Question: How useful is smart electricity use for home heating?

Hi everyone! Currently thinking about use cases when it comes to smart electricity use and home heating (and cooling). Many houses are still heated by gas, oil, wood or other direct fuels, and I’m trying to look ahead to a world where a lot of that heating and cooling has been replaced by heat pumps, boilers and panels.

There are a few scenarios that I’m trying to work through, considering the idea that cheap and clean electricity is generally not available when you want it to heat your house.

  • Sun is shining, weather is hot: you can cheaply cool your house with A/C: pretty good use case.

  • It’s dead of winter and it’s cold and at night, but windy: you can pre-heat your house on cheap energy from 2 to 4am. Is this a good use case? Or will most houses have cooled down by 7/9am - when people are moving about the house?

  • It’s a sunny spring day and the house is being heated at 1pm when no one is home. Will an average house still be warm by 6pm, when most of that heat is wanted?

As you can see, there’s probably no clear answer. But I wanted to throw the topic of smart heating out there and curious if people know of good use cases or things to consider when it comes to the question of smart heating your home or office.

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Indeed. But it also uses a lot less energy to cool your home, than to heat it in winter. Even with crazy 32 Celsius degrees outside, we only get 26 degrees inside. We want it to stay at 22 degrees. So the A/C only needs to cool the house from 26 → 22 degrees. That’s way less than in winter when it’s freezing outside, and you want 19 degrees inside. The Delta is way higher and the efficiency of the A/C unit itself is probably also lower for heating.

Totally depends on the level of insulation. Our house will only cool down 2 or 3 degrees during the night. So it can store heat. You can use cheap electricity and ‘over heat’ the house to say 23 degrees Celsius (anything you still deem acceptable).

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My father had a barn where he stored vegetables that kept things fresh by blowing the colder air of the night under and into the stored vegetables. It was all they had, but it is still one of the most efficient way to cool down stuff. Stuff because that low temperature is best stored the thermal mass, not in air.


Yes, great one. Storing it in mass works best. The energy density of air is simply quite low.

I am also part of a startup called Thermogen that stores heat in water and uses the warmest air to replenish a thermal buffer (filled with water). Later, at night, when it’s colder it will use it as a source for a heat pump.