Energy Efficiency

In a typical UK household, heating and hot water accounts for around 84% of the total energy use. Given that the cost of energy has increased by nearly 170% in the last decade, it's really important to be as energy efficient as possible to reduce the cost of home heating. One of the best ways to make your home more energy efficient is to install effective heating controls - in fact, you could reduce your energy consumption by up to 53%. Click on the tabs below to find out more about how to make your home more energy efficient.

Homeowner FAQs

Below we have answered your most frequently asked questions about heating systems. However, if you can't find what you are looking for please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Controls Basics

What is the difference between a combi-boiler and a conventional boiler?

A combi-boiler will supply hot water on demand whereas a conventional boiler will come with a hot water tank, which will store the water. Hot water controls will need to be used to provide hot water using a conventional boiler.

What controls should I have in my home?

It is recommend that you have a thermostat for temperature control and a timeswitch or programmer for time control (or alternatively a programmable thermostat). You should also have TRVs, which are essential for zone control e.g. avoiding overheating parts of the house that are unoccupied or need lower temperatures.

Do the controls I need differ for a combi-boiler and conventional boiler?

Yes in some cases. With a conventional boiler you need a two channel control, offering one channel to control the heating and one channel for the hot water. With a combi-boiler you only need single channel control as you only need to control the heating. Thermostats come in versions suitable for both boiler categories, but with time controls a single channel Timeswitch is suitable for a combi-boiler whereas a conventional boiler will require a two channel programmer. With a conventional boiler you will also need a cylinder thermostat, which allows you to control the temperature of the hot water.

Will using controls reduce my bills?

Yes, without a doubt. Using controls correctly can reduce fuel bills by up to 53%.

Thermostat FAQs

What is a room thermostat?

A room thermostat allows you control the temperature in you home.

How does a room thermostat work?

A room thermostat works by sensing the air temperature. It is connected to the boiler so will switch the heating ON when the room temperature falls below the thermostat setting and OFF once the set temperature has been reached.

What temperature should a room thermostat be set at?

The recommended setting for maximising comfort and energy efficiency is 18°C-21°C but it is down to personal preference. We would suggest trying different temperatures until you find the lowest comfortable temperature for your requirements.

Where should the thermostat be located?

Ideally a room thermostat should be central to the house in a room that achieves the required temperature last. They are often located in hallways. Room thermostats need to be placed away from heat sources and should not be covered by curtains or blocked by furniture. If the unit doesn’t have free flowing air around it, it may not operate correctly.

Do I need to have a room thermostat?

A room thermostat is the most basic level of heating control and every house should have one. The other alternative is having a programmable thermostat which controls both the temperature and times of your heating.

Do I need more than one room thermostat?

A room thermostat is designed to control the heating within its Zone. If you have a house under 150sq metres one heating zone (which means one thermostat is adequate). If you house is more than 150Sq metres you need two heating Zones e.g. one upstairs and one downstairs; in this case you will need two thermostats.

What is a programmable room thermostat?

A programmable thermostat not only lets you set the temperature but it also allows you to set different temperatures for different time periods.

What does RF stand for?

RF stands for radio frequency, and wireless devices utilise this in order to operate. They talk to the boiler via radio frequencies rather than being wired.

Should I have a wireless thermostat?

In terms of functionality a wired and wireless thermostat do the same thing. However if your property doesn’t already have a wired thermostat installed, then fitting a wireless system may be the easiest solution. Choosing a wireless device means you don’t have to channel out walls to wire it in therefore making it easier to install with minimal disruption.

What thermostat do I need to use with a Combi-boiler?

Drayton thermostats are available in versions suitable for combi-boilers. We would recommend the miGenie range of internet connected controls for maximum control over heating.

 

Time Controls FAQs

What are time controls?

Time controls are devices that allow you to set when your heating comes on and goes off. They can be programmed so that you never forget to turn your heating off (or on). Time controls work in partnership with your room thermostat. When your time control is on, if the room reaches the set temperature the thermostat will override the time control and turn off your heating. Timeswitches and programmers are both time control devices.

What is a timeswitch?

A timeswitch is a single channel control, used if you have a combination boiler. It allows you to control the times the heating switches on and off. The hot water is supplied on demand.

What is a programmer?

A programmer is a two channel controller, it allows you to control the hot water and central heating separately. Programmers are used with standard boilers rather than combi-boilers.

Can I set different times for different days?

Drayton has a range of time controls that give you different levels of flexibility. Some allow you to set a 24 hour programme that will be repeated on a daily basis, others offer a 5 day/2 day programme which enable you to set different programmes for the week and weekend, and some allow you to a different programme for each day.

What happens to my programmed times when the clocks go back or forward?

Most Drayton time controls will automatically adjust for summer and winter time, making bi-annual adjustments a thing of the past. Check the product pages for more information.

What happens if there is a power cut – do I have to reset the programmes?

Most Drayton time controls have an internal memory, powered by a lifetime battery so even after a power cut it will not need resetting. Check the product pages for more information.

How many timing periods can I have in a day?

With most controls you can set three individual ‘ON, OFF’ times in any 24hr period, but the latest products such as MiTime allow you to set up to four ‘ON, OFF’ times in any 24hr period.

What happens if I want heating on when my time control isn’t set to be on – do I need to reprogramme it every time?

