8

tl;dr: Yes, lowering the room thermostat at night will generally help save energy, assuming we are in the heating season (winter), rather than the cooling season (summer). Let's take two points in time, one before the night, one after it. Let's choose them so that the dwelling has the same amount of heat energy contained within it at each point, so all the ...


7

Strictly speaking, your heat pump's CoP is not affected by the outside temperature, but by the difference between inside and outside temperatures. Given that there is a fairly narrow range of interior temperatures that we might want, that is nearly equivalent, but it does mean that there is only a limited extent to which this "pre-heating" approach can work -...


6

Insulation can contribute to the sustainability of a home both by being sustainably-sourced and by reducing heating and cooling requirements. The longer the insulation lasts, the greater its contribution to your home's sustainability. It is also important to select insulation that can be installed easily, without tearing out walls and producing unnecessary ...


5

First, draught-proofing Close the gaps around windows, doors, between floorboards, gaps where pipes go into walls and floors. It's a cheap and relatively easy way to stop a lot of heat escaping, and to cut down on the convection currents that will take a lot of heat from the bottom to the top of the house. Curtains around the stairwell? Can you put a curtain ...


5

The scientific approach would be to turn on all the heating and use heat cameras to see where most heat is escaping. Otherwise just guess it is the roof. I would start with the roof/top floor, then do the ground floor. Then the middle floors last. If you do find that heating living areas makes the top floors unbearably hot, consider moving your living area ...


5

I suggest you use a U-value kit from greenTEG. It is easy to use, very accurate and you get the U-value of any position of your wall or glass within a few days of measurement. I tested it on my new house and it resulted in the same value as predicted by the energy engineer.


4

The glib answer is to use less energy. The best way of doing that is fixing the fabric of the house - massively increasing insulation, massively decreasing air permeability (and as a result fitting a ventilation system). There is no technical-wizardry answer. The simplest solution is best (but unfortunately outrageously expensive).


4

I'm not an expert in this area, but: I think this depends a little on the layout of the house. Certainly insulating the top first will improve the overall efficiency much sooner than starting at the bottom, but as you identify it does mean increasing the temperature difference between floors, which might not be desirable. If you have an open staircase ...


4

First order approximation: R-1 (british units BTU/hr/sqft/DegF) per sheet of glass. So double pane is R2, triple pane R3. Second order approximation depends on the frame material, and to some degree on coatings, and gas fills, and years since the gas fill; also depends on your heating system, exterior wind exposure. It gets complicated enough that I have ...


3

A long-term consideration is increased condensation from cooler air in the far corners of rooms, which encourages fungal colonies. These are bad for health and eventually expensive to treat. Keeping a constant temperature diminishes the problem.


3

Clarification of terms: Your tap is the downstream end. The City water supply is the upstream end. My understanding of your situation: City Waterline Building shutoff vale Local distribution valve Cold wall Tap you trickle. I don't know that your building valve and local distribution valve are or are not the same. You want to know if it's safe to use ...


2

I would answer this as a comment, but comments don't accept multiple paragraphs. On the face of it this is a bad idea. Better to pull air OUT of the house, and let it sneak in where it can. Scenario 1. The building vapour barrier is perfect. Air put into the house can only escape through faulty weatherstripping at doors and windows. Net result. Too ...


2

I think EnergyNumbers' answer is pretty comprehensive! Basically, do 'low hanging fruit first' - i.e. the things that have a quick result such as draught proofing (sealing around gaps/cracks/skirtings/windows etc); install heavy curtains and if you can loft insulation, which you should be able to do yourself fairly easily and cheaply. Then you can start with ...


2

My challenge was slightly different. I was purchasing new NorthStar windows to replace all of the old windows in my house but wanted to make sure I was getting what I paid for, as the windows would look fine, but was their R-value or U-factor and SHGC performing as advertised. I used an IR scanner around the edges after install to look for possible ...


2

I've used them. I've never been happy with them. If you do use them you need to follow these rules: If you wrap them you must have the wraps evenly spaced. You can't have 3 turns per foot at one end of the pipe and 6 turns per foot at the other end. The temperature sensor (disk on the orange blob) must be pressed tightly against the pipe. The full ...


2

is it really worth it.. can mean something else as well: During the wintertime: Lowering the temperature has (sometimes) a nice side effect - you will lose weight. The amount of heat given from the body to the room will increase (lowering the temperature from 21 to 19 °C) by 15 % (in comparison for a normal adult person in a resting phase). This energy is ...


2

You should find the best time to lower/raise the thermostat. The more thermal inertia your house has (the better it is thermally isolated), the earlier you should lower the thermostat. The faster the heating gets the room warm, the later you can raise the thermostat. Both are best done automatically.


1

Why not simply install trace htg to the problematic pipe? Of course that's assuming you can access it! Insulation, of itself, does not stop freezing but simply slows down the heat loss.


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