Using the right heating controls will not only save you money but keep your house warm.
If you have a central heating system, whether its gas, LPG or oil, your heating controls should ideally include a boiler thermostat (most new boilers have them), a timer or programmer, a room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs).
Smart heating controls… not just for the kids!
There are loads of options when it comes to controlling your heating via your smart phone, generally known as smart heating controls. They allow you to manage your heating controls remotely from a computer, tablet or smart phone, and some, like the Worcester Wave, learn from your previous choices and make adjustments for you.
The main advantage of a smart heating control system is that you can make changes by your phone if your plans change – for example, you go out for the day and decide to pop to a friends for dinner. You can delay your heating to save heating an empty house.
Whether a smart controller will save you money, and whether it is right for you, will depend on your lifestyle, how you currently control your heating and whether you prefer using an app to using a traditional controller.
What are the benefits of heating controls?
You’ll reduce your CO2 emissions, doing your bit for the planet.
You could save money on your bills by installing and using your controls efficiently.
You can time your heating and hot water to go on and off when you need it.
You can select areas of your home to heat rather than heating a whole house at the same temperature.
Even if you are not planning on replacing your boiler you can upgrade your heating controls and save on your bills. Not only that the amount of control you will gain over your heating will add to your overall comfort.
Room thermostats are designed to turn off your central heating once the house has reached a certain temperature, that you set.
Room thermostats need a free flow of air to sense the temperature, so they must not be blocked by curtains or furniture, or put near heat sources.
Your room thermostat should be set to the lowest comfortable temperature – typically between 18 and 21 degrees. But everyone is different.
You don’t need to turn your thermostat up when it is colder outside; the house will heat up to the set temperature regardless. It may take a little longer on colder days, so you might want to set your heating to come on earlier in the winter.
A programmable room thermostat combines time and temperature controls and allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day. You can have different temperatures in individual rooms by installing thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) on individual radiators.
Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)
Thermostatic radiator valves do not control the boiler; they reduce the flow of water through the radiator which they are fitted to when the temperature goes above a certain setting. Set them to the level you want for the room; a lower setting uses less energy and so will save you money.
We do not recommend using radiator covers because TRVs sense the air temperature around them and control the flow rate depending on what level they’re set at. Having a cover over the radiator means the TRV is enclosed, which is likely to make it think that the room temperature is higher than it actually is.
TRV’s are most useful in rooms like bedrooms, where you don’t necessarily want the rooms to be heated to as higher temperature as your living rooms. Keeping the TRV’s on low settings can save you some money and also keep your bedroom nice and cool compared to other rooms.
If your hot water is stored in a cylinder, the thermostat will prevent it becoming hotter than it needs to. Once the water has reached the temperature you have set, the heat supply from the boiler will be turned off.
Turning the thermostat higher will not make the water heat up any faster, and the water heating will not come on if a time switch or programmer has switched it off.
Cylinder thermostats are usually fitted between one quarter and one third of the way up the cylinder. They have temperature scales marked; you should set them at between 60 and 65 degrees. This is hot enough to kill harmful bacteria in the water, but it’s also hot enough to scald.
Even old boilers will have an internal thermostat, either set to: min – max or sometimes with numbers, usually 1 – 5.
This sets the temperature of the water that will be pumped from the boiler through the radiators. The higher this is set, the quicker it will heat your home. In fact, if it is not set high enough, when it is very cold outside your home may not reach the desired temperature.
However, condensing boilers work more efficiently when the water returning to the boiler is below 55 degrees, so it can be better not to set the temperature too high. Your boiler control thermostat should always be set to a higher temperature than the cylinder thermostat. In most boilers, a single boiler thermostat controls the temperature of water sent to both the cylinder and radiators.
For more information about how you can make your house more efficient with controls, and to book a survey for an expert to call and see what would be suitable for you please call 01782 811102 or click here and complete our form and we will contact you and book a date.