Upgrade Your Heating Controls
To minimise energy costs, a radiator system should have a complete set of heating controls, meaning a programmer (to set the times when heat is needed), a wall thermostat (to switch off the boiler when no heat is needed), and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to switch off individual radiators when a particular room needs no more heat.
Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs)
TRVs allow rooms to have different temperatures. For example, bedrooms are normally more comfortable at a lower temperature than living rooms. Fitting TRVs can allow you to set a lower temperature in some rooms (such as bedrooms) and can therefore save substantially on your heating bills. There are two types:
- the cheapest and simplest controls the maximum temperature each radiator can reach
- the more complex type is also programmable over selected time periods.
The thermostat should ideally be in the main living room.
If you do not have thermostatic radiator valves we recommend that you have them fitted.
If you do not have a central heating timer we recommend that you have one fitted.
If you do not have a wall thermostat we recommend that you have one fitted.
Heating controls can be financed through the Green Deal or if you receive benefits through ECO or NEST. see earlier section on funding schemes.
TRV Investment & Payback
Investment: TRVs from £7 each plus fitting.
Cost Savings: Up to 8% for a TRV, up to 30% for a programmable version
Carbon Dioxide Savings: Up to 8% for a TRV, up to 30% for a programmable version
TRVs will need to be fitted by a plumber. Whilst having them fitted it is worth checking if your other heating controls are up to date, working properly and well-placed. Remember to turn TRVs down in rooms you do not use.
Timer / Wall Thermostat Investment & Payback
Investment: Timer / Wall Thermostat from £50 each plus fitting.
Cost Savings: Between 4% and 18%, depending on the initial level of controls and the domestic routine adopted
Carbon Dioxide Savings: Between 4% and 18%, depending on the initial level of controls and the domestic routine adopted
We advise that wall thermostats are set to the lowest temperature which is comfortable for you. ‘Twenty is plenty’ for most people, though people who are older or in poor health may need it slightly higher. The settings are not necessarily accurate and the required setting also depends on where the thermostat is placed so we recommend having a thermometer in your living room and adjusting the thermostat to give you the correct temperature there.