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Thread: Consensus on ideal "away" temperature?

  1. #1
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    Default Consensus on ideal "away" temperature?

    Hi folks,

    I've done a bit of searching, and can't seem to find consensus on what constitutes a good "away" temperature. By this, I mean "what temperature should I set my Evohome to when I go away for an extended period (days or weeks)".

    The default seems way too high. Nest has a "safety" temperature of 7 degrees (seems a bit too low?).

    Basically a compromise between not too cold (get that musty smell, takes 2 days for the house to warm up when you come back) and not too expensive on the gas.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    That's a good question. Not having left the house unattended for this length of time I haven't faced this situation yet.

    From an energy conservation point of view the obvious answer is to have the rooms set as cold as possible but without allowing freezing of pipes.

    "Off" mode sets all zones to 5 degrees so in theory you still have frost protection so long as your pipes are well insulated (I'm still working on getting this done!) and your boiler itself also has a frost protect sensor (to detect if it gets too cold) then you should be able to leave the house for a few days in "Off" mode and it will only come on to prevent actual risk of burst pipes.

    Of course as you suggest, if you left it that way for a couple of weeks damp and mustiness could be a problem. In a couple of rooms we have that are mostly unused and have been left for a few weeks at a time set to 5 degrees I had noticed a bit of mustiness so what I decided to do (including while the house is occupied) is to schedule those unused rooms to 5 degrees most of the time including through the night and when the house is empty during the day, but for 12 degrees for a couple of hours in the evening from about 6pm to 8pm, on the theory that that was the time of the day that the mostly unused rooms were actually likely to be entered. Somewhere around 12-15 degrees seems to be enough to stop mustiness, but you don't necessarily need to leave it at this temperature 24/7, as long as it gets a chance to warm up each day.

    So I think what I would do is figure out what the minimum temperature is that you can heat the house to to avoid mustiness, and schedule it to go off (5 degrees) for most of the day but heat back up to this temperature for a few hours a day, whether this is done during the night (when there is more freezing risk) or during the day (which would be cheaper to heat to the same temperature) is up to you. You could use the custom action to do exactly this as you can set a single schedule that applies to all rooms.

    Personally I think the "away" function even if dropped to 10 degrees would consume too much gas for a two week absence because the boiler would be running 24/7 (albeit at a low duty cycle) to maintain a temperature that isn't required. This means a lot of pump run-time (electricity) and frequent boiler cycling due to trying to maintain a constant but low temperature. I have away mode set to 10 degrees but I only use it for a day or two at a time.

    I'm interested to see what methods others use when they are away for long periods!

    And of course the beauty of Evohome is that you can check on your room temperatures while you're away and if you hear about a cold snap coming in and you are worried about the house you can always crank it up remotely for a few hours!
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 6th December 2016 at 01:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your (as always) thoughtful response. Food for thought. One thing I'd say, what's the difference in total gas consumption between running the whole house at 12 degrees, vs running it at 5 degrees, and then heating it up to 12 degrees for a couple of hours every day? 7 degrees difference is going to take a LOT of heating at max flow to heat up.

  4. #4
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    I've read a few US sites (they get much colder winters than we do) recommending 50F, which is 10C. So I think I'm going to try 10C this time around, and see how it goes.

  5. #5
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    10C gets my vote too. What I try to do is work out the difference between the outdoors and inside the house in unheated parts like garage and loft etc. And it appears to be about 5-6C. It might also be necessary to run at 10C only during the coldest hours during the day. And drop back down a couple of degrees for most of the day.

  6. #6
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    I also pick 10c and it is rare to drop that low. Very cold nights it drops indoors to aroma no 14c. Obviously it will go lower indoors if away for some time. I live in the north east of England. It does drop much lower in my conservatory and I expect that. There it is set to the default of 5c and I do hear the system firing up during the night solely because of the drop in temperature during the night. An insurer I once was insured with wanted the heating left on at a minimum of 10C. Another wanted the system drained and I told them they were out of their proverbial tree with that one and they relented where they realised why!

  7. #7
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    Just found this on a Q and A sheet produced by Rameses a couple of years ago. I can't seem to get it to work (temp setting that is) on the Mark 3 wifi controller:

    The set temperature is a default setting of 15 degrees. This can be changed in the standard settings menu. The settings are between 5C and 20C.

    The time period that the Away feature is set for can be adjusted from the default 24 hours to up to 99 days by a long press on the Away button in the Quick Actions area.

  8. #8
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    Thanks very much for your input, folks! 10C it is.

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