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Central Heating Controls & Thermostat Guide

Central heating controls include room thermostats, central heating programmers, central heating time switches, motorised valves, thermostatic radiator valves and more. Central heating controls can permit total control of your home’s central heating system. Easy to install and simple to use, central heating controls can be configured to control the temperature of each room independently and control when the water is to be heated, any time of the day, any day of the week.

Central heating controls are as equally important as your boiler because central heating controls decide how efficient your central heating will be overall. The right combination of heating controls and SEDBUK boiler will compliment each other to help reduce the amount of fuel your home consumes essentially lowering your monthly heating bills. Equally, by choosing the incorrect components / incorrectly matching your central heating components you will not be using your boiler at its full potential and could be spending more on your heating bills then you need to. With the right boiler, central heating programmer, room thermostat configured correctly you can efficiently use the smallest amount of heat necessary to heat your home which will use the smallest amount of fuel possible saving you money on fuel costs each and every day.

Programmers & Time Switches

A Central Heating Programmer / Central Heating Timer Switch will allow you to control when the heating and hot water should be switched ‘On’ and ‘Off’, therefore allowing you to only heat your home and hot water as and when necessary, which of course will save energy and lower fuel costs. Central Heating Programmers are available as a Single Channel Central Heating Programmer, which only allows single control of the heating or hot water or a Twin Channel Central Heating Programmer, which enables separate control for heating and hot water.

Central Heating Programmers can provide 24 Hour settings for any day of the week or for weekdays and weekends only, depending on which type of Central Heating Programmer system:

5/2 Day Central Heating Programmer – enable differing settings for weekdays and weekends.

7 Day Central Heating Programmer – enable differing settings for every day of the week.

Room Thermostats

A Central Heating Thermostat measures the air temperature around itself, which enables the Room Thermostat to regulate the heating system to consistently maintain the desired temperature. So when the temperature falls below the setting, the thermostat switches on the central heating and once the desired temperature is reached it switches it off again. Room Thermostats should ideally be installed in a colder area of the house, i.e. in a hallway near to a front door. It is important not to fit a room thermostat close to another heat source like a radiator or gas or electric fire as this will affect the performance. It is also worth noting that it is recommended that a thermostatic radiator valve should not be fitted in a room with a room thermostat. A Room Thermostat will only work when a central heating programmer or timer switch is turned on.

For optimum energy-saving results, a Room Thermostat should be installed in the coldest room and the TRVs should be installed in every other room containing a radiator.

Programmable Room Thermostats

A Programmable Room Thermostat is a Room Thermostat and Central Heating Programmer combined into one component. Programmable Room Thermostats, therefore, work in the same way as a regular Room Thermostat and Central Heating Programmer, except the controls for both time and temperature, can be controlled from one unit. You can program your heating and hot water to switch on and off at independently varying times of the day, and also set the temperature at which you want your rooms heated.

Cylinder Thermostats

A Cylinder Thermostat operates in the same way as a Room Thermostat, except that instead of controlling the central heating, the Cylinder Thermostat keeps a constant check on the temperature of the water in the hot water cylinder. The Cylinder Thermostat will switch the boiler on and off, in order to maintain the required water temperature. When the desired temperature is reached, the boiler will then rest if no other control is calling for heat, until some hot water is used, or the cylinder cools down naturally.

Wireless Central Heating Controls

Wireless Central Heating Controls are generally required if your boiler is sited in an area that isn’t easily accessible, e.g. loft areas or garages. Wireless Central Heating Controls operate in the same way as hard-wired central heating controls, however, they require a separate receiver unit that transmits wireless signals from the main control unit, which is hard-wired to an area within the household. Therefore if your boiler is located in the garage area, you will be able to control it from within the property. The added bonus of using wireless controls means there is no need to chase walls to conceal unsightly cables when retrofitting to a pre-installed system.

For a more advanced controlled heating system, Wireless Central Heating Controls can offer more flexibility to control the temperature in one or more location of your choice. This is generally referred to as zoning, where different rooms within your property can be individually controlled from one central control point. Wireless Central Heating Controls are becoming increasingly more popular as they enable you to upgrade your system, with minimal disruption.

Motorised Valves

Motorised Valves are used to divert the flow of water from the boiler to (a) the direct hot water cylinder (b) the central heating radiators or (c) both. Motorised Valves are available as either 22mm or 28mm valves, which will be established by that of the pipework of your home. Motorised Valves can be used with a Central Heating Programmer to provide zone control, which can change temperatures for different rooms at different times.

A Two Port Motorised Valve has 2 pipe connections (Inlet and Outlet ports) that permit or block flow between the ports depending on whether it is actuated or not. Flow is permitted when the valve is started (usually when the boiler is on) and blocked when the valve is off. Two Port Valves are only designed to control the flow for hot water or central heating, at one time. Two Port valves may also be referred to as Zone Valves.

A Three Port Motorised Valve has 3 ports (one inlet and two outlets) and can divert the water flow to either or both of the outlet ports. This allows one Motorised Valve to control heating and hot water, instead of two separate Two Port Motorised Valves. Most Three Port Motorised Valves have a mid-position option which allows the flow to both circuits simultaneously, but some Diverter Valves allow flow to only one or the other at any one time. Three Port Valves are commonly referred to as Mid-Position Valves.