“What difference do controls make?”; “What are the best types?”
Controls have come a long way in the past ten years and they afford an excellent way to improve comfort conditions and save energy.
Controls have two primary functions:
- Deciding when the heating system comes on and goes off. It is a good idea (and a requirement for new installations) to divide the house into zones (eg living areas and bedrooms) and to have separate timeclock control over each zone.
- Maintaining a pleasant comfort level in the rooms. The most cost effective way of achieving this is by fitting thermostatic valves to radiators. These valves automatically regulate the radiator heat output to provide a constant temperature in the room.
It’s generally much cheaper and more CO2 friendly for your boiler to provide your hot water needs instead of using an electrical immersion. Most modern boilers can supply heat to the hot water cylinder and the space heating circuit (e.g. radiators) independently. This means that when you need hot water in warmer weather your boiler does this without having to heat the radiators at the same time.
Where possible it is desirable to have independent control over space and water heating. And now, with the Better Energy Homes scheme, you could even get a grant to help cover the cost of upgrading your heating controls. (See: www.seai.ie/Betterenergyhomes)