Should you turn off the heating or lower the temperature when you leave home?

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The Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) details in an article published in Ouest France the behavior to adopt for the heating of your home in the midst of the energy crisis, while the government is calling on the French to energy sobriety. To keep costs down, some prefer to turn the heating off completely when they leave their homes, while others simply prefer to turn it down a few degrees. So, who is right ? What is the most virtuous behavior for the wallet and avoiding power cuts this winter?

In fact, the best strategy to adopt depends on several factors, including the insulation of your home and the duration of your absence. However, on the whole, one piece of advice often comes up: it is generally better to lower the heating than to turn it off, especially for work-related absences, when you return home in the evening. Indeed, if you turn off the heating during the day, your accommodation will be too cold in the evening when you return. By turning the heating back on, you will therefore make it work at full balloons, which is moreover during rush hour – contributing to overloading the electricity network.

All in all, it’s better to turn the heat down than to turn it off

Once the temperature is reached, the temperature may rise above the chosen level, causing you to “overconsume” power unnecessarily. Ideally, unnecessary additions to peak electricity consumption between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. should be avoided in order to reduce the risk of power outages. Instead, ADEME recommends simply lowering the heating by 3 degrees below your ideal temperature. For example, put the heating at 16°C in the morning, before raising it in the evening to 19°C then lowering it before going to bed. But obviously everything also depends on other factors, such as the insulation of your home and the outside temperatures.

If the temperatures are getting warmer, and your home is not getting too cold during the day thanks to good insulation, it may make sense to turn off the heating during the day and turn it back on only in the evening when the temperatures drop. But if it is very cold and the temperature drops quickly in your home (poor insulation), it is better to leave the heating running all day at a lower temperature. Turning it off to turn it back on in the evening amounts to catching up with too many degrees and therefore contributes to overloading the electricity network in addition to risking making you over-consume even more electricity in a relatively short period of time, at the height of rush hour.

Last case: you are leaving home for a few days. It is therefore strongly recommended not to turn off your heating, but to put it in “frost protection” mode (snowflake symbol or 8°C). The heating will hardly turn on but will prevent the pipes from freezing in the event of freezing temperatures, reduce the humidity inside, and reduce the amount of energy needed a little when you turn up the temperature on your way home. Of course, if you feel that you are struggling to heat your home, it’s probably time to improve your insulation at the risk of missing out on huge savings…

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