIsAKxH7vmGmcCT1CrYN4iZFrQfAVi5mxFvqccARFFdVPYAYD7kJaMZ6HcHpF0aAmnSEALw_wcB&&r=1
Looking at the instruction sheet I'm pretty sure that this product is to be installed on an existing TRV, not on an old fashioned manual valve.  TRVs work by pressing down on a small spindle as they expand and that seems to be what this does.  If someone did make one that could turn an existing manual value that would be great, but the forces involved would probably be too much for the batteries.

Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 25, 2018, 03:51:41 AM
Some are advertised that you don't need to drain the system or use special tools to install. Unclear how this works, but I'm looking at this one: https://www.reichelt.com/gb/en/electronic-radiator-thermostat-model-n-eht-classic-n-p144068.html?CTYPE=0&MWSTFREE=0&PROVID=2788&gclid=Cj0KCQjwjbveBRDVARIsAKxH7vmGmcCT1CrYN4iZFrQfAVi5mxFvqccARFFdVPYAYD7kJaMZ6HcHpF0aAmnSEALw_wcB&&r=1
Looking at the instruction sheet I'm pretty sure that this product is to be installed on an existing TRV, not on an old fashioned manual valve.  TRVs work by pressing down on a small spindle as they expand and that seems to be what this does.  If someone did make one that could turn an existing manual value that would be great, but the forces involved would probably be too much for the batteries.

Really? I know very very little about plumbing and how heating works, but my layperson's logic was "Hey, that photo of the radiator at the end looks just like my radiator! Why yes, I can see a little unscrewy thing on my radiator of approximately the right size, and in the right place."

There also seems to be this one which is similar and makes similar installation claims but is mounted in a different place: https://www.reichelt.com/gb/en/radiator-thermostat-model-m-electronic-uk-version-eht-classic-m-p227218.html?&trstct=lsbght_sldr::144068
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Friar on October 25, 2018, 07:05:59 AM
Call me Mr Spendypants.... it's never off. If the house is ever (all year around) below 20 degrees, then on switches the heating automatically. Well more accurately the kids room as that is where the sensor is.

 Whats worse is that my house was built in 1899, so insulation is not exactly world class.

This is also my strategy for my Victorian terrace. My Nest is set to 20C (unless ramping down for the night) all year round and the boiler manages itself to turn on or off.

Could I be more thrifty by turning down the setting? Yes. Although my partner already complains that it's too cold so I would struggle to get buy in for that.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Friar on October 25, 2018, 07:15:06 AM
@shelivesthedream

Do you need a digital TRV? I just replaced 2 radiators and got free Drayton TRVs with them but they're not (and don't need to be!) digital.

You can pick them up at Screwfix for £20

https://www.screwfix.com/p/drayton-rt212-white-chrome-trv-lockshield-15mm-x/53581 (https://www.screwfix.com/p/drayton-rt212-white-chrome-trv-lockshield-15mm-x/53581)

It does require draining the central heating system, removing the existing valves on the radiator, and refitting which might not be feasible for you.

Apparently it is possible to replace them without draining the system by closing the other valve on the radiator (to stop the water coming in/out on end) and freezing the water in the pipe that leads the valve you'll be replacing with the TRV. However, I feel there is more to go wrong with this approach.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 25, 2018, 07:34:03 AM
@shelivesthedream

Do you need a digital TRV? I just replaced 2 radiators and got free Drayton TRVs with them but they're not (and don't need to be!) digital.

You can pick them up at Screwfix for £20

https://www.screwfix.com/p/drayton-rt212-white-chrome-trv-lockshield-15mm-x/53581 (https://www.screwfix.com/p/drayton-rt212-white-chrome-trv-lockshield-15mm-x/53581)

It does require draining the central heating system, removing the existing valves on the radiator, and refitting which might not be feasible for you.

Apparently it is possible to replace them without draining the system by closing the other valve on the radiator (to stop the water coming in/out on end) and freezing the water in the pipe that leads the valve you'll be replacing with the TRV. However, I feel there is more to go wrong with this approach.

I think this is what we have at the moment on all our radiators, but the effect of the sun on the two rooms at the front of the house is so extreme (the back is shrouded in shadow) that it really requires constant adjusting depending on season, cloud cover and time of day to maintain a moderate temperature. I am very confused by all this, though, so may be wrong.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on October 25, 2018, 10:01:26 AM
If you have something about the size of a small apple on your radiator the you already have a TRV.  In that case it's just a matter of removing the head and replacing it with the digital one.  If you just have a small old fashioned nob then you don't and it becomes a much more major task.  It probably won't be any better at controlling the temperature than an old fashioned TRV, but what it will let you do is turn that room off or down at certain times of day when the rest of the heating is still running.  I'm thinking about getting some for a couple of downstairs radiators to turn them off through the night and just have them come on for the last early morning cycle.  Many reviews mention that they are too noisy for a bedroom if you are a light sleeper.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: CrabbitDutchie on October 27, 2018, 03:29:51 AM
I tried to turn our storage heater in the living room on last night.
However I'd forgotten that I'd switched them off at the main circuit breaker in the hallway over summer to avoid accidentally turning it on.