No, the Drayton time controls feature a Boost and Advance button that enables you to override your timer (either way) for 1, 2 or 3 hours or Advance to the next on/off programme.

Is the display always illuminated?

A screen backlight remains on at all times, this uses very little power and allows you to see easily the status of the unit.

Do I need a time control if I have a programmable thermostat?

No, a programmable thermostat controls both temperature and time.

Programmable Thermostat FAQs

What is a programmable thermostat?

A programmable thermostat allows you to control both temperature and time from one device. You can programme different temperatures for different time periods.

What is the difference between a RF and standard programmable thermostat?

RF, standing for radio frequency, is the wireless version. It has the same functions but because it has no wires it is easier to install.

Can I use a programmable thermostat with a combi-boiler?

Yes, the Drayton programmable thermostats are suitable for all types of boilers.

Are they mains or battery operated?

Drayton programmable thermostats are available in either main or battery versions. Check the product pages for more information.

Can I set different times/temperatures for different days?

Drayton programmable thermostats run either a 24 hour cycle which then repeats on a daily basis, or a 5 day/2day programme which allows you to have different settings on weekends and weekdays; or, it has a 7 day programme which gives you the flexibility to customise your programme for each day of the week. The latest products from Drayton offer all three options, making it really easy to tailor your heating schedules to your lifestyle.

What happens to my programmed settings when the clocks go back or forward?

Drayton programmable thermostats will automatically adjust for Summer & Winter time, making bi-annual adjustments a thing of the past.

What happens if there is a power cut – do I have to reset the programmes?

Drayton programmable thermostats have an internal memory, powered by a lifetime battery, so even after a power cut they will not need resetting.

How many timing periods can I have in a day?

On most Drayton programmable thermostats there is a choice of 2, 4 or 6 time/temperature periods in a day, you can simply select your preference. However, if you opt for a miGenie then you can set up to 8 time/temperature periods in a day!

Smart Controls FAQs

What is a smart control or smart thermostat?

A smart thermostat is an internet connected heating control that allows you to manage your home’s temperature and heating schedules from a remote location, using your smartphone, tablet or wearable device such as an Apple Watch.

What can I use a smart control for?

You can use an app on a smartphone, tablet or Apple Watch to turn the heating on or off, and adjust the temperature without needing to be near the home – as long as you have an internet connection.

For instance, if you have gone to work and left the heating on, you are able to remotely switch it off with the touch of a button, allowing for greater freedom and control over the amount of energy you are using.

Can I adjust heating schedules?

It’s really easy to adjust heating schedules on the go using a smart control, which means you can reduce energy consumption by tailoring heating periods to fit in with your lifestyle and routine.

If this routine is disrupted whilst you are away from home, you can make tweaks in order to prevent energy wastage that could occur if schedules are not adjusted, for example if your house is heated with no occupants.

Radiator Control and TRV FAQs

What is radiator control?

Radiator control can be gained using TRVs to control the radiators in your home so that you can vary the temperature in different rooms.

What is a TRV?

A TRV is a Thermostatic Radiator Valve. TRVs are fitted to radiators and used as a type of thermostat to regulate the air temperature in an individual room.

How does a TRV work?

A TRV has six different temperature settings, allowing you to choose how warm you want each individual room. For rooms that are used infrequently – such as a spare bedroom – turn the temperature setting down so you don’t waste energy by heating spaces that aren’t occupied.

Why does my radiator not seem to shut down?

This may be because the radiator is undersized for the room it is fitted in. If this is the case, then the room will never reach a high enough temperature for the valve to shut down. This negates the use of a TRV and so a plumber should be called to establish if the radiator is suited to the room it is in.

My radiator stays hot no matter what setting I set the TRV head to.

This may be a faulty head. Change the suspect head for one you know is working fine. If the radiator shuts off/opens up with the new head on, replace the original TRV. If the radiator still does not shut down, the problem most likely lies at the valve and it will need replacing by a plumber.

My radiator stays cold no matter what setting I set the TRV head to.

This may be a faulty head. Change the suspect head for one you know is working fine. If the radiator shuts off/opens up with the new head on, replace the original TRV. If the radiator still does not warm up, remove the head completely. This should open the valve fully and allow flow through into the radiator. If the radiator still does not warm up, bleed the radiator (in case of an air-lock). If this does not help, and the pipe leading into the valve is hot, then it may be a problem with the valve itself and so it should be replaced.

What are the temperatures in relation the numbers on the TRV4 head?

Setting                  TRV 4 °C               RT414 °C              RT212 °C

*                           7.1 – 9.1               6.3 – 8.3               9.7 – 11.7

1                           11.1 – 13.1           9.7 – 11.7             13 – 15

2                           15 - 17                 13 – 15                 16.4 – 18.4

3                           19 – 21.01            16.4 – 18.4            19.7 – 21.7

4                           22.9 – 24.9           19.7 – 21.7            23 – 25

5                           26.8 – 28.8           23 – 25                  26.4 – 28.4

MAX                      30.8 – 32.8           26.4 – 28.4            29.7 – 31.7

My TRVs / radiators are making a banging noise – how do I solve this?

Banging or hammering in a system is caused by excess pressure or water turbulence in a system rapidly lifting and shutting the valve seat. If this is happening it would be advisable to get a qualified heating engineer to take a look at your system.

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