I’d be grateful for some thoughts please on how best to manage the underfloor heating in our gite please.
We have changed to EDF tempo in our gite/cottage and that is working well. I’ve got our underfloor heating set at 7°C and because we’ve been having such a mild winter so far, it has only come on once on a red day. It was a bit of a shock to see the price differential and if possible I’d rather avoid that happening again.
We’ve got cold weather later this week, including possibly snow on Friday morning. No doubt later this week will also be red days.
I’m wondering if it’s possible to manage the underfloor heating so that it doesn’t need to come on on a red day and at the same time keep the cost as low as possible.
So I’m wondering whether to set the thermostats so that the flooring does come on on the blue days early this week, so that the floor and the cottage warm up a bit. Then turn it off completely on the red days so we are not paying the high price. Then turn it back on again over the weekend if the cold weather continues.
You’re right. The frost setting is 7 degrees and most of the time the cottage is warmer than 7degrees so the underfloor heating doesn’t come on at all. I’ve turned off the upstairs floors completely and I’m just keeping kitchen/hall/lounge floors on the frost setting.
Unfortunately Badger we don’t have that level of sophistication with our room thermostats. They are basically frost (7 degrees) / low warmth (16 degrees) / ambient temperature (20 degrees). I think there is a day/night option for the ambient, but so far as I can see it’s not programmed in. Hope that makes sense.
How is the underfloor heating connected to your house’s electrical system?
If it’s via a breaker in a consumer unit, it would be easy to fit a timer module into the consumer unit and have the breaker for the underfloor fed from the timer, ensuring that it only is powered during off-peak hours.
That’s how my (and I’m sure many other people’s) electric water heaters are configured.
No idea Notalot - sorry! There is a separate array for the underfloor heating - one breaker per room - but no idea how it all comes together. I would need to speak to our electrician and this is way down the list in terms of priorities. Thanks for the suggestion though.
In which case it’s probably worth investing in new 'stats that can be programmed. You could even go for internet connectable ones if remote operation would be useful, & you could prevent gîte guests fiddling.
I’d recommend using the cost of that to replace the room 'stats, as mentioned above.
There’s also a danger that some underfloor heating 'stats would default to factory mode if they are powered off for too long & go into their slow slab heating up program on the next power up. I had a call out for exactly that some years ago; the client had turned off the mains when leaving the property for a few weeks…
Thanks for the advice. If it was our home I would agree with you. In fact it’s just used in summer and all I’m trying to do is make sure we don’t get hit by the tempo red days in winter. Also, we’re only talking about a few rooms - just downstairs - so I think it’s going to be me trotting backwards and forwards. I put the floors on this afternoon and I’ll let you know if they have warmed up. Certainly the thermostats clicked in immediately. Tomorrow is a white day, so they’ll go off again first thing and back on again tomorrow night. I’ll have a look at the cost graph and see what this week looks like and whether it’s worth doing.
The difference, of course, is that on the red day the floor was only heating up to 7 degrees, so there was an initial surge, but then it just kept ticking over, coming back on when necessary. When it came on yesterday it was pumping out heat the entire time, trying to get the ambient temperature back up to 20 degrees.
To make the best decision I need a maximum/minimum thermometer. And I suspect don’t need to put the flooring on full blast. The next few days are likely to all be red - it will be interesting to see how long it takes for the cottage to cool down again.