So looks like the heating will be going on tonight instead!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: RetirementInvestingToday on October 27, 2018, 06:46:14 AM
Living in the South East of England for a few more weeks and no heating on yet.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Ducknald Don on October 30, 2018, 06:59:39 AM
I tried to turn our storage heater in the living room on last night.
However I'd forgotten that I'd switched them off at the main circuit breaker in the hallway over summer to avoid accidentally turning it on.

So looks like the heating will be going on tonight instead!

We are on storage heaters, I loathe the things because they are so difficult to control. I have looked at converting to oil but the figures don't really add up.

One thing I did do was put a digital thermometer in each room, I'm sure having an objective measure of the temperature has removed the temptation to turn the heating up.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on November 01, 2018, 11:39:35 AM
I tried to turn our storage heater in the living room on last night.
However I'd forgotten that I'd switched them off at the main circuit breaker in the hallway over summer to avoid accidentally turning it on.

So looks like the heating will be going on tonight instead!

We are on storage heaters, I loathe the things because they are so difficult to control. I have looked at converting to oil but the figures don't really add up.

One thing I did do was put a digital thermometer in each room, I'm sure having an objective measure of the temperature has removed the temptation to turn the heating up.
I'm currently on holiday in a cottage with storage heaters.  I had forgotten how much I hate them.  We did rip them out and convert to oil.  If you do decide to replace them, I have one tip - don't ever try and carry a large storage heater downstairs on your own.  Surfing backwards down a flight of stairs on a metal-wrapped block of concrete is not an experience I ever wish to repeat.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Rosielicious on November 02, 2018, 06:24:03 AM
We've had ours "on" since September, but with the thermostat set to 16 so it's barely come on until recently. I've been coping by living under a blanket and in jumpers, drinking tea, and always taking a hot water bottle to bed. Last week DH complained of being cold, realised the temp was set low and said we should turn it up to 20! We compromised and set it to 18.

Had someone round to sweep the chimney last month because I wanted to get the woodburner ready for winter. Turns out we need a new one :( The handle fell off when the bloke opened the door, it needs new glass in the door and new clips to keep the glass in, new firebricks as they're all cracked and crumbling. I did get a second opinion who said that if I wanted to have it repaired I'd need to take the door off, take that to an engineering firm to have the clips replaced, but it's old and inefficient so I should just get a new one. Sigh, no fire on Xmas day for us! Maybe January.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Ducknald Don on November 02, 2018, 09:10:45 AM
I'm currently on holiday in a cottage with storage heaters.  I had forgotten how much I hate them.  We did rip them out and convert to oil.  If you do decide to replace them, I have one tip - don't ever try and carry a large storage heater downstairs on your own.  Surfing backwards down a flight of stairs on a metal-wrapped block of concrete is not an experience I ever wish to repeat.

I have moved them but I always remove the bricks first, well after the first time anyway. :)
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on November 03, 2018, 11:19:55 AM
I replaced my valves (they are white, cylindrical, the size of a small apple (nice description PhilB) and have the numbers 1 to 5 on the base with the 3 replaced by a black button thing, you turn the dial to make the radiator hotter or cooler) with digital ones without draining or freezing anything. It took maybe 30 seconds and was really straightforward. My digital valves are standalone, battery powered and on timers with individual temperature settings (so it can be warmer in the evening than in the morning or warmer at the weekends).

They are the absolute best and I rave about them frequently.

Heating got turned on today.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: skip207 on November 07, 2018, 01:33:12 AM
Ours is set on 18c most of the year so it sometimes comes on and off as early as September.
I think its been firing on and off the last few weeks.  Not been on at all the last few days. 

Our UFH comes on 1st November and goes off 1st April!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Kwill on November 08, 2018, 08:23:51 PM
b) My boiler has settings to just eat water for radiators, just heat water for taps, or both. That's what I've really now turned on.

I have a boiler like this, and I recently switched it to heat both. I thought that would turn on heat, but I have yet to see the radiators warm. So far I am just wearing extra layers and sitting with a light blanket, but I am starting to think it would be nice to have heat if I could figure it out.

