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Central Heating Control Systems Guide

Control Systems

Controlling your heating and hot water system is a good way of saving money on energy bills and increasing the comfort of your home.

There are a few different ways of controlling the system you have installed; controls can also be retrofitted to an existing system to save renewing expensive parts. Below are some simple explanations of which controls are on offer and what they do:

Room Thermostats

This is a wall mounted device, which can be wired or wireless. It should be mounted around 1.5m off the floor to get a good temperature reading. It detects the temperature in the said area, all the time the temperature is below the required temperature it will keep the boiler on to heat the radiators.

Once the set temperature is reached the room thermostat switches off the boiler. To get a good comfort level the room thermostat should be mounted in a cooler area of the house, normally the hallway for example.


A programmer can be useful for houses with all types of systems. They enable control of when hot water is heated, or when the property is heated.

Giving you control to switch on the heating an hour before you get up, or get home from work should you wish. A programmer can help save energy by not having the boiler on constantly and only being used when it's actually needed. Some programmers have more in depth control actions, holiday modes for example so the system stays idle for the set days you are away.

We fit programmers as standard on our combination boiler installations and system boiler installations.

Zone valves

These are installed as part of a system where a boiler and hot water cylinder are present. The zone valves are there to control when heat from the boiler goes to the heating circuit or the hot water cylinder.

There are 2 common systems; one called S-plan which includes 2 motorised valves, one controls the heating and the other controls the hot water.

The other system is the Y-plan; this includes one motorised valve which has one supply and two outputs in the shape of a T. This one valve controls the hot water and heating circuits at the same time, these are normally recommended for smaller properties.

Weather Compensation

Weather compensation can offer fuel saving benefits by taking into account the outside temperature and reducing the boiler heat output accordingly.

Taking readings for outdoor and indoor temperatures plus the flow temperature of the boiler. Using these three figures it can adjust the heat requirement/output to heat the house up to the required temperature as efficiently as possible, or known as a 'heat curve'.

Well insulated properties can have flow temperatures from the boiler at around 40-50deg, thus keeping the boiler in condensing mode for much longer; its most efficient combustion scenario. This helps reduce energy costs, increases comfort and reduces the need to keep fiddling with controls!