Most efficient use of heating zones

Hello,
My house is heated with natural gas.
The 1st floor living area is a pretty open floor plan and there are 3 heati ng zones. Is is more efficient and cost-effective to have all 3 zones on, or just use the ones in the rooms I am spending time in? By using just one of them in the room I'm in, am I making it work too hard because the heat from that zone is traveling all throughout the open floor plan anyway?
Thanks for any advice?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wednesday, December 11, 2013 11:32:45 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

ting zones. Is is more efficient and cost-effective to have all 3 zones on , or just use the ones in the rooms I am spending time in? By using just o ne of them in the room I'm in, am I making it work too hard because the hea t from that zone is traveling all throughout the open floor plan anyway?

Yes, the heat from the one zone you're in is traveling through the open floor plan. So, the area you're in is 70 and the other areas are 64. Which takes less energy? That or keeping those other areas at 70 too?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com;3164359 Wrote:

Furfey: If you have three heating zones, then you will have three thermostats with each thermostat controlling the temperature in one zone.
Forced air heating isn't very conducive to zoning. By far, zoning works best with hot water heating systems. There are many different ways to set up such a three zone hot water heating system, but all of them involve the thermostat either turning on a circulating pump or opening a zone valve when that thermostat determines the temperature is below the set point in that zone.
You can save money by turning down the temperature in the zones you spend the least time in, expecially the zone that includes the upstair bedrooms since you're under the covers when you're asleep, and well insulated from the cooler temperatures. The energy savings come from the fact that as long as the temperature in the zone is lowered, there will be less heat loss from that zone to the outside. In fact, if you have a programmable thermostat, even while the heating system is working to heat that zone up again in the morning, the heat loss from that zone per minute is still lower than what it would have been if the temperature had been maintained in that zone all throughout the night.
No, you won't be working your furnace or boiler too hard by operating only one zone at a comfortable temperature, and the other two zones colder. Your system is designed to maintain all three zones at a comfortable temperature.
You can't do anything about heat flow from one zone to another through an open floor plan or an uninsulated wall or floor. That much you have to accept as an unavoidable inefficiency. You can maximize the heat utilization in any zone by the use of ceiling fans to push warm air down to floor level, thereby distributing the warmth in the room more uniformly.
But, hands down, the most effective way to save money on your heating bill is to turn all three thermostats down, and put on a sweater. Our pioneer grandparents came to North America on the promise of free land from the government if they would farm it. They had to survive winters just as harsh as we do with far less resources then we have. But, they would put on long underwear and sleep with their night caps on, and they got through the winters by insulating themselves, rather than the whole house. If you were to invest in a pair of long underwear, some thick socks, a long sleeved turtle neck tee shirt, and wear those indoors, you could probably cut your heating bills in half. Maybe buy more than one of each so that you have clean underwear to change into. If you're serious about saving money, insulating your body is the way to go.
--
nestork

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.