Tuesday, 25 February 2014

What Is Your Thermostat Set To?

We went to a friend’s house for tea on Saturday night and I came to the realisation that most people have their house a lot warmer than ours.
I grew up in a house with no central heating, as did my wife (a different house that is!) and as well as this I work outside most of the time so I'm not a massive fan of being too warm.
So when we got back Saturday night the temperature said the house was 15 degrees and we decided that it was fine and didn't turn the heating on, but I wonder how many would have.
Our thermostat is pretty much set to 17 degrees but even then the heating doesn't normally warm it up to that as we switch it off before it gets to temperature!
We haven't had our heating on a timer at all this year. It only goes on if we feel cold enough which hasn't been that often. We put a jumper on first, then if we're still cold we light the fire. Normally on an evening we just have the wood burning going to warm up the whole house, although I know it's been mild this year, and it's saved use a fortune in heating oil, the gauge has barely moved since October.
When I was at college doing building studies we learned that the modern house (which ours isn't) built to the current regulations doesn't need central heating but, due to market pressures, no one would build it on a large scale as people expect to buy a home with central heating.
We also learnt that the colour you a paint a room can affect the temperature you feel by one Degree Celsius. So a bathroom painted blue would feel one degree colder than a neutral colour compared to one painted a hot colour like red or orange, which would feel one degree hotter.
The standard for working out the heating requirements of a house was 18 degrees for a bedroom, 20 degrees for living areas and 22 degrees for bathrooms. This is no hard and fast rule just what we given to work out radiator sizes for each room and the averages might have changed since I was at college! I’m happiest at around 15 – 16 degrees I think, but I’ve worked in all sorts, you’ve just got to dress right.
So how hot, or cold, do you have your house and what temperature do you feel comfortable with?

49 comments:

  1. Ours is set at 18-20 we often for to houses that are far to hot. I also hate waking up in a house which is to hot in the morning. Our house is quite modern and our new extension the radiators vary rarely come on they are on a thermostats. We are replacing our old boiler this year and all radiators will be on thermostats. I also grew up in a house with only a coal fire that also heated the water and we coped just fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We replaced the biler in our last house just before we saw this place and moved! We never really got to experience the new one but the heating was much better there with the old one. I think when we do our extension we'll have to change the boiler for one thats younger than me!

      Delete
  2. We have a Stanley Solid fuel range with a thermostat that pumps water to the radiators when the temperature reaches 15C. So we have constant background heat. Unlike our other house that is oil fired and the rooms go cold when the heating goes off. I think oil is far too expensive to run. The only good thing is it's instant heat and you don't need to chop wood or fetch coal. The good thing about buying coal and sourcing logs is you don't have a fuel bill coming through your letter box. A lot of old farmhouse use to be built over the cowshed and the heat from the cattle heated the dwelling above.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our hosue ssems to hold the heat well so if we have the heating on for an hour in the morning it holds it until we light the burner at 5. So far we've only had a few evenings where we've had the heating on.

      Delete
    2. And as for the cow shed I'm sure they never used to smell too good! The house I'm working on at the moment had that layout many years ago.

      Delete
  3. We put in a woodburner in the autumn and have just had our gas and electricity bills for the winter quarter. We are very happy about the way the bills have dropped even allowing for the mild winter. And they are reducing the monthly payments by £35 which I expect will probably fall further. And we've sourced enough free wood for this winter, next winter and probably most of the one after that. I can't pass a fallen branch these days and now have a tarpaulin lining the boot and carry round a small saw which has proved invaluable. I'm also trying a bit of cooking on the woodburner.

    I wouldn't like the bedrooms heated as high as you were told at college. I don't sleep very well if the room is too hot. Nor the living room which is fine at about 17 degrees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah ours went in around september time and we've really noticed how little oil we've used. As for wood I seem to be doing alright. We've got enough for the rest of this winter and probably next if I can find somewhere better to store it.
      Haven't yet tried cooking on it but we will at somepoint.
      How often do you hink your have to sweep the chimney if its a lined one?

      Delete
    2. They told us to sweep our lined chimney once a year. I must factor that cost into the scheme of things.

      Delete
  4. We're set at 15C most of the time, occasionally turn it up to 17 if it's really cold. It's usually on first thing and then for a couple of hours in the evening, off by 9pm. Oil fired central heating, old house. Bedroom usually no heat at all as I like the windows open at night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No way would I be allowed the windows open at night! She'd leave me first!

