Is it more worthwhile to leave the heating on all day or only keep it on for a few hours each day?
While some maintain a more careful use of heating, others believe that it is not ideal to keep turning the heating on and off several times a day.
Let’s find out what the best solution is to protect our well-being and our savings, and how the IRSAP NOW smart heating system favours both methods.
Heating on all the time or only when we are at home
With winter on its way, those wanting to save on heating try to reconcile the need to avoid suffering from the cold with that of not paying a huge bill.
Combining thermal comfort and reasonable heating costs can be a challenge, especially for those who do not live in latest-generation houses with state-of-the-art technological systems, with sealed glazing and super-efficient external insulation.
If you intend to save on heating costs, infrastructural changes are definitely a valid option.
However, replacing all your windows, installing external insulation and changing your boiler are all considerable investments.
There are, however, other more affordable expedients that we can resort to to save money without feeling the cold, starting with the way we turn on and use our heating.
There are two different schools of thought on this matter: those that support the theory of constantly keeping the heating on and those that maintain that it is better to turn on the heating at various times.
Let's look at the reasons for each of these theories: we will find that the best solution is midway between the two, and a smart heating system such as IRSAP NOW can help us to achieve the optimal result.
Does turning on the heating for a few hours only really save us money
The debate about how to turn on and use heating involves, on one side, those who believe that radiators should only be turned on when we are actually at home, for a few hours, perhaps a couple of hours in the morning, when we wake up, and a couple of hours in the evening, when we return home from work until we go to bed.
According to this logic, we save money because we limit how much the boiler is turned on to a minimum in terms of length of time.
This solution, however, has some clear disadvantages in terms of comfort.
On returning home, after a day out, the house would inevitably be cold.
After turning on the heating, it would take quite some time before the air heats up and the house actually feels comfortable in terms of temperature.
Usually, when this happens, it will be more or less time to go to bed, just when we decide to turn the heating off.
It is clear that turning on the heating at set times is not ideal for thermal well-being in the home.
Are we sure that this discomfort is actually compensated for by saving money? To answer this question, we can take into consideration a few facts.
First of all, we need to consider the fact that saving is not just on our bill, but also in terms of the costs for maintaining the boiler.
From this point of view, as we will see, heating at intermittent times is not the ideal solution.
Another variable to consider about saving on heating bills is our health.
From this standpoint, we will see that intermittent heating is not the most valid alternative.
To understand why, we must take a closer look at the concept of “thermal difference”.
Let's look at what this means and how it influences our boiler and our health.
Thermal difference: how it affects your boiler and your health
Thermal difference shows the difference between the actual temperature of the house and the desired temperature, set on the thermostat.
An intermittent use of heating brings about a greater thermal difference compared to constant heating, as the starting temperature is lower.
If we use heating intermittently, of course when we start the thermostat, we will have a cold house, as the heating has been turned off for a long time.
To reach the desired temperature, the boiler will have to start working at maximum power to reach the target temperature in the shortest time possible.
For radiators to heat the home as soon as possible, we often set the thermostat to a higher temperature than we actually want.
Given these elements, we can easily see how intermittent heating brings with it a number of problems and relative costs:
- More boiler maintenance
Making the boiler work at its maximum power will cause it considerable mechanical stress, making its parts suffer greater wear and therefore a higher risk of breaking down.
- High gas consumption
Given that the environment being heated has been cold for several hours, the heating system has to combat the inertia in the environment, that tends to get even colder when cold.This causes a high dispersion of heat, and consequently an even higher consumption of gas.
- Health issues
When using heating intermittently, as the boiler works at maximum power, radiator temperature increases a lot, often exceeding the set temperature.
As hot air rises, this causes higher dust volatility.
Dust particles make the environment unhealthy, especially for anyone who is allergic to it, and finds themselves breathing in unhealthy air in the home.
