Heating controls

Why?

Used well, heating controls mean you only use the energy you need to heat your home effectively. It is just as important as ensuring your house is well-insulated and draught-free. There is an increasing number of sophisticated control options available, but even basic thermostats and controllers do a good job if you learn how to use them properly.

How?

Thermostats allow you to set a target temperature, usually for the house as a whole, but they can be fitted for each floor or even in individual rooms.  More sophisticated thermostats can be programmed for different temperatures according to the time of day.  Start by setting them at 18oC unless you are old or unwell and then adjust them to find the minimum temperature that you find comfortable.  Each degree C difference could add or subtract 10% from your energy bill.

Programmers control the timings of your heating and possibly your hot water too.  Typically they allow you to create a number of on/off periods each day – usually one set for weekdays and another for weekends.  They should be set to turn on half an hour before you get up or return home and turn off half an hour before bedtime or leaving home.

Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) act as thermostats for each radiator allowing different temperatures to be set in each room using a dial on the TRV head.  A setting of ‘1’ is suitable for unused rooms, ‘1’-‘2’ for bedrooms and kitchens, ‘2’-‘3’ for living rooms and ‘3’ for bathrooms.

Boiler controls allow you to control how hot your radiators get and sometimes your hot water temperature too.  If you have a separate central heating dial then it can be turned down in milder weather to help the boiler run more efficiently.

Boiler thermostats control your hot water cylinder temperature. They should be set no higher than 60oC, but always at least 5oC lower than the hot water output temperature of your boiler (otherwise your boiler pump will never stop running).

Costs and savings

Installing a room thermostat and seven thermostatic radiator valves costs around £350 and could save you £70 - £150 a year.

Home Energy – Heating Controls (L1)                                                              WinACC November 2014

Attachments

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WinACC - Heating_controls - L1.pdf118 KB