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Mark Hunt
Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
a HUGE amount of mass your system has to re-heat before it delivers one BTU to your living space.

I have customers on both sides of this. Some say they realized little or no savings and others claim "big" differences in their heating bill. Never asked for the definition of "big".

Try this. See how much your home actually cools off during the set-back period on the coldest nights. If the house really does drop to 60, get an insulation contractor in there pronto! Keep the BTU's you already paid for. If the house doesn't drop that far, why set that far back?

Set-back is really based on forced air technology. Heats up quick, cools down quick due to low/no thermal mass. Your system is different.


Mark H

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  • Seth_4
    Seth_4 Member Posts: 7

    Hi, I have a question about a one pipe steam system. Is it better to leave the heat off until it goes down to about 60 degrees inside the house and then have it come on to about 68? I like it at 68 degrees. Or is it better to have the thermostat set at a connstant 68 degrees? The reason why I ask is because if I leave it go down to 60 degrees, it seems like I will be using more oil to create the steam than if I just leave the thermostat at a constant 68. We are not home during the day and it seems like everyone turns down their thermostat, but what about a steam system? I have about 20 convectors. Please help. Which scenario would use more oil? I also have a digital thermostat which I can program the times of the boiler coming on and going off. Thanks
  • Bob W._3
    Bob W._3 Member Posts: 561

    Setbacks don't work well with high mass buildings. We have an all masonry home. The thermostat stays on 68. Can't help you with a frame home.
  • Seth_4
    Seth_4 Member Posts: 7

    Thanks, so my system has high thermal mass? Does that mean the space that has to be heated before one convector heats up?

    My house does drop to 62 or 61, I have no insulation except for the attic. Its an old house, built in the 30's. I just put in new windows which I cannot seal from the outside yet because I live in New England it its always snowing:( And they are leaking. I have to wait until spring.

    So basically setting back the thermostat people do only if they have forced air?

    Thank You Very Much.
  • Steam Bunny
    Steam Bunny Member Posts: 76
    When the outside temperature & wind are predicted

    to be similar for several days, try heating both ways (for say 24 hours) and read your gas meter in between. That will give you the best of all answers.

    When it warms up, do it again- different weather can give varying results.

    And best to keep a journal with start, start times- inside, outside temp- gas start, stop, etc.
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