Central Heating Controls - Important Partners for your Boiler
A quality boiler will serve you for years and years. However, choosing the right boiler controls can make a dramatic difference to a central heating system’s performance and efficiency, and can be the difference between a hard working (inefficient) system and a well balanced (efficient) system giving you a warm home at a reasonable cost.
Combi boilers, which are of the pre-packed boilers type, can normally be grouped into three groups. The first group is pre-fitted with a standard timer that cannot be changed. Another group can be fitted with plug-in timer. The last group cannot be fitted with a fascia mounted timer and can only accept remotely mounted controls.
It is imperative to find the right heating controls that meet the demand of the boiler, the central heating system and the home occupiers. Specifying appropriate controls is as important as specifying the right boiler for the job. All new boilers require controls at a minimum level to be installed alongside.
The controls manage the temperature and operation of the boiler and the central heating system. Typical setup controls the room temperature and the hot water temperature, while a combi boiler setup normally has controls for the room temperature only. In addition, TRV (Thermostatic Radiator Valves) control the temperature of the heating within each room by adjusting the heat provided by each individual radiator.
There are several levels of flexibility in matching the controls to the unique boiler and the unique circumstances of the home occupiers. Some boilers come with pre-installed controls on their facia, while other boilers accept external controls.
It is recommended to evaluate where the boiler is planned to be positioned within the home before choosing a facia mounted controls. If the boiler is located in a difficult to access location (airing cupboard or in the loft), it would be difficult o access the boiler’s controls and operate the boiler properly, compared to a boiler that is located in the kitchen.
In case of a difficult-to-access boiler location, it would wise to choose a boiler that accepts external range of controls and plug in timers.
It is important to check that your choice of boiler can accept an optional timer. Some boilers accept optional controls that plug into the fascia panel and the PCB using an RF signal to transfer the room temperature to the boiler from an external room thermostat. Other controls may require physical wiring across the room into the boiler, which would lead to more installation work and additional wiring and potential nuisance to the occupiers during the installation stage.
This page has been written with contributions from experienced heating engineers from Berkshire and heating engineers from Bolton. Several of the company's experienced plumbers from Buckinghamshire have worked on similar issues as well as some of our Gas Safe engineers from Bushey and our Highgate plumbing and heating engineers.
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