This thread inspired me to take another look at the directions, and I think maybe it was that a little switch on the clock bit of the central heating was set to off instead of to follow the times set. Waiting to see if changing that did anything.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on November 09, 2018, 04:59:09 AM
I have just installed two programmable radiator valves! It took me fifteen minutes each from taking them out of the box to walking away. Now to see how well they work and if we want to get them for all the radiators! I put one in BabySLTD's room to stop it getting so hot (it's the only room that gets loads of sun) during the day and cold at night (stupid air vent holes in the walls), and one in the bathroom to test how it does with more complicated programming (hot for Mr SLTD's shower, then my much later shower, then BabySLTD's evening bath). Whee! Excited!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on November 11, 2018, 02:17:08 AM
Yay!!!!! Hope they work well for you and BabySLTD.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on November 12, 2018, 11:38:23 AM
Can confirm they are working very well! However, I am not sure about installing more. If I did, I would have:

BabySLTD: 20 degrees day, 21 degrees night
Bathroom: High for morning showers and evening bath, low the rest of the time

Proposed:
Our bedroom: High morning and late evening, medium overnight, low during day
Toilet: Medium-high during day, medium-low during night
Dining room: Medium during day, low during night
Study: Medium during day, low during night

Then we have one radiator in the hall at the bottom of the stairs, sort of on the opposite wall to the thermostat. Presumably I leave the normal valve on that one? And what do I set the thermostat to? The hall itself is very short and that one radiator heats the whole stairwell. But presumably I need the thermostat on high so that it tells the boiler to heat up water so it is always available for whichever radiators require it - otherwise they will be pumping cold water round. Would that just use up all our energy savings on permanently heating the hall to 21+ degrees?

No, I do not really understand central heating.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on November 13, 2018, 01:44:10 AM
Can confirm they are working very well! However, I am not sure about installing more. If I did, I would have:

BabySLTD: 20 degrees day, 21 degrees night
Bathroom: High for morning showers and evening bath, low the rest of the time

Proposed:
Our bedroom: High morning and late evening, medium overnight, low during day
Toilet: Medium-high during day, medium-low during night
Dining room: Medium during day, low during night
Study: Medium during day, low during night

Then we have one radiator in the hall at the bottom of the stairs, sort of on the opposite wall to the thermostat. Presumably I leave the normal valve on that one? And what do I set the thermostat to? The hall itself is very short and that one radiator heats the whole stairwell. But presumably I need the thermostat on high so that it tells the boiler to heat up water so it is always available for whichever radiators require it - otherwise they will be pumping cold water round. Would that just use up all our energy savings on permanently heating the hall to 21+ degrees?

No, I do not really understand central heating.
Great news that the new valves are working well.  I'm afraid you'll never get the system to do exactly what you want automatically, but you should be able to get close.  The important thing is to understand how the heating works then you'll be better placed to work out how you want to operate it - don't worry, it isn't that complicated!
You'll never have a position where you are pumping cold water around the radiators, because the pump and the heating of the water work together.  Whenever the boiler is 'on' for heating it will run the pump and it will keep the water at the right temperature.  Whenever it is 'off' the pump doesn't run and the water in the pipes isn't heated.  There are probably 3 ways of turning the boiler on or off:
1. An switch on the boiler - if this is off then everything is off
2. A timer control (if you have one) - this also has to be in an 'on' phase for the boiler to run
3. The thermostat in the hall - if 1 and 2 are both 'on' this can still turn the boiler 'off' if the temperature in the hall is higher than the temperature selected.
The new valves on your radiators won't turn the boiler off, they just stop the water going through that particular radiator.  That makes it essential that one radiator is always 'on' as if all of them are close but the boiler switches on the pump will be in trouble.  Normally people opt for a bathroom for this.
You can buy very expensive systems now where the individual radiator valves each act like the wall thermostat to turn the boiler off if each room is at the desired temperature, but that would be overkill.  Instead what you need to do is firstly to set the timer, if you have one, to turn the boiler off if there are times you don't want it on at all.  For the times when it is on you may as well largely ignore the hall thermostat - just turn it up high, but turn the radiator down low (or use one of the new valves to vary it during the day).  You could then forget the thermostat, other than to use it as a manual override to switch the boiler off on a warm day.
For the rest of your radiators it's them a choice of do you a) fit programmable valves, or b) just use normal TRVs and turn them up and down manually if you want different settings at different times of the day.  The decider on that one is do you want the heating to change before you get up in the morning, other than the overall on-off that the timer (if you have one) gives.  Feel free to pm me if you need any more info.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on November 14, 2018, 12:24:51 PM
Thank you, @PhilB! I hadn't understood what the deal was with what made the boiler heat up water and pump it round - I thought they were more separate. We turned off the boiler timer some time ago - either when I was pregnant and having hot baths in the middle of the night or shortly after BabySLTD was born when day and night were one and the same - and have never touched it again. I don't really want to turn it off as I'm concerned about keeping BabySLTD's room warm at night while he's still so little.