      Delete
  5. No central heating here so no thermostat. The Rayburn ( solid fuel= wood or coal) is lit first thing and heats the kitchen and a radiator in the bathroom and spreads its heat around the rest of the house. The Woodburner in the living room is lit midday the heat from the living room travels up stairs by leaving the doors open. We have a small convector heater in the bedroom on a timer for half an hour around getting up time. Thats our heating system. Estate Agents say our house is difficult to sell because of not having central heating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think if I get a wood burner/rayburn in the extension then we'll be able to not use central heating unless it's really cold. The trouble is getting all that hot air upstairs!

      Delete
  6. We have ours on 14 overnight but come the morning if the sun hasn't come out ( south facing bungalow) I turn it up to about 18...we've just had a new boiler and wow the radiators get hot so I always end up turning it down before it gets to temperature.
    A wood burner in the main room gets lit in the afternoon and the heating turned down again to 14 unless it's very cold.
    We had 2 weeks without hot water or central heating while we were waiting for the new boiler to be fitted and it really does make a difference taking the edge off the cold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a couple of degrees difference makes if feel so much better. If your still feeling cold stand outside for a while then come back in. I always think the house is warm then!

      Delete
  7. We have a farm house with 3 additions that started out as a log cabin in 1805 so it is like 4 houses combined. The back up heat is propane and we keep it at 15c or lower so that the wood furnace can handle the job most of the time. In much of the house it is 18c more or less. When it is windy and -12c both systems run to keep it warm. Some times the wood gets it too hot as it is not thermostat controlled but depends on the quantity and type of wood I burn along with the damper settings. Since we got this cooler system, we have not been as sick as in previous years, maybe nobody will visit the cold house and give us germs or it may just be healthier to live cooler?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's much healthier to live in a cooler houe but your much like me and spend a lot of your time outside anyway so your always in the cold! I think that going from hot to cold to often can make you bad as well . We used to get it in the summer going from an air conditioned tractor to hot summer air then back into the tractor. You'd pick up all sorts of bugs!

      Delete
  8. Yes Kev, houses built to modern Building Regulations are so well-insulated they probably don't need central heating, and they seem to get even better as years go by, with new insulation materials and methods.

    Our dwelling is a 60s semi-detached bungalow, built to the Regulations as they were then, without insulation and a coal fire-place. Gas central heating and a small amount of loft quilt, about 2" cosywrap, has been added, but it's a long way short of current standards on insulation.

    Because my wife is a wheelchair user, she can't move about to keep warm and needs a decent temperature, the thermostat is set permanent at 16-17 c, seems to keep it comfortable with the addition of a gas fire on low in the living room as required.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ours is a 1949 semi and seems to hold the heat well. Get some more insulation in your loft. There's still grants available and it makes such a difference, we got ours done the first year we were here and it changed the whole feel of the house. I'd aim to have at least 12 inches up there!

      Delete
  9. I don't know what ours is set to, we don't have a room thermostat, just individual controls on the radiators. But I do know that when the heating is off it's too cold and as soon as it's on it's too hot. I've given up trying to figure the damn thing out and I just sit and read next to either the Aga or the wood burner if I start feeling chilly and I already have a couple of jumpers on.

    I've been known to Blog wearing a couple of jumpers, a scarf and a pair of fingerless gloves as our office seems to be the coldest room in the house if the heating is off. Of course as soon as it pops on I start stripping off the layers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Turn all the radiators down and then start up the heating. Go round and adjust each one in turn until you get them right. When I lived at muma and dads, it was a much colder house, and I used to have padded jacket to wear in my room as it was so cold!

      Delete
  10. I hate the cold...our house has no central heating and has single pane windows but is a passive solar design,so how warm we are is dictated by how cold it is outside (currently -23C with windchill) and how sunny it is. If it's sunny we don't need to light the fire..if it's dull we have to have the fire going and a couple of oil filled radiators plugged in upstairs. As we get into spring,we have to close the curtains and open windows during the day as the sun coming in makes it too hot, but then we have to light the fire once the sun goes down.
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like your house might be in the wrong climate for that at the moment! Passive soalr design can work really well. Does it get too hot in the summer?

