Saturday, 6 December 2014

Thermostat debate

How do you use your central heating and the thermostat? My post yesterday generated a few responses. Thought you might be interested in this Link

First of all, our house is well insulated, it has full double glazing, cavity insulation and loft insulation. Indeed the loft also has boards down and more than one carpet on top of it all!

Last winter we went through with our thermostat set at 14C on only in the morning plus two small bursts during the day until the wood burner was lit mid afternoon. When I say bursts I mean turn on, when it cuts off, turn off again. The house rarely drops below 10-12C, even the conservatory doesn't drop below 8C.

We are at home most of the day, getting cold only if we sit down for too long. We layer up, wear fingerless mittens and if we feel the chill, warm microwave bags. It is amazing though, that if you feel really cold and go for a walk, when you come back in, the house feels hot, as do we, for quite a long time!

Yes we could have the heating on all the time as a background heat but the cost of that, plus all other bills, when living on only one pension, would make life very difficult. Our neighbour has his heating on all the time and last winter ran out and had to half fill his tank again. His heating for those few months, cost him nearly £900 plus kindling and coal for his fire. He was not a happy bunny!

Each to his own I guess. We live our lives according to the cut of our cloth, and are happy with most of our choices most of the time. We have decided though to have our thermostat set to 16C this year, 40 minutes in the morning but still two or three quick bursts as well. Those bursts keep us warm for a few hours, so for us it works. Thanks for all your comments though, got us thinking again which is always useful.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

20 comments:

  1. Thermostat problem solved - No thermostat!
    Solid fuel Rayburn and wood burner only = almost free heat and hot water BUT plenty of dust!

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  2. Very true, I suppose what temperature it burns at is what you get. We have a little more dust now but not too bad.

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  3. Upstairs is very cool, but not enough to freeze pipes (gets VERY COLD here in the NE US in the winter!). Downstairs is a bit warmer, but we bundle up, too...and when I come in from the barn, no matter what temp it is in the house, it feels toasty warm after working outside!
    Can I ask you if you have wheat or rice in your microwave bags? I need to make some, as I am down to my last one, and not sure what to use. Thanks!

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    1. Wheat I believe, it isn't rice, some people use pearl barley as well from what I have seen. Don't know if you have it in the states, it is a grain that goes in soups and casseroles to thicken them up?

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  4. The house we are in now is only seven years old, and it is well insulated , we put the water on for an hour in the morning and thats it, the heating is only going on when we really feel the need, an hour in the early morning and an hour in the evening and thats fine.

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    1. Ours is from the mid 1970's but as well insulated as you can get. Current temperature inside is 16C, outside 4C. Log burner will be lit to warm the room when we come from a cold bathroom after having a bath!

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  5. We are both out of the house for 12 hours a day, five days a week and we're shattered and up in bed by nine so we don't need much heating at all. We light the wood burner and that heats us to toasty

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    1. I think that was one of the things discussed in the 'myth' link, that people needlessly have their heating on whilst out at work, thereby wasting money and energy. I would do the same As you do if we were still working.

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  6. Mine's set to come on 3 times a day if the temp drops below 16. It did come on this morning as it was bloomin' cold last night, but since I had the wood burner put in it hardly comes on at all now. The house is pretty well insulated and is usually still reasonably warm in the morning. Much prefer to rug up and do something than have stuffy central heating on anyway. Since getting the wood burner I've found central heating makes me cough!!

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    1. They are a good thing wood burners even if ours has played silly beggars tonight and just refused to get going properly. We are warm thogh.

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  7. I have been writing about this in my blog too as we are working on an affordable strategy for the first year of our joint retirement in Norfolk! I looked for some advice -
    Public Health England 2014 -Minimum home temperature thresholds for health in winter says:

    The currently available evidence base, alongside expert discussion, suggests that heating homes to at least 18°C poses minimal risk to the health of a sedentary person, wearing suitable clothing. At below 18°C, negative health effects such as increases in blood pressure and the risk of blood clots which can lead to strokes and heart attacks.
    What we have discovered is that our free scrap wood (old fencing, bits of an old barn) does not give the same heat values as kiln dried wood. But that is so expensive! We are trying those compressed brickette things mixed with the scrap - seems a happy mix!

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    1. We use old wood as kindling, or an emergency burn when the logs refuse to go properly. Our logs cost £70 a cubic metre and 2 of those see us through from December to warmth in the Spring. DB finds our heat setting fine and his blood pressure is fine.

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  8. Our central heating is expensive to run. We have decided to only put it on for 1/2 hour when temps drop too low. This is enough to take the chill off the rooms. Apart from that we do layer up and keep active around the home. The normal temp in the house is around 16 C and we refuse put heating on unless really necessary. This week we had the heating on only once for a very short while.

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    1. That is probably one of the down sides in council homes that you can't choose what heating you want. My hands get the coldest particularly when on the computer but fingerless mitts help and microwaveable bean bags on my lap.

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  9. We left home at 11am Saturday and got home at 1am Sunday. There has been no heat in the house since early Friday evening and it's not cold in here now. It's 1.19am Sunday as I type this and sit having a coffee while we ' wind down' from a lovely day out and wait for the hot water bottles to take the chill off the sheets. I never use any form of heat during the day despite being at home most of the time; I open the windows every morning, and only really feel the cold if I've been sedentary for much of the day ( if I've been at the sewing machine). I really think your body becomes acclimatised to lower temperatures - I find it stifling at my Mum's house, and often have to peel off layers down to a vest top and jeans whilst I am there.

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    1. We warm the bed with a hot bean bag (DB's choice) or a quick blast from a hairdryer if the bed is really cold. Also got a blanket on now although some nights, it can be a little heavy. Shops are too hot for me.

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  10. My thermostat is at 13, I don't have it preset to come on at certain times. I give it half an hour to an hour bursts if I feel cold, usually just in the evenings. Although I am here most of the day, I move about a lot. If it get's too warm in here I start feeling drowsy and ill.

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    1. I think that is the secret, moving rather than sitting which makes you feel cold.

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  11. We have our thermostat set to 16.5 and the heating is set to 'Constant', but as soon as the temperature starts to drop outside in the evening the blinds are pulled down and the log burner is lit. This brings the house up to a steady 17-18 degrees which stops the heating from coming on at all. I hear it firing up for the first time at about 7ish in the mornings when the residual heat from the log burner has finally diminished enough to send the temperature lower.

    The house is usually just at around the temperature that stops the heating from firing up during the day thanks to the constant heat of the Aga. Although I am quick to put a few bits of washing on the radiator airers if I hear it springing to life.

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  12. I'm not sure everything works right with our heating. Yes it gets warm but the pump is on all the time even when the thermostat turns the boiler off. That uses up more electric than we want hence its limited use. Doesn't you aga cost a lot to run being electric?

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