Manually turning the valves would be a PITA and unlikely to happen. I've decided to buy three more, for the bedroom, dining room and study, and leave the toilet upstairs and the hall downstairs open all the time. Would it be better to open them on low?
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Sugaree on November 14, 2018, 12:48:38 PM
We're in the Southern US and it's been on a few times.  We have it set at 66 when we're home, 64 when we're asleep, and 60 when we're gone.  I'll probably bump all of those down a degree or two once we've acclimated to the colder weather.  It kind of sucks because we went from 90 degrees outside to 40 degrees outside in about 3 weeks.  I usually get a month where I don't have to run either the A/C or a heater.  This year I got 10 days. 
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: sea_saw on December 07, 2018, 05:25:30 AM
I have a plea for advice from anyone who knows their UK electric heating.

Full description here: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/balancing-two-mortgages-two-jobs-living-for-today-and-saving-for-tomorrow-(uk)/msg2223178/#msg2223178

Basically I live in a flat with electric-only heating and an economy 7 electricity tariff. The heaters themselves date back from the early 90s and are starting to break, and I haven't been able to find anyone to service them so it's time for them to be replaced. I'm wondering whether to keep going in the direction of night-storage heating, or to other kinds of electric radiators.

I'd like to find the best long-term option for the flat. Does anyone know if there's a way for me to crunch the numbers based on my current usage of peak and off-peak electricity? Or general thoughts and experiences.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Runner5 on December 07, 2018, 07:28:43 AM
I have a plea for advice from anyone who knows their UK electric heating.

Full description here: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/balancing-two-mortgages-two-jobs-living-for-today-and-saving-for-tomorrow-(uk)/msg2223178/#msg2223178

Basically I live in a flat with electric-only heating and an economy 7 electricity tariff. The heaters themselves date back from the early 90s and are starting to break, and I haven't been able to find anyone to service them so it's time for them to be replaced. I'm wondering whether to keep going in the direction of night-storage heating, or to other kinds of electric radiators.

I'd like to find the best long-term option for the flat. Does anyone know if there's a way for me to crunch the numbers based on my current usage of peak and off-peak electricity? Or general thoughts and experiences.

It's an expensive set up, but under-floor electric heating is very awesome. I don't have it in my house, but my parents have it in theirs and it seems to be both efficient, a lovely treat in the morning, and frees up wall space.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 10, 2020, 04:33:16 AM
Thought about turning the heating on for a few hours today and decided to look up this thread. Still holding out ;)

Pleased to note, by the way, that the radiator valves have come with us to the new house and are a doddle to install and were very good at doing their job all last winter. I had to tweak the temperature and timings a few times, I think mainly to account for unfortunately-placed furniture or curtains making it think it was hotter than it was, but then they just ticked away in the background doing their thing and not unnecessarily heating rooms.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: never give up on October 10, 2020, 07:41:41 AM
It wouldnít be autumn without this thread being active! It should replace Halloween as a tradition. Now Iím working from home on a permanent basis Iíll be interested to see how much my heating bills increase this winter.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 10, 2020, 08:06:20 AM
Sometimes I feel bad about our energy bills, but actually when you consider it involves four people being at home all the time and cooking 99.99999999% of all our meals ourselves, I don't think we're doing too badly! Of course we don't have to heat the whole house the whole time, but we can't shut everything off completely the way we could if we weren't here.

Ditto for when I did a calculation to see if we'd save if we got a water meter - not if all our flushing and washing-up-creation happens at home rather than in offices and schools.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: former player on October 10, 2020, 10:02:29 AM
I've put the heating on in the downstairs cloakroom because that's how I dry my dog-walking clothes.  And I've put the kitchen on to a 16C minimum because that's the centre of the house and below my (otherwise unheated) bedroom: it's come on a bit but not much.   Solar gain and more modern insulation standards have kept my two main "sitting" rooms comfortable so far.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: cerat0n1a on October 10, 2020, 11:26:14 AM
Slight touch of frost here on Friday morning, which is a bit late for the first frost of the Autumn. I reckon you're allowed some heating once it's getting down to 4C at night.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: sea_saw on October 10, 2020, 11:46:46 AM
I put the heating on last week, although only at intensity setting 1 out of 7. It takes it about two days for the storage heaters to fully warm up, so it's safer to err on the side of caution about when to get them going cos those things are NOT nimble and it's horrible being caught out without enough heat in the tank for a cold snap. 