      Delete
  11. I've lived with wood stoves most of my life. Generally this means toasty warm around the stove and generally colder the further from the stove you get.
    For a while we had electric central heat. Then I was cold in the living room and too warm in the bedroom.
    Now we live in a well insulated manufactured home with a small wood stove. It is 40 degrees F outside and 66 degrees F inside and the fire went out overnight.
    At one point we lived in a farmhouse built at the end of the 19th century. When we had freezing temps and a wind I would get the stove to point it was starting to glow and put a big lot in the fireplace and a glass of water would still get a little crust of ice.
    I've put so much effort into heating solutions that at this point I just adjust the temp with sweaters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure I fancy getting the stove up to a glowing temperature! Sounds a bit dangerous. We've got a temperature gauge on top of ours and keep it between 200-300 degrees C. I do prefer the heat from a wood stove as it feels more natural somehow.

      Delete
  12. Though we have a boiler and hot water baseboards we heat the house with a propane Rinai direct vent unit in the kitchen. The oil fired boiler is only used for domestic hot water. It is an old house, only 2x4 walls built in 1937. 20 x24 feet 1 and 1/2 story. 2 upstairs rooms but only shorties can stand up. And though 4 years ago I rebuilt and reinsulated and installed new windows there is little that can be done to improve beyond it. The Rinai is set at 72 deg F. about 22 dg C so the kitchen is warm but the remainder of the house is colder as air circulation is not optimal. So we do wear layers and a sweater in the house. The Rinai averages out at a gallon of propane a day even though at times it runs almost constantly. Day temps right now are 2 deg C below zero but at night it will drop to 15 or 20 below. So it costs me about 2 U$ a day to heat the house. I have a 500 gallon underground propane tank and as I buy 400 to 450 gallons at a time, I get bulk rate prices. At fill up it hurts as we write a big fat check but then its good for about 18 months. For the boiler we burn about 300 gallons a year. 3.50 U$ per gallon. Looking in to hooking up an on demand propane heater for domestic hot water but I don't really have a good place to put it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having the gas tank underground is a much better idea. Over here all tanks are above ground, and that means that people have their oil stolen as it's so easy to get to. Trouble is they normally don't realise until they need it - it happened when we went on holiday last year and the place we were staying had it all stolen the week before we went there.
      We fill our oil tank in one go and I think it might even last us two years this time as it's been so mild. Trouble is I've got to move it this summer if we're going to start the extension.

      Delete
  13. We have an electric fire in the bathroom, which is set higher than usual because it is keeping little chicks warm. We have an electric fire in the Half Barn which has only been switched on twice this winter. We have no other heating, and we manage just fine. Next year we hope to have the Rayburn woodburning stove working in the kitchen, but I would think that that would be kept at a minimal temperature because we have got used to feeling slightly chilly, and like it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last year we used an electric radiator in Ev's room if it was cold and to save having the heating on in the whole house but other than that I'm not a massive fan of eletric heating. It is good in the fact that you can choose where you heat though.
      Having a rayburn going is lovely. We always had one in the farmhouse growing up and its a great place to stand and warm up if you've been in the cold all day!

      Delete
  14. We have a big granite house, a bit like a sieve We have a Boski wood kitchen stove for central heating, and a wood burner in the sitting room. The Boski only just maintains about 15-17 degrees, but enough to take the edge off - we just add another jumper to keep warm. We are planning to downsize and I dream of proper central heating - flicking a switch - but in reality, I know I'll find it too warm, so good insulation and a wood burner will probably do nicely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. taking the edge off it is key. Sometimes if we go out I get the fire ready so when we walk in though the door I can light it and within minutes the coldness has gone and it removes the tempation of switching on the heating!

      Delete
  15. With daytime temps in the -20sC and worse lately I am probably burning more natural gas than a usual winter. If the indoor temp falls below 68F I start to feel cold even with sweaters on. I am usually warmer when I am outside working with cattle. A little exercise is a good thing and saves money too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exercise Like splitting wood - it warms you twice - once when you split it and once when you burn it.
      We've been lucky with such a ild winter and I'm sure it's saved us load of money this year, although it's been very wet!

