Should You Keep Your Central Heating On All The Time?
Posted by Plumbers 911 Canada on
There's been an age-long debate about whether to keep central heating systems on all the time, or only when you need them. In this post, we aim to guide you towards making sure your Vancouver Island home consumes less energy.
Heating Factors To Keep In Mind
Is Your Home Well-Insulated?
First, be clear that if you're spending money to heat your home, you don't want it to be cooling down at the same time. If you turn your heat off and your house cools, you only need to re-heat it once you're back. But if you want to have the heat on all the time, more fuel would be used and there would always be some loss of heat due to temperature differences between the inside of your house and the outdoors. There would definitely be a higher cost to keeping your heating on all the time in those circumstances, so you have to make sure that your home is efficiently insulated to minimize heat loss.
Heat is mostly lost through windows, carpeted floors, wall insulation, and loft or attic insulation. Loft and attic insulation is not very expensive, so if yours is old, it's time to upgrade to more modern insulation. Your windows should have double glazing and caulking in good repair. Eliminate as many drafts as possible. Once you've maximized your energy efficiency, you can think about keeping your property heated all day, because the heat can be retained.
What Is The Age Of Your Furnace (Or Boiler)?
Older boilers and furnaces consume more energy, with modern models being up to 90% more more energy efficient. Hot water heaters are similar. In case you want to upgrade your boiler, water heater, or other heating element, get in touch with our certified Vancouver Island plumbing technicians. You can choose a model according to your requirements — just call our SSA-certified engineers to analyze your system, take a look at the requirements, and give you a quote.
When You Should Leave The Heating On
There are 2 main options when it comes to long-term heating your home:
- Leave the heating on for the entire day, with the thermostat controlling the temperature.
- Set a timer so that the heating is switched on at certain times during the day.
If you leave the heat on all day, your furnace continuously burns gas to maintain the temperature of your home at the level you have set. When your home is energy efficient, it should require relatively little fuel to keep that temperature level.
When you set a timer to make your house reach a specific temperature at a certain time, it can take longer for your furnace to heat up the (cold) environment, which can drain more energy. However if your home isn't energy efficient, it can save more fuel to have the furnace turned off when you don't need it.
Test Your Energy Consumption
It's best to take readings from your gas meter on a regular basis. These days many homes are also equipped with smart meters, which make it easy to take a look at your monthly or even daily energy consumption. If you want to experiment with the different ways of keeping your heat on, keep the heat on continuously for a month, and then turn the heat on via a timer for the following month. Compare your energy consumption for the two months and note the differences.
Setting your heat by a timer is usually the most energy-efficient approach for all but the most modern homes, but it all depends on the factors discussed above. Get in touch with our gas fitters and plumbing contractors and seek their expert advice!