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Can someone settle this for me?

 

My flat gets very cold in winter. It's rented, so I'm not in a position to adapt or modify anything. It's also single-glazed, with a lot of windows.

 

I maintain that it uses less gas to have my central heating on all the time, even when I'm out, but very, very low, so that the heat gradually builds up to a constant temperature, and thus means lower bills in the long run.

 

My girlfriend, on the other hand, insists it's better to have the central heating off at times, especially when we're out, but then whack it up to full when we come back in to a freezing cold flat. She's convinced that this means we use less gas, and is thus cheaper, overall.

 

Who's right? Is either method better than the other, or do they both probably use the same amount of gas?

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I have always understood it's better to keep it on low but think I read somewhere recently that it's a fallacy. We tend to have ours on twice a day so it doesn't usually get really cold, although when it's cold we do sometimes have it on all day. I'll see if I can remember what it was I read about it and provide a link.

 

My Dad always swore by keeping curtains closed when it's cold and I read recently on MSE about Canadian quilts at windows to keep heat in.

 

Have you got good insulation which you can often get for free?


 

What's Best for You?

 

 

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Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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  • Haha 1

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Hi,

 

Thanks for that caro: very interesting. I note the remark about striking a balance: that's the very issue, because having it on low when it's really cold prevents the flat from becoming really freezing cold, whereas turning it off completely means the flat takes an hour or two to warm up when it's turned up really high. And my gut instinct tells me that it's using more gas, and thus costing more, having it turned up really high for those two hours. However, for me, it's better to be comfortable, and the difference in cost is unlikely to be huge.

 

Ironically, my girlfriend feels the cold much more than I do, and she's the one who complains the most when the flat is cold! :) So it's not just about striking a balance between cost/savings, it's also about striking a balance between our comfort/cost.

 

So, I think we'll just carry on having it on very low when it's cold. At the moment, for example, it's not on except in the evenings, as all this rain means it's very mild, and the flat is still warm from last night.

 

As for insulation, I've just been chatting to other residents in the block, and it seems that the owners are considering replacing all the old windows with double-glazing sometime in the Spring, so with any luck we won't have this issue next winter!

 

Once again, thanks for your advice, Happy New Year to you!

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Hi,

 

Thanks for that caro: very interesting. I note the remark about striking a balance: that's the very issue, because having it on low when it's really cold prevents the flat from becoming really freezing cold, whereas turning it off completely means the flat takes an hour or two to warm up when it's turned up really high. And my gut instinct tells me that it's using more gas, and thus costing more, having it turned up really high for those two hours. However, for me, it's better to be comfortable, and the difference in cost is unlikely to be huge.

 

Ironically, my girlfriend feels the cold much more than I do, and she's the one who complains the most when the flat is cold! :) So it's not just about striking a balance between cost/savings, it's also about striking a balance between our comfort/cost.

 

So, I think we'll just carry on having it on very low when it's cold. At the moment, for example, it's not on except in the evenings, as all this rain means it's very mild, and the flat is still warm from last night.

 

As for insulation, I've just been chatting to other residents in the block, and it seems that the owners are considering replacing all the old windows with double-glazing sometime in the Spring, so with any luck we won't have this issue next winter!

 

Once again, thanks for your advice, Happy New Year to you!

You're very welcome. Happy New Year to you too. :-)


 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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I am a big fan of oil filled radiators. If you're not in the position of modifying central heating, buy a good oil filled radiator and a timer and set the timer to start at one hour before you come in from work/study/shopping.

 

There's a 2kW Oil Filled Radiator With Timer on Amazon for £60.


"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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Anyone has warm air heating instead of central heating? is that much less efficient?

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Anyone has warm air heating instead of central heating? is that much less efficient?

 

The house we live in now used to have warm air heating, but it's been removed. From speaking to our neighbours (who do still have it) it does seem to be cheaper by about 10%. Apparently it's not very efficient for heating large rooms, but that could just be because their system is rather elderly.


"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

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My friend has warm air heating and it seems to be a little bet less efficient, probably by around 10-20%

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Whether you blast it or slow burn basically uses the same heat and costs the same.

 

However the benefit to keeping it warm all the time is you don't get condensation/mould as you would with temperature extremes. It also means the first one in is not freezing to death.

 

Even though it is not your property it may be worth getting the cheap stick on glazing, it will help conserve heat. You can get it on Ebay.

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I wish I'd seen the window quilt link before this last winter, they look a great solution for old draughty windows.

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I was always told it was best to keep the heating on low for longer rather than short bursts on high. Must have a look at the window quilts.

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