Heating controls are continuously evolving, especially since being recognised in Part L of the Building Regulations for their role in delivering energy efficiency and lower fuel bills. Heating engineers need to pass advice on to their customers about how they can save money by using heating controls effectively – and how this can help installers’ businesses to grow.
While installers’ priorities will be predominantly focused on encouraging customers to have an efficient new boiler fitted, they should also be advising that getting modern heating controls installed (and using them effectively) can help to cut energy use by an extra 18%.
In fact, the two go together hand in hand: as boiler technology continues to advance, so too does that employed in the controls that make up central heating systems. Indeed, the Building Regulations outline a number of recommended minimum standards for controls, including automatically turning off heating when it is not required.
Controls should also avoid overheating unoccupied areas of premises and prevent stored hot water from being hotter than it needs to be. As a result, any controls installed must allow users to set times and temperature to suit a building’s heating requirements.
With comfortable indoor temperatures and energy efficiency high on end users’ agendas, modulating room thermostats have a key role to play when upgrading existing heating systems. These controls enable boiler outputs to be adjusted in order to keep temperatures to within 0.1°C of a set level, flattening peaks and troughs in the system while simultaneously optimising efficiency.
They also prevent unnecessary running of the heating system – such as times when a property is empty during the day. Furthermore, without the provision of a room thermostat, some boilers may cycle continuously, not only wasting fuel and increasing costs, but also causing unnecessary wear and tear on the appliance. Installers should be sure to make customers aware that reducing room thermostat temperatures by 1°C can result in savings of up to ten per cent on their heating bills.