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I see, so keeping spells like riptide and healing stream totem is fine, but during low damage phases I don't need to be spamming HW or GHW on as many people as I possibly can?
I always keep Earth Shield and Riptide on the tank, and Healing Stream Totem down on cooldown, even if damage is super light, but you only need to be using HW or GHW if the damage on a player warrants it.
When nobody is taking damage, well, nobody is taking damage. Extremely low periods of damage work out the same way. However, most healing classes get some usage out of casting certain spells, so there's a reason to maintain effects. A Holy Paladin, for example, should be casting Holy Shock on cooldown (on the tank, so that 1/3rd of your heal still goes through in the form of Mastery) in order to bank Holy Power unless they're capped or close to it, unless they need to save that cooldown for a sudden burst. There might be no damage now, but you can bet your braids that there will be some soon, and HP = instant response. We also get to hit things.
Don't be spending mana for the sake of casting SOMETHING, but look to see if there are any cheap maintenance effects you can recast (Depending upon your class: Sacred Shield, Earth Shield, Druid baby HoTs, Purification, Using riptide so you have two stacks of Tidal Waves prepared) or very efficient heals (Lesser Healing Wave) if you can avoid overheal.
In pvp i always keep my shield up and a renew going, shield plus renew all the time everytime; I do this for the kitty and rogue sneaking up behind me; as a nightelf i use shadowmeld alot and that is the only time my number one rule is broken. These arent mana intensive so I have plenty of mana when the rogue or kitty does attack and any other spells would be a more serious mana drain; in pvp I have the luxury of being able to kill as well as heal but not all healers have that capability in the way disc does; so saving their mana is more important for them.
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