A wet central heating system that is a system with boiler and radiators is the most common form of heating in the UK. A gas boiler heats up water that is pumped through pipe work to radiators throughout the house. It will also heat hot water in a cylinder or instantly through a combi boiler.
When upgrading your boiler or central heating system it's also important to upgrade or improve your controls as this will aid efficiency of the system and help reduce you fuel bills. If you have a system like this, you have plenty of options for energy-saving improvements:
- Thermostatic Radiator Valves. These valves will automatically turn the radiator temperature up or down depending on the room temperature. The valves are designed to provide a steady room temperature without wasting energy through overheating or overcooling. If you leave the valve set at No.3 for example, it will keep the room temperature at about 18 - 20 degrees which is comfortable for most people. If the room is warmer than 20 degrees, the radiator will cool down as the thermostat closes. In rooms which get solar gain from the sun the thermostat will sense this and close the valve as the room is up to temperature. If you decide the room is too warm or not warm enough, try adjusting the valve setting by just one point at a time and then leave it for an hour or so until the room temperature stabilises at the new setting. Try to avoid turning the valve to maximum or minimum as this will prevent it from working properly. If a room has several radiators, all the valves should be set to the same number
- The Timer or Programmer decides when the boiler is to come on. A reasonably well insulated home can be left to cool down slowly with the central heating set to come on an hour or so before people return home from work or get up in the morning. Most modern timers allow for three on and off periods every 24 hours and separate programmes for Monday Friday and separate programmes for weekends. A seven day timer is another useful addition if you have varying hours at home and business it will allow different patterns for each day of the week.
- Cylinder Thermostats are thermostats fitted on the hot water tank this is usually strapped to the outside fairly near the bottom. This controls the domestic hot water temperature. Normally these are set at around 60 degrees Celsius. If the timer is telling the boiler to come on however no hot water has been used all day if the water is up to temperature the thermostat will sense this and the boiler will not fire up. A lot of older systems were gravity fed and did not have these fitted, it's a very simple device which can reduce energy bills. There are now also remote frequency models available which do not require a cable running from the boiler to hot water tank, this was another reason many were not fitted as there was difficulty or upheaval in trying to run and lay cables.
- Room Thermostats are best located in a living room, rather than the hall, as is commonly done. The hall temperature can be affected by the front door being opened allowing cold air in and giving false readings to the thermostat. The thermostat records the home's temperature and if it is at or above the set level usually around 21 degrees Celsius stops the boiler from operating the central heating.
- Programmable Room Thermostat is a device commonly used with combi boilers. These boilers don't require a timer for heating and hot water as the water heats instantly when the tap is opened. This device is a timer for the radiators and room thermostat all in one. Usually they have 6 time and temperature parameters every 24 hours.
- Outside Weather Temperature Compensating Controls. These measure the temperature externally, and delay switching on the central heating on milder days. Some of these are more sophisticated and combine several of the functions above and can also learn how long it takes for a house to heat up in different weather conditions. These usually allow for different internal temperatures to be set between day and night, and may be combined with a frost feature that will switch the heating on in an "off" period if the temperature falls below a set level. They give the very best control over central heating, although they cost somewhat more than normal controls.
- Electronic zoning valves. Zoning is standard practice on all new central heating systems and is required by the current Building Regulations. This means each floor of the house can be individually controlled for time and temperature. To adapt your existing central heating system would entail fitting motorised valves to the pipe work feeding the different areas and then each motorised valve would be controlled by room thermostats.
- A Frost Thermostat is in fact a room stat with the required temperature set at value 5°C and wired such a way that it can turn on the boiler and pump even if the central heating system is switched off. It will save the boiler and pipe work from freezing and frost damage.
- Central Heating Filters help keep central heating pipes clean and free from sludge, prolonging the life of your system. When it comes to protecting and maintaining both new and existing central heating systems MagnaClean are market leaders. They manufacture filters with Effective magnetic and efficient non-magnetic filtration. Immediate results & system protection cutting heating energy bills by up to 6% a year
- Chemical Cleansers & Inhibitors in central heating systems can help maintain their efficiency. Sludge and carbon deposits in older heating systems can cause a reduction in the effectiveness of the radiators, causing cold spots and uneven heat distribution. The build-up of scale in heating circuits and on boiler components can cause a reduction in efficiency too. Using a quality chemical cleanser & inhibitor can decrease the system and prevent the build-up of sludge and scale preventing system deterioration and helping to maintain efficiency. Typically, it can increase boiler efficiency by around 3%.
As you will have read in the above information by adding controls, thermostats and extras like filters can greatly prolong the life of your boiler, reduce your fuel bills and carbon footprint. Our engineer's will be able to show you how to set the system for optimum comfort minimum fuel usage.
Our advanced control options also help to ensure that the system can be turned on and off automatically to fit in with your lifestyle, whilst minimising energy costs.
Contact us today to discuss your heating requirements.