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Central Heating Control

Does turning off heating in empty rooms actually save energy

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mgnbuk10/04/2022 13:03:00
1198 forum posts
72 photos

some older systems were down towards the 20% mark

Yet some modern systems are up around 90% or more ? IIRC my condensing system boiler is over 90% efficient, with the flue gas being barely warm.

My house was built with a living flame gas fire in the living room that is more about effect than efficiency - less than 30% - it rarely gets turned on. But modern versions can be up to 94% & if I wanted to use a fire instead of the CH I would look to changing it.

Actually thinking of replacing it with a solid fuel fire, as (unusually for a fairly modern house (1989 build)) there is a proper fireback & chimney behind the living flame fire & I could then heat one room independantly of gas or electricity should the need arise. Like the current gas fire, running costs & pollution would be zero if it wasn't operating.

Nigel B.

Bazyle10/04/2022 14:03:55
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6375 forum posts
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Posted by duncan webster on 04/04/2022 20:06:35:

Probably apocryphal story of the guy who had 2 thermostats, one prominently displayed in the hall for his wife to play with, the second hidden away. First one wasn't connected to anything

We had this in the offices. Although there were devices on the walls all temperatures were 'controlled' by people in Nottingham 100 miles away who didn't care what the system did. Have just finally got local control back.

By the way standby power is much less than it used to be. For getting on for ten years all equipment sold into the EU has had to meet 'Lot 25' which first required a standby power of <1W and now <0.5W. Provided you don't move it from the factory setting. That is why some things take longer to start up than they used to.

Edited By Bazyle on 10/04/2022 14:26:24

SillyOldDuffer10/04/2022 14:29:12
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8857 forum posts
1994 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 10/04/2022 14:03:55:
Posted by duncan webster on 04/04/2022 20:06:35:

Probably apocryphal story of the guy who had 2 thermostats, one prominently displayed in the hall for his wife to play with, the second hidden away. First one wasn't connected to anything

We had this in the offices. ...

I worked in a 'temporary' building (40 years old), which was heated by connecting it to the building next door. It had a big boiler room and pump. The thermostat for the whole building was in my office, and I like it cool. Soon learned not to touch it: uncomfortable people get cross!

A feral cat living in the pipe-well had at least 3 sets of kittens: guess it was warm and dry in there. All gone, demolished, it's a housing estate now...

Dave

J Hancock10/04/2022 14:30:31
842 forum posts

Anyone remember the system Beal were trying to develop , to use the waste heat from a gas boiler to drive a Stirling engine to generate electricity ?

Jon Lawes10/04/2022 15:00:32
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976 forum posts

My Grandfather was the foreman of the Boiler House at Boscombe Down which supplied superheated steam to heat exchangers fitted to all the other buildings of the site. It was an interesting system, but I suspect it wasn't very efficient. Oddities included the Weighbridge hangar with an air curtain system coming up from the floor to try to retain heat when the doors were open, and the heat exchanger connected to a merlin engine radiator/heat exhanger to warm fuel up for tropical testing. Don't fancy being near that when its all toasty.

Back on topic I'm finding my house heating far more efficient now I'm heating specific areas rather than all of it. It's a tall and narrow house on three stories so all the heat goes to the top. I've suggested using a fan and ducting to bring the hot air back to the bottom but my wife really doesn't like the idea of my experimental duct-work...

john fletcher 110/04/2022 15:55:44
804 forum posts

My brother in law lives in Canada and in their house each room has a ceiling fan built in, which keep the house cool in summer, the blade can be twisted, such that in the winter the hot air in the ceilings of the rooms is force downwards. I tried a similar idea several years ago using a slow six inch fan and a clear plastic tube, it was very effective but didn't look very good, so out it went. John

John Doe 215/04/2022 09:28:36
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93 forum posts
14 photos

I have installed a ceiling fan in our bedroom mainly to keep us cool at night in the summer, but you can simply select reverse rotation to push the heat down in the winter - you don't need to twist the blades.

I remember working in a helicopter hangar many moons ago and they had long 6 or 8" diameter plastic tubes hung at each corner with an electric fan in each tube blowing the warm air from just under the roof back down to floor level.

I hope to install a system working on similar principles to our next house - it needs an extensive make-over so I hope to be able to install suitable ducting as I go, along with a heat recovery system on the bathroom and kitchen extractors.

Hopper15/04/2022 10:07:22
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6603 forum posts
345 photos

We have electrically reversible ceiling fans in every room in every house in Queensland. Usually we run them to blow air downwards in the summer so you get a nice breeze on you that evaporates sweat and cools you. Then reverse the rotation and draw air upwards in the winter. That way you do not feel a chilling breeze under the fan and it seems to draw the cooler air upwards and that displaces the warmer air, forcing it downwards to the occupied area.

They seem to work much better for cooling in summer than heating in winter. But our winters here are like summer most other places. 26C daily and 19 overnight on average. I rarely have to get the electric fan heater out of the cupboard.

Edited By Hopper on 15/04/2022 10:08:03

Edited By Hopper on 15/04/2022 10:10:14

Samsaranda15/04/2022 10:16:53
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1465 forum posts
7 photos

I am glad that five years ago we took the decision to install an inset woodburner in our lounge, our house is 50 odd years old and was built with an open fireplace in the lounge. The woodburner is rated at 5kw output which is more than enough to heat our lounge, we leave the door open all the time and the heat percolates throughout the house so in winter when the woodburner is in use we use very little gas for heating. Our cats have sussed out that the bedroom above the lounge, where the chimney runs, gets very warm when the fire is in use and they compete for the space next to the chimney. It seems a retrograde step burning wood instead of the convenience of gas but it makes sense financially as the price of gas is only going to go in one direction. Dave W

Graham Stoppani16/04/2022 06:39:05
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126 forum posts
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Posted by John Doe 2 on 15/04/2022 09:28:36:

I hope to install a system working on similar principles to our next house - it needs an extensive make-over so I hope to be able to install suitable ducting as I go, along with a heat recovery system on the bathroom and kitchen extractors.

We have such a system installed. Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) The bedrooms and living rooms have outside air ducted into them through ceiling vents while the kitchen, toilets and bathrooms have similar vents extracting air. The two systems pass through a heat exchanger that recovers about 60% of the heat.

The benefit is that the in coming air is filtered, and living in a bungalow we have the added security of not needing to open any windows. The down side is that it makes it slightly more difficult to keep rooms at different temperatures.

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