I'd be more inclined to see how long I can go if it was just me, but I also have a lodger so it's just easier to keep the flat comfortably warm rather than have to negotiate whether she's wearing the appropriate number of layers or whatever :)
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shackleford on October 10, 2020, 03:12:00 PM
Heating isn't going on until November.  I've busted out the hot water bottle tonight for the first time.  WFH life ain't all it's cracked up to be....
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 11, 2020, 11:41:30 AM
Put it on for an hour tonight because it was 12 degrees in Awdry's room. But we have started giving him a (my, actually) hot water bottle this week and he seems pleased with it and to enjoy cuddling it and to have had the fear of God put into him about fiddling with the cover. One of my jobs this coming week is to sew him a cover for our second hot water bottle, so I can have mine back!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: sea_saw on October 11, 2020, 12:10:00 PM
That's fun! My lodger is actually off CAMPING this weekend and was like 'ha ha we will freeze ha ha'.

Me: please tell me you have a hot water bottle?
Her: no... that's a good idea but I don't have one here
Me: (pressing my hot water bottle into her hands) please. Take it.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: KathrinS on October 13, 2020, 12:55:15 PM
Heating isn't going on until November.  I've busted out the hot water bottle tonight for the first time.  WFH life ain't all it's cracked up to be....

Same here, trying to hold out until November! My hot water bottle has been out since September, though.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on October 13, 2020, 01:44:36 PM
I gave in to demands from she who must be obeyed and turned ours on today, just for an hour every evening and primarily to dry the towels.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Manchester on October 15, 2020, 04:20:59 AM
We have ours set to come on when the temperature drops below a certain point.  Doesn't matter what the date is IMO, if it's cold it's cold.  We tend to have radiators turned down in rooms we aren't sat in though.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Chuck Ditallin on October 16, 2020, 04:31:15 AM
Us too.

We bought an absolute wreck of a house in 2004 (think rammed earth floors and round-pin sockets) and so put in underfloor heating on the ground floor when we dug up the rammed earth.

Each downstairs room has a timer/stat so the heating comes on when the air temperature is low enough to trip the stat.

It's on at the moment and I have warm feet!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shackleford on December 08, 2020, 03:22:29 PM
Heating isn't going on until November.  I've busted out the hot water bottle tonight for the first time.  WFH life ain't all it's cracked up to be....

Update (and a bit of a boast!) from me - I made it to November easily enough.  Now I have the heating set to come on for an hour in the morning to make it a bit easier to haul myself out of bed and to my PC.  That's it though - no heating in the evenings, which has involved quite a lot of layers.  Meh, if I ever get visitors (not allowed right now!) maybe I'll treat us to some GCH. 

I live in a flat on the top floor and it's only 20 or so years old so it has reasonable insulation.  Still happy with myself though. 
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: vand on June 21, 2021, 02:16:26 PM
Midsummer... as it turns out
Brrr!
:(
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: cerat0n1a on June 21, 2021, 03:32:20 PM
Possibility of frost in some towns in Wales tonight!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: MisterA on October 01, 2021, 01:04:15 PM
Came home from work tonight, and the heating was on! Bit early in my opinion, but then, I'm not the fairer sex.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: pasadenafr on October 01, 2021, 01:14:12 PM
Made it to October... I'm a little chilly right now lol, so I'll start with a fireplace fire (got unlimited free firewood thanks to my awesome neighbor). Not sure how much longer that'll be enough, though - my fireplace isn't very good at heating the house but it'll take the chill away.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 03, 2021, 03:54:48 AM
How I love that this thread keeps coming round every year! We were just talking about the heating this morning as we're really feeling the cold, but I think it's because it turned so sudden like that we haven't acclimatised - and Mr SLTD's still getting over hand foot and mouth (thanks, nursery). We're going to wait a week and see how we feel. Children don't seem remotely bothered, but that's mainly because they are old enough to spend the whole day scampering round after each other working up a sweat, while we grown ups lie indolently around reading our books.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: never give up on October 03, 2021, 04:06:15 AM
Anyone else plotting their annual switch on dates on a line graph? No, just me then. It has got a lot colder awfully quickly. Iíd be ok but my mum is visiting today. I have a bet with myself that within ten minutes of arrival I will be asked to switch the heating on. Iím happy to oblige because Iíll win a chocolate bar if Iím right!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: former player on October 03, 2021, 04:10:46 AM
My heating's not on yet but I'll confess I've started with a hot water bottle.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on October 03, 2021, 04:34:49 AM
No heating yet, but we did have the fire going for most of yesterday.  No need today as the sun is back!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: ExitViaTheCashRamp on October 05, 2021, 02:40:59 AM
Ours came on over saturday I think. Our bedroom radiator was barely warm and all the rest were blazing hot (thermostat is in our bedroom). Dug out my radiator key and an enormous amount of air blasted out, it started to heat up fine

 Open the other rads on the 2nd floor, let more air out... but then no water came out of the opened rad. Checked the boiler... 0 bar pressure !!! Let some water into the system and all seems well. Had small pressure loss before - never to zero though !
 
