Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Set Point

I've been paying quite a bit of attention to heat lately. 

I turn off the heat at night. In the morning, I've been interested in how long it takes to heat up the apartment, since I have a temperature/humidity gadget in the kitchen. 

At first, I thought I had it figured out after I collected data for a few days. Roughly 20 minutes to raise the temperature 1 degree, and roughly 1 hour for it to drop 1 degree. 

There was variance, though, and I couldn't understand why, because I thought the temperature increase would be linear. 

It's not, though. It's something much interesting. 

After doing some research (which I'll probably mangle here), I discovered that an enclosed space has a set point in terms of temperature. For instance, the apartment has a set point (roughly) of 69, which represents its equilibrium temperature. The further it gets from the equilibrium, the faster it heats/cools to return to its normal state. 

When I wake up in the morning, the lower the temperature, the faster it initially heats up. The speed of heating decays as I get closer to the equilibrium, and it really slows down when I keep heating the room until it's 71 (because I like to leave the heat off for hours at a time instead of it coming on every half hour or so). 

So it's definitely more efficient in an energy sense to turn off the heat when you're away for a few hours instead of just setting it at a lower temperature. Although this would probably not work for Garret in Winnipeg.

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