      Delete
  16. In Australia , during Summer in our home we rarely use the airconditioning unless it is unbearable for sleeping at night ( this is usually if there is no breeze and the temp is about 40 degrees. ) Most days in summer are between 30-40 degrees.
    In Winter , -we don't have a great winter house - so we use the fire most of the time ...but on the odd occasion when we do use the airconditoner ( say if we have run out of fire wood ) -we run it about about 23 degrees.
    I am comparing this to your 15 degree temp and I am thinking that in winter our winter temp would be about that. And I guess because we have such hot weather ....this seems to us to be REALLY cold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess it is what you're used to. Thats why I like it cold as I'm working out in it all day and too much of a change of temperature sends me to sleep!

      Delete
  17. A small comment from your dear old Mum! You have managed to have your thermostat at 17 this winter because it has been the mildest winter for years. If it was -18 outside like a few winters ago you certainly would have to turn it up as you would be freezing. Also a lot depends on how active you are in the house. if you are sat still in an office for most of the day 17 is not warm enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh mother, If you re read my post you'll see that I have said it's been mild this year. Also even if it was freezing outside we's still have it set to 17 as thats a comforatble temperature, we'd just have to have it on more often!
      You still have your house too hot, I'm in a T shirt when I'm there!
      Love you Xx

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Sorry Kev we agree to differ. You wait until next winter when you are sat in the house for longer periods of time with the girls. I always find nice warm clothes when I come and visit you! Xx

      Delete
    4. Also you misunderstood my first comment. Obviously I know that the heating will come on more to maintain a temperature of 17 if it's colder outside. What I meant was that if it's very cold outside you need the house to be warmer inside. When you have been out feeding chickens etc and you are frozen to the bone coming into a house set at 17 will not get you warm again for a long time, therefore you would need the temperature set higher.

      Delete
    5. Sorry mum! We've got the wood stove to warm up against!

      Delete
  18. I don't like to be cold, but like you was brought up without central heating and always put on extra clothes or snuggle up under a quilt or blanket before I'll put the heating on. I do have central heating now but can't stick it when it's too hot, so ours doesn't come on unless it drops below 16.

    Was really pleased to see the comment above about the gas/electricity savings from having a wood burner. I hope to get one installed this year and like your reader, can't pass fallen wood without wanting to stop and collect it :) I do wonder whether we'll find it too hot with the wood burner lit!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will only save you money if you can get the wood for free, otherwise wood is quite expensive at the moment and it would become a dear way to heat your house. The key to getting free wood is collect it in the summer when no one is thinking about the cold winter ahead. Also make sure you've got somewhere good to store it and try to get more than you'd think you'd need.

      Delete
  19. No heating here and the only airconditioning we have is in the shop to keep the stock cool. We take whatever temperature nature sends us which ranges between 20 - 30 odd C. At night I sleep under a blanket so I guess my blood is pretty thin after all these years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As soon as it warms up even slightly I hae to chuck the sheets off! When we've travelled to tropical climates I always have the air con cranked up so I can sleep better! No need for the air con here though unless I'm driving a tractor for my dad (like a greenhouse on wheels in the summer).

      Delete
  20. My old house does not have central heat or air, but I did replace all the windows with double-hung ones and have stuffed insulation everywhere. In the summer there's a whole house fan, I just open windows and the fan pulls cool air in at night. In the winter I have a wood stove and a small pellet stove. The only thermostat is my ambition...if it's really cold I'll haul wood or pellets and have a fire in each stove. If it's just a little cold, it's easier to put on a sweater or a coat and go to bed early. I probably don't have much company in the winter because the house is often chilly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you've got it sorted! Not really heard of a pellet stove before, we have pellet fed boilers over here so I guess it's just a smaller version of that. Keeping the heat in is just as important as making the heat in the first place!

      Delete
  21. This is the second winter that we have had our thermostat set at just 14C!. The heating is on for 1/2 an hour in the morning to take the chill off. After that it switches off and only if we are cold do we put it back on. We usually find once it has brought the house back up to 14C, we are warm enough. We have a wood burning stove that is lit around 4pm, last log goes on around 8.30pm and that is it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Our Thermostat is set to 17C the heating is set on a timer so goes off at 8am when we go to work, and comes on again at 5pm for when we get home, most evenings we have the log burner lit so it overrides the thermostat, we dont bother having heating on upstairs we both like a cold bedroom and sleep with the window open. I find if i stay places were the bedroom is heated i wake up with a thick head, I hate hotels for this reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi, my preset is 18, sometimes 20 degrees. I asked to instal multizone heating in my house for this service http:http://myairmatics.com, so everyone just set the temperature he wants. But mostly we have the highest level of 20 degrees.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...