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Is it more economic to leave my central heating on overnight?

I understand that there may not be a definitive answer to this because of the variables involved but, in general, is it more economic (and therefore environmentally friendly) to leave my central heating on overnight and when I go away for the weekend rather than turning it off and letting the house go cold.
Chris Fuller from Hampshire (Age 55+)

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One Response

  1. I presume your question relates to start up costs and the enrgy consumed in getting the system up to temperature. You could get a quick answer by testing your own system and running the system in the 2 configurations while noting the electricity meter reading(or the gas reading). Yiou might want to try the test multiple times to get the effect of background variation down to a minimum.

    I am fairly certain that the system will use more electricity when on all night. This is because your internal comfort level will be optimum for a fixed radiator temperature. The energy consumed to maintain that temperature will dependant on the temperature, the fixed heat loss factor for your house(level of insulation) and the time the system is on at that temperature.

    By adopting a strategy of switching off when you are not around you will incur a warm up period penalty when your energy comsumption will be at a higher warm up rate. However, you can recoup that extra cost by swithcing off the system slightly earlier than you need(ie you can recoup the start-up effort by using the free heat given out during the cool down period).

    Obviously, this lead and lag will determine the shortest comfortable on period for your house and your level of insulation.

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