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bombus

Can Physics help lower my heating bill?

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OK Chaps, can you apply your knowledge to something practical?

 

Is it more efficient to have ones boiler on high and the radiators on low, or the other way around. Apparently the answer isn't as straightforward as one would assume.

 

Bombus

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boiler on low radiators on high

 

the radiators have valces to control the flow which controls the heat they give off which means the pump would have to work harder to move stuff around. which means more energy.

 

an even more efficient method is superinsulation where the heat given off by you and electronics is sufficient to heat the home.

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It would always depend on the specific system, but my Dad works in social housing (on the technical side), and from all I have read continuous low level heating (so boiler low, rads high) is nearly always best.

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This is exactly what I thought, but I have been told by a central heating guy that it is best to have your boiler on max (so that it heats the water as quickly as possible and then turns off) and the radiators on as low as they can be to produce the temp you want.

 

The thing is both answers seem credible!

 

My central heating system is quite old and non-pressurized and there is no thermostat in the house - I'm not sure if that makes a difference to the answer.

 

When it packs up I'll replace it with a condensing boiler system, but the question would still remain - which is the most efficient??

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still boiler on low radiators on high.

 

there are maybe a few conditions where the opposite would be best but i seriously doubt that you would encounter them in a domestic heating system in wales.

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condensing boilers are known for being shockingly unreliable btw...

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Q= UA delta T ; the lower the delta T anywhere the lower the heat the heat radiated .

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yeah but most domestic heating systems rely on a varying U for temperature control. its easier to handle.

 

U us dependant on the flowrate so you just open/close a valve to control the heat flux.

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Bombus: wear a sweater. After a while you get used to cooler surroundings, and your body compensates for it. So much so that you walk into somebody else's house and it feels icky and muggy.

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Bombus: wear a sweater. After a while you get used to cooler surroundings, and your body compensates for it. So much so that you walk into somebody else's house and it feels icky and muggy.

 

I've only just moved from a place half way up a mountain that only had an open fire! I had to wear thermals and woolly hats indoors in winter - but you are right, you do get used to it and now I can't stand really warm houses. I don't want to still have numb fingers when i type though!

 

I will take the advice though, boiler on low and radiators on high.

 

Thanks!

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