Most efficient settings for a cold house/room(s)!



Interested to know what schedules people use for really cold rooms in their houses, my house is not very heat efficient and rooms regularly get down to around 14°c during winter. We haven't lived here long so it is hard onto get an accurate picture from looking at the few bills I have had so wondering what schedules other people use for cold rooms like this. Would it be more efficient to keep the room at a steady temp of 17/18 at all times and then boost it up when we know the room will be used, as opposed to having a setting where I use the early start function so the room is 20/21 when I return from work - this means the heating comes on full whack from about 1pm in order to reach that temp by 5pm (and sometimes falls short). Both options obviously mean the room is being heated while not being used but wondering what people consider the most energy efficient options? For info my Tado is set up so each room's TRV has primacy over the boiler, so I can keep the ones I use most warmer. Cheers for any advice!


  • samd
    samd ✭✭✭
    edited January 2021

    @wadeo0 Agree with post above but I think that a room which takes 4 hours to warm up sounds very much like your quantity/size of radiators is on the low side. As I look at my app now, I can see 2 rooms (north facing) which are down to 13/14c - I would expect my system to get to target 20c within the hour if not earlier.

  • Thanks, yeah I think the rad is a bit on the small side - the room isn't massive but has a very high ceiling and doesn't help that the cellar is right below and there is currently minimal insulation between floorboards and cellar. It is an old house and not the most energy efficient. Also the layout of the living room means our sofa is quite near a large window so the area we sit in is unfortunately probably one of the coldest parts of the room, I have the smart thermostat positioned on a wall round the corner from this window which probably isn't the ideal spot but as we sit next to it it seemed like it would be appropriate

  • Haha yeah that was why I wondered if it would be better to just keep the room at a steady 17/18 at all times, then it wouldn't take so long to warm up, or is that just a recipe for losing even more energy?

  • You’ve clearly got an issue with insulation. Not sure if this is something that can be addressed, but a few other items to think about.

    Do you know what the flow temperature is out of your boiler? Twenty years ago it would have been set at 85°C. That’s too hot for modern condensing boilers to work efficiently and many heating engineers will now set the flow temperature to 65-75°C. That means 25% less heat going to your radiators, therefore longer to heat the home.

    When your boiler is trying to heat the house is it on constantly, or does it switch on and off. A boiler that switches on and off is said to be short cycling and it does this because it’s producing more heat than the radiators can dissipate. The boiler may switch off for 5 minutes before it restarts and this leads to a slow warm up time.

    If your radiators don’t have any fins on the back then they are probably old and not very good at transferring heat to the room. A modern radiator of the same size can heat a room quicker because it is designed to maximise heat transfer.

    Finally, unless a home is super insulated keeping the heating on low for most of the day is a waste of money. Every hour the heating is on is an hour of wasted energy leaking outside the home. But if comfort is more important...

  • Hi,

    Thanks for you reply. Yeah there certainly is an insulation issue, both from the cellar and losing heat through the roof, but we may be able to remedy that in future. To be honest it is only the front room that is really bad, and the top floor office where I work, but it is an old-style Victorian terrace with little-to-no insulation so not entirely a surprise. Kitchen/bedrooms etc. all heat as I would expect (maybe a little slower). I don't know the flow temp of my boiler but will see if I can find out, when it is on it doesn't seem to be stop/start from what I have seen. Just continuous heating.

    The rads in my house are a mix some really old style ones with the grate at the top and others newer with fins, the one in the living room has fins so as you say I think it is more about the insulation - living room heating was on today from 1pm and only just reached 20 at 5.48pm!😂 Anyway thanks for the reply a few interesting things to look into and the final paragraph was the golden nugget of info I was looking for really 👍️

  • @wadeo0 if you want to check the size of radiator you need in the living room you could use an online calculator to find how many watts/BTU you need. And then lookup the size of radiator required to generate that much heat.

    Also, you could have an issue with balancing, which means the living room radiator is not getting its share of the hot water from the boiler.

    There’s a useful video on YouTube that explains how to balance your radiators. Probably best to watch when you have a clear head and time to digest the content.

  • We lived in a Victorian house for 40 years. We found the rooms needed more than one radiator in each to be comfortable. One under the window and one elsewhere. Balance was a problem and we had a pressurised system put in which meant the hot water then got to all parts of the system. In spring and autumn you can turn off one of the radiators. If it’s taking so long to hear then it would suggest to me that you need more radiators. If your windows are the original single glazed sash windows like ours then blinds plus thick curtains certainly helped in the winter. We also used secondary glazing in the kitchen which we took down in the summer - big room high ceiling and 2 very big windows. Made a huge difference.