Boiler Thermostats and Controls

A woman in a green sweater uses a smartphone with a temperature app beside a digital wall thermostat set to 22°C.

Thermostats and temperature controls not only make it easier to use your boiler, they can also help you lower your heating bill. Plus, time and temperature controls are also integral to modern central heating systems thanks to Boiler Plus legislation.

There is quite a bit of confusion regarding the operation of central heating controls, particularly because of the multitude of types and models made available. From boiler timers to programmable thermostats, we have listed some of the most common heating controls and what usage they can perform for you.

What are the benefits of central heating controls

A variety of boiler temperature controls exist, each with its own beneficial traits. It’s important to learn the differences and how they benefit your home.

  • Lower energy bills
  • Smaller carbon footprint
  • Only heat rooms or areas that need warming up rather than the whole property
  • Schedule the heating to come on when you need it and turn off when you don’t

By simply turning your thermostat down one degree you may end up saving £80 on your energy bill annually, which can also equate to a reduction of over 300 kg from your carbon footprint.

Central heating controls explained

A survey showed that 800,000 UK homes (4%) don’t have central heating controls, while 70% possess a complete set of them. There are several types of thermostats and central heating controls that include: 

  • Built-in boiler controls
  • Boiler timers
  • Room thermostats with a dial
  • Digital programmable room thermostats
  • Smart thermostats
  • Thermostatic radiator valves

We will walk you through each type of thermostat and heating control so you can put them to use to optimum effect.

Built-in boiler controls

Your boiler is most likely going to have its own unique controls on the front of it, this is handy If your boiler is easy to reach, but not so convenient if it’s set up in your basement, loft, or garage.

The boiler itself will only have basic controls usually including an on/off switch. Your boiler may also have temperature controls. These will allow you to regulate the temperature that the boiler heats its water to, you can adjust these based on the time of year.

Boiler timers

This mechanical timer allows you to program schedule times that your boiler is activated or deactivated. While boiler timers can be used to set an automatic turning on or off for your boiler, they can not control the temperature. You can set the temperature instead with the use of a thermostat.

You will have adequate control over your boiler if you want it to turn on and off at precisely the exact same time daily. However In the event you wish your boiler to be on and off at varied times throughout the day, a boiler timer would not be sufficient.

Room thermostats with a dial

Thermostats in the room will activate your heating until it reaches the setting you have set. Once the temperature has reached your selected level, the heating will shut off. Room thermostats are installed onto the wall with a circular dial that has a pointer on it, pointing at a temperature that is displayed it.

Thermostats need to have the ability to measure the air temperature around them in such a way as to appropriately maintain room temperature, which is why it is important to keep them free from obstructions like curtains or anything that might block the flow of air.

Digital programmable room thermostats

With a programmable thermostat, you can remotely control your heating unit’s settings, and temperature, via a digital interface. Some model programs will enable you to make separate timetables for weekdays and weekends.

In some of the more advanced options, you will be able to specify a different schedule for every day of the week.

Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats allow you to operate your heating system entirely from your smartphone. While various smart thermostat designs have different features, they generally allow you to program and manage your heating system online. Other features can include:

  • Weather responsiveness
  • The ability to learn and adapt to your routine
  • Geolocation which can recognise when nobody is in the home

Thermostatic radiator valves

Thermostatic radiator valves do not affect the boiler, but they can help maintain the temperature in your rooms at your desired level.

Thermostatic radiator valves manage the flow of warm water through the radiator, thereby decreasing it when the temperature reaches a certain level. Because they monitor the air temperature around them, it’s best not to use radiator covers on radiators with thermostatic valves.

Boiler Plus

A new bill went into effect in 2018 to encourage the efficiency of UK homes. Called Boiler Plus, the law stipulated that all gas and oil boiler installations should include a timing and temperature control feature.

Combi boiler installations will also need one of the following:

  • Smart controls
  • Weather compensation
  • Load compensation
  • Flue Gas Heat Recovery

What is weather compensation?

Your boiler can recognize the external temperature and use this as well as its existing settings to control the current status of your home’s temperature. This allows it to operate more efficiently, saving you on energy bills.

What’s load compensation

Load compensation enables the temperature of the water going into the radiators to change as the temperature of the home increases. This, in turn, allows the radiators to become heated less quickly and, overall, saves energy. Because the radiators do not need to be so hot all of the time, this makes heating more efficient.

Flue Gas Heat Recovery

All condensing boilers must have a Flue Gas Heat Recovery System As of April 2005, all new gas boilers are required to be condensing by law. So, if you have had a new boiler fitted since then, it should be a condensing boiler. If you have not had a new boiler fitted since 2005, you may consider installing one.

When to have boiler controls installed?

Updating your already existing temperature controls is a great way to improve your control over the heating in your living space and domestic hot water.

If your present boiler was installed more than eight years ago, now is the time to think about a replacement, and it’s the best time for you to put in new controls so you can benefit from a more efficient heating system. That way, you’ll benefit from a more efficient heating system, and you’ll have the ability to control it more effectively to suit your needs.

If you need thermostat boiler controls installed you can count on the experts at Heat Quick Direct

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