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Heating your home

Heating controls

Benefits

  • Take control of your heating
  • Keep your home warm
  • Save money on your energy bills

Heating controls help you keep your home comfortably warm, without over-heating and wasting energy. By installing and using your heating controls effectively, you could save money on your heating bills and lower your carbon emissions.

What are heating controls?

Heating controls is a broad term covering timers, thermostats and plumbing and electronic components, which help manage when the heating should be on and what temperature your rooms should be.

Heating controls range from traditional mechanical styles that are set manually, to internet-connected controls that learn your habits and adjust settings automatically.

Heating controls are improving all the time, helping us to control the heat in our homes. However, research shows that few people really understand their controls and many simply just don’t use them.

What heating controls should I have?

Central heating systems, such as boilers and heat pumps, should as a minimum include a programmer (time control), at least one room thermostat and, if you have radiators, thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs). Systems with a hot water cylinder should also include a cylinder thermostat.

Aside from these core elements, there are many additional control functions that can be included in a modern heating system to make it easier to operate it effectively and efficiently.

If you have electric storage heaters read our guide on electric heating for information about your controls.

You can upgrade or install heating controls without replacing your boiler. You should consider new heating controls if you don’t have a programmer, at least one room thermostat or TRVs on your radiators. Modern room thermostats, for example, have more accurate temperature sensors, and many smart controls include additional energy saving functions.

How do I use my heating controls?

There are lots of different types of heating controls, so for specific advice, it’s good to check with your installer or read the manufacturer’s manual. If you don’t have a copy of the manual handy, these can often be found online by searching for the manufacturer’s name. We’ve listed some common functions below.

How to set your heating controls to reduce energy use

Make sure you’re using your room thermostats and radiator TRVs in the most energy efficient way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your energy bills. Watch this video to find out how:

How to use your boiler heating system efficiently

Make sure you’re using your boiler heater system correctly to get the most out of it. This video shows you how:

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Last updated: 6 April 2022