Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Most Energy Efficient Methods and Protocols for Heating

hotsauce Member Posts: 20
I live at 6000 feet in heating zone 5 with early morning temps in the teens and below. The home is 2500 ft² and is heated by a combination of minisplits and FHW baseboards supplied by a tankless on-demand water heater.

I have often wondered which is the most energy efficient heating program to employ:

1. Leave the thermostat at 72 all night to keep heat in the walls and infrastructure? Heating system cycles normally according to set point demand.
2. Turn thermostat down to 68 at night then warm rooms back up to 72 in the early am? Heating system runs for an hour or two restoring set point of 72.
3. Turn thermostat down to 62 at night. Next morning thermostat returns to 72 but runs for hours on high before rooms are fully reheated.
4. Turn system off at night then turn back on around 4am in order to get rooms back up to 72 by 8am?



  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,336
    edited December 2020
    Hi, I imagine that you are looking to strike a balance between physical discomfort and financial discomfort. Physically, the greater the difference between indoor and outdoor temps, the less you'll have to spend on heating. The other factor is time. The more hours you can tolerate a smaller difference between indoor and outdoor temps, the less you'll spend on heating. It really doesn't matter when, but is simply temp difference and duration. I think your #4 gives that greatest difference for the longest time.

    Two ways that you could manage this are to do things to slow heat loss from the building and to do localized heating rather than heating the entire structure. Localized heating could be as simple as putting on a sweater or using an electric blanket. Or it could be designing a space in the building that you keep warmer than the rest. Reducing heat loss usually involves finding and sealing air leaks and then beefing up the insulation.

    I know I didn't directly answer your question, but was trying instead to put it into perspective so you can find the best approach for your needs.

    Yours, Larry
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    Are you heating with a boiler or a tankless water heater?
    A real boiler will be more efficient than a water heater. Setbacks in temperature for short periods of time rarely yield economy.—NBC