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: MarcherLady on October 09, 2021, 02:53:18 AM
This time of year is challenging. Yesterday it was warmer in the garden than in the kitchen!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on October 09, 2021, 04:21:16 AM
For me the worst thing about this time of year is towels not drying.  In the summer, no worries.  Once the central heating is on, again no problem as they dry on the ladder radiator where they hang.  There is just this really annoying gap in the spring and the autumn where they don't quite dry between showers :(
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 09, 2021, 05:59:31 AM
The weather's perked right up, so we're toasty with plenty of sunshine streaming in. The condensation has started in earnest, though, and our laundry doesn't quite fully dry overnight. Similar to PhilB, we'll be fine once the kitchen radiator is on, but it's an awkward gap.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 15, 2021, 04:40:03 AM
We've turned the heating on at the boiler. Geronima's room is freezing and Mr SLTD has really been feeling the cold this year. However, the plan is to use the hall thermostat to just have it on overnight at the moment. We have programmable radiator thermostats but I am convinced that turning it "off" during the day by by turning the hall thermostat to ten degrees will save us money vs keeping it at 15 degrees 24/7 because it will stop the boiler firing up for random fifteen minuteses during the day which we won't notice but our bills will. Solar gain and keeping the right doors closed should mean we don't need the heating during the day for a little while longer. The boiler has a timer, but we DO want hot water during the day, so we're not setting it.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 15, 2021, 07:06:36 AM
We haven't had a cool day yet this whole October, which is pretty unusual.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: MudPuppy on October 15, 2021, 07:58:25 AM
Expected to be 39F in the morning so it might kick on tonight/tomorrow. We have it set to turn on at 68 for the sake of the pets (including birds) but in the deep part of winter when everyone is acclimated, we sometimes do 65.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 15, 2021, 10:58:46 AM
FYI, this is in the UK section of the forum and aimed at UK residents.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: MudPuppy on October 15, 2021, 11:32:53 AM
I suppose thatís what I get for reading title and thread pages, but not the forum subsection. I apologize for my offense.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 15, 2021, 12:00:26 PM
I suppose thatís what I get for reading title and thread pages, but not the forum subsection. I apologize for my offense.

To be fair, it's filed away under 'UK Tax Discussion' . . .
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: MudPuppy on October 15, 2021, 12:06:15 PM
I didnít read the subforum. When you sort by unread, it shows the unread from every forum.  Taxes, heating, exotic localesÖ
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: former player on October 15, 2021, 12:14:39 PM
We don't often get called an exotic locale, so all is forgiven.

Still far too warm here to be thinking about heating but towards the end of next week the forecast is for colder weather.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: force majeure on October 22, 2021, 05:43:30 AM
Answer : when you can see your breath in the room!

Back in 2012, I went the whole winter without any heating on, as an experiment in resiliency.
I am based in the UK.
Also managed total yearly expenses of 2500.
I reckon this must be a record, even beating people on welfare.

I have a wood stove, and acres of forestry.
I like the outdoors, and have good warm clothing. Icebreaker base layers, wax jacket, military surplus clothing.
No mortgage or debt.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 22, 2021, 08:39:22 AM
We've turned ours off again, as the weather turned back and we were baking!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Sugaree on October 25, 2021, 04:32:18 AM
I'm still waiting for a day where the AC doesn't kick on at least once and for the mosquitos to go back to Hell where they came from.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Manchester on October 28, 2021, 04:38:49 AM
We bought the hive radiator valves and installed them this week.  Fortunately, the weather has been a bit warmer so we haven't had to use them yet.  But means we can heat individual rooms rather than the entire house. 

Don't think we'll see a return on investment for a good few years, but I feel slightly more eco-friendly at least.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: MisterA on November 01, 2021, 07:31:21 AM
Our house has 2 zones on the central heating, ie upstairs and downstairs. We now have the downstairs heating on (on a timer + thermostat), but not the upstairs yet.