- Low level of thermal comfort
Once the heating is turned on, after being switched off for some time, the radiators reach a high temperature, given the intense boiler activity, and can burn.
In spite of this, we will still feel an unpleasant cold in the room, as the walls are still cold and, due to a radiating effect, send cold into the room.
Several hours will pass before the home temperature finally becomes acceptable, which can be 2-3 hours.
Probably at that point, we will decide to turn off the heating and the temperature decreases again.
Let's take a look at what happens, on the other hand, when we constantly use the heating if supported by a smart heating system.
Heating always on: why it is worthwhile if it is “smart”
Continuous heating leads to a lower thermal difference compared to intermittent heating.
In fact, if we leave the heating on, even at a minimum, the temperature will never go below a given value, thus guaranteeing a higher starting temperature.
This allows for a number of advantages:
- Good boiler function
The continuous functioning of radiators, even at a minimum, ensures that the boiler works in a more flowing, less burdensome manner.
With a minimum effort, it will be possible to maintain an adequate, constant temperature throughout the house, without overstressing the internal circuits, that will thus suffer less wear and tear and will last longer.
- More home comfort
By keeping the heating on, the boiler works less intensely: the radiators will be warm, and will not suffer annoying surges in temperature.
Also, it will provide us with a priceless sensation of pleasure when we return home after a long day at work and find a warm, comfortable house.
- Lower consumption
If we keep the heating on, once we return home, all we need to do is turn up the thermostat for more heat in a shorter time: the thermal difference between the starting temperature and the set temperature will be lower, in fact.
Therefore, the boiler will not have to work for so long and at a lower power to reach the same result, thus reducing costs.
To understand how constant heating is more worthwhile than intermittent heating, we can make a simple comparison.
Let's imagine that a car has to travel a certain distance.
It will, of course, consume less fuel if it maintains a constant speed of 50 kilometres per hour than if it stops and starts continuously, going from 0 to 100 km/h.
Of course, keeping the heating on all the time also has a cost: maintaining a constant home temperature, especially in the cold season, or at night, has a clear impact on consumption.
So, to make constant use of heating truly worthwhile, it is important that we also use a smart heating system.
Let's see why.
A smart heating system for your well-being and your savings
To achieve maximum efficiency by using constant heating, there are some tools that technology provides, such as the IRSAP NOW smart heating system. In particular, there are two: let's see how they can help us save money and maintain optimal thermal comfort.
A smart thermostat allows us to have an exact control over the room temperature.
This thermostat allows us to easily set a minimum acceptable temperature in an easy, intuitive way, also remotely, and increase it whenever we are actually at home.
Alternatively, we can programme target temperatures, using specific functions such as Comfort mode, so we can come home to a perfectly heated house.
In this way, a constant use of heating together with a smart thermostat will allow us to avoid those sharp increases in temperature, preventing the system from working pointlessly.
Holiday mode is also a very useful setting, that keeps the house in anti-freeze mode when we are absent for long periods of time.
This mode is extremely useful in winter, when temperatures go below freezing.
It may also be necessary to spend an entire day heating the home, with relative consumption and costs, to return the home to a comfortable temperature as set in the past.
How can we save money by leaving the heating on? Simple: by starting from a higher initial controlled temperature, the boiler has to work less to reach the desired temperature.
During this process, the smart thermostat valves play an important role: placed on the radiators, they send the required information to the boiler to optimise operations, keeping temperatures constant and not far from the set value.
Installing smart valves on radiators helps to balance the heating system.
Thanks to smart heating devices, it will be possible to make constant use of heating even more efficient, optimising boiler maintenance, reducing consumption and increasing home comfort for all the family!
Replace your traditional thermostat with our wireless smart thermostat with advanced functions to easily set the temperature and accurately measure the temperature, humidity level and air quality in your home.
Control the temperature of each room separately. Our wireless thermostatic valves are compatible with all radiator brands and leading hydraulic valve manufacturers.