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Will closing off radiators decrease my gas bill?

I have a 1 pipe system and I have shut the valve on a radiator in an upstairs room that we rarely use. I did this thinking that it would lower the work load on the system and thus lower my gas bill. Now that it is closed I hear loud banging in the walls upstairs and I'm wondering if this is worth it. Will closing off radiators in unused rooms lower your gas bill? Would I be better off opening the valve and then closing the air vent (although this still heats the room quite a bit)? Thanks


  • Will closing off radiators decrease my gas bill?

    It will, as you are reducing the quantity of steam the boiler needs to produce to the system, BUT,,,,,,

    The rooms beside/adjacent(served by uninsulated partitions), now become a heatloss factor that must be accounted for, so the factor of that need may be placed on those rads(if large enough).

    So why not try some one-pipe TRVs and only reduce those unused room temps to a medium that wont effect any rooms adjoining?  
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,115
    Decreasing Gas Usage

    The amount of gas your boiler uses per hour is fixed.  To reduce usage you have to run the boiler less time.  You can turn back the thermostat.  It will run less often.  Or you can reduce the length of time in runs to heat your house.  To make it run shorter cycles make sure you're fully vented, mains and rads.  Do you have radiator covers?  I had them and I found by removing them my boiler ran 10 to 15 minute shorter cycles.  The rad covers made the system run longer to satisfy the thermostat. 

  • spits
    spits Member Posts: 1
    what is a "trv" ?

    I have been reading this thread on shutting off radiators.  What is a "TRV"?
  • Brian_74
    Brian_74 Member Posts: 237
    Thermostatic Radiator Valve

    I got that from the "acronyms" list under the "resources" menu above.

    I believe that a TRV is essentially a thermostat attached to one particular radiator rather than to the whole system. They allow you to have some radiators stop heating once a preset temperature is reached. They are essentially automatic off switches. They cannot turn on a radiator when the rest of the system is off.
    1929 Ideal Heating vapor system.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,889
    The banging

    may be from that "closed" radiator.  It is a rare radiator valve that really closes completely, and if it doesn't, you may get water hammer at the valve.  It is better practice, when trying to shut off a one pipe radiator, to close the vent (if it is adjustable) or turn it upside down (doesn't work on some vents) or take it out and substitute a pipe plug.  Any of those will limit the amount of steam that gets into the radiator.

    Will it reduce your gas bill?  Probably, by a small amount.  Not, however, in proportion, as one might think.  Indeed, shutting off just one radiator may not even make a noticeable difference.  I know of at least one situation where an entire half of a building was closed off quite positively -- and the heat bill only dropped about 30% (and before someone says "overfired", the boiler in that situation was changed to suit the smaller load).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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