Similar to a question just asked, but i think it's different enough...

I have a two-zone forced-hot-water heating system, where each floor is its own zone. The zones are connected by an open stairwell.

It seems reasonable to me to set the downstairs back farther at night than upstairs, keeping the upstairs bedrooms a bit warmer.

The question is, given convection in that stairwell, does it really make sense to let the upstairs setting drop below downstairs during the day, or would I need to isolate that stairwell (or at least close all the upstairs doors) for this to really save energy?


Convection in a stairway, in a reasonably tight house, is way overrated.

Given the square footage of wall and ceiling space - I do not see how the stairway makes much difference.

I run a fan 24/7 at the bottom of my stairs, adjust vents to the seasons, and still can not seem to get my system to play nice. I do have a single zone forced air, so it is not a direct comparison, I realize.

Heat loss is proportional to the difference in temperature. And it is nowhere near linear, turning off/down will always be the most energy-efficient.

It is likely to not the same as comfortable for certain, but is true in the case of BTUs

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