We also have thermostatic valves on each radiator, but not the hive type valves. Ours is complicated enough as it is!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on November 01, 2021, 10:21:51 AM
We're back to having them on for (part of) the night, and set to stay this way for a while, I reckon.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on November 03, 2021, 02:30:03 AM
The time has come.  Yesterday morning there was a hard frost and I needed to give the butter a quick zap in the microwave to make it spreadable, both of which I took as signs.  I've set the central heating to come on upstairs for 50 minutes before bedtime and another 50 in the morning . 

I also now need to get up a few minutes earlier every weekday to allow time to light the fire before I cook #1 son's breakfast :(
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: never give up on November 03, 2021, 02:50:22 AM
Brrrr. Iím now officially in central heating on low, long johns on and three layers on top mode!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: former player on November 03, 2021, 03:23:23 AM
Not quite there yet, but the hot water bottle came out last night again and I'll probably light a fire later on.  Definitely moved over to the winter wardrobe with short sleeve shirts relegated to the back of the drawer (must remember to get a short sleeved one back out whenever booster day arrives).
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: SpreadsheetMan on November 03, 2021, 03:44:21 AM
I have C/H on year-round from 6-9am and 5-10pm timed with 18degC on the thermostat. It isn't on or doing much for spring-autumn, but has started working a bit in the last fortnight or so. The next step is hitting the advance button to bring it back on again when it goes off, but I have only needed to do that once so far when we were home all day.

The woodburner will be taking some of the strain when it gets colder and the hot water bottles will be out to take the edge off at bed time. (DW and I don't like a warm bedroom so never have the heating on overnight)
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: cerat0n1a on November 03, 2021, 12:43:04 PM
FWIW, I usually keep track of first frost (usually means about 4C overnight) and it's always late September or early October. Never before have we gone all the way through to November without any frost.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: former player on November 03, 2021, 02:06:03 PM
Given up, and put the heating on in the kitchen when it got down to 13.5C.  Woodstove in the library makes it a now toasty 19C and climbing.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: TeddyK301 on November 05, 2021, 08:37:02 AM
Made it until this week easily enough. Although, my partner has been griping about the cold a little for a couple of weeks, until I pointed out we're both still wearing t-shirts. Have had to layer up and start using hot water bottles in the evening on the sofa. However, the turn has come this week. Single-glazed flat doesn't help matters. Started with an hour in the morning. Will hold out a little while longer before it goes on at night. Not bad going. Elec and gas bills have been around £30 a month since April.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: dcheesi on November 05, 2021, 09:33:20 AM
Fiancťe bought a fancy Nest thermostat before we met, so it's theoretically "on"as needed. But in the past week or so, we've been actively fighting with the "intuitive" automatic settings to get a warmer temperature in the house. Seems like only a few weeks ago that we were fighting it in the opposite direction...
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: MisterA on November 09, 2021, 05:33:37 AM
FWIW, I usually keep track of first frost (usually means about 4C overnight) and it's always late September or early October. Never before have we gone all the way through to November without any frost.
Might be a bit different, when you're living in North Yorkshire!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: cerat0n1a on November 09, 2021, 06:00:51 AM
Might be a bit different, when you're living in North Yorkshire!

Indeed, although I suppose it will depend a lot on where. I could imagine Whitby or Scarborough being frost-free year round whereas buttertubs pass had snow in July.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: BookLoverL on November 11, 2021, 11:52:59 AM
I put it on a small amount back in early October, and added an extra amount a couple of weeks ago I think. (We have one of those boilers that works with a timer.) In general, my alarm clock has a temperature gauge and I think I want to keep it at at least 17C to avoid accidentally getting mold issues. So it's been varying between about 17 and 20 depending on how recently the heating has been on, and if it gets colder as we go into December I might add a bit more. Initially I had an hour in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, and now it's at 2 hours in the morning, 1 in the middle of the day, and 2 and a half in the evening.

The house we're in has quite high ceilings and this is the first winter we've been in it, so I'm waiting to see how terrible it is in terms of heat loss as we go on. I think in the future we might replace the boiler with something more efficient, since it's quite an old one anyway.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Affable Bear on November 18, 2021, 09:12:59 AM
Considering our house is detached and only has a EPC rating of D, 56 (or something) I find that our insulation is reasonably good, particularly upstairs it is often too hot when we go to bed even though the radiators are switched off.

We set our timer on a little over a week ago, me and the OH have big blankets which we use on the couch and there is something comfy when you are wrapped up warm but its nippy outside, unfortunately the cold has become too much to bare! So the heating is currently on for an hour when we wake up and 2 hours in the evening, will aim to keep it this way as long as possible but we always up it during the coldest points.

We used to rent a new build flat before we bought our house and that had a really high EPC rating, pretty sure it was an A. It was amazing as we were a mid level flat (3 stories) and taking advantage of other people switching the heating on, I am pretty sure we only turned the heating on half as much as we do now!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: PhilB on November 18, 2021, 11:16:27 AM
unfortunately the cold has become too much to bare!

Well put some clothes on then!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Affable Bear on November 22, 2021, 01:55:06 AM
unfortunately the cold has become too much to bare!

Well put some clothes on then!

Haha I am weak, but I have knocked it down to an hour in the evening out of guilt.. Luckily I am still on a cheap tariff until the end of Feb so I feel like I should enjoy it before I'm hit by mega bills. I will certainly be investing in a bigger blanket though!!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Jacinle on November 25, 2021, 01:15:10 AM
What is the temperature for the heating to be on to prevent pipe bursting?

I googled and it said
Leave your heating on
Set your thermostat at 12-15C when you're away from the property. This keeps the air inside warm to help stop internal pipes from freezing.


But isn't that water freeze at 0c, so I can leave the heater say at like 5c ???

I have drained my garden water pipes.  There are 2-3 feet of water pipe for the washer and continue into the house in conservatory, which is significantly cooler and no heating.  I am thinking about getting a draught stopper in the conservatory door.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Affable Bear on November 25, 2021, 02:49:52 AM
What is the temperature for the heating to be on to prevent pipe bursting?

I googled and it said

Leave your heating on
Set your thermostat at 12-15C when you're away from the property. This keeps the air inside warm to help stop internal pipes from freezing.


But isn't that water freeze at 0c, so I can leave the heater say at like 5c ???

I suppose it depends on a number of factors based on your individual household set up so a safe guess for them to ensure almost anyone wont have burst pipes is probably 12-15c no matter what.

You also have to be mindful where your thermostat is as ours is in the downstairs hallway, which is next to the front door and staircase but is only serviced by a tiny radiator. It doesnít really get warm there and because of this I can set my thermostat to 15 degrees and the heating stays on regardless of being a sauna in other areas of the house. I am planning to switch to an air source heat pump and smart thermostat controls at some point in the short/medium future so will eventually sort this issue out.

I guess you will need to figure out what temperature to set that ensures the coldest point of your house doesnít cause your pipes to freeze. Even if its warm enough to stop your pipes freezing if your house is really cold you could have other issues develop such as mould or condensation but this is probably more relevant in older or less efficient/insulated/ventilated properties.



Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: cerat0n1a on November 25, 2021, 06:14:23 AM
Some modern heating systems have a built-in 'frost-free' setting of 5C, which is the temperature that causes them to turn themselves on to avoid problems. But obviously it does depend on the temperature difference between the pipe and the sensor.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: shelivesthedream on November 27, 2021, 01:37:44 PM
Had a baby on Thursday, so we boomeranged immediately to 24/7 tropical temperatures! Mr SLTD has noted that the baby could be wearing more clothes and the rest of us could be sweating less, so we are going to drop it by a degree a day until we think it's too cold for the baby. The issue is mainly that I need it to be hot enough in the big bedroom at night that I can have her in bed with me with the duvet round my waist and not be tempted to smother her with it draw it up any higher.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: MisterA on November 29, 2021, 06:30:39 AM
Had a baby on Thursday
That's the best news, fantastic!

Don't even think about what you're spending on heating, there's plenty of time to consider that later. Is it your first? kids are life enhancing, and you'll be happier than you were before, for ever.

You know all the stuff about not getting them too hot, and not rolling onto them if you fall asleep and they're in bed with you.

Well done, and enjoy the moment.
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Nickyd£g on January 20, 2022, 09:20:37 AM
I'm in Scotland so some form of heating goes on around October til end of March. I HATE being cold! I do only heat 1 room and only sporadically - I turn the heating on for a few hours, then off, then on again later. My favourite thing though is my electric blanket. I will never part with it!
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Manchester on January 26, 2022, 07:38:26 AM
We might need to change the name of this thread to 'When do you turn your central heating off?'....

It's been f*****g freezing for ages now. 
Title: Re: When do you turn your central heating on?
Post by: Weisass on January 26, 2022, 07:48:54 AM
Had a baby on Thursday, so we boomeranged immediately to 24/7 tropical temperatures! Mr SLTD has noted that the baby could be wearing more clothes and the rest of us could be sweating less, so we are going to drop it by a degree a day until we think it's too cold for the baby. The issue is mainly that I need it to be hot enough in the big bedroom at night that I can have her in bed with me with the duvet round my waist and not be tempted to smother her with it draw it up any higher.

Been there! Winter babies have extra needs, in some ways. Congrats to you, snd best of luck with the sleep! With my four, the first few months were glorious, and also a walking dead sort of situation at times!