Central Heating Controls: A Guide To Using Your Boiler

centeral heating control

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Understanding how central heating controls work can save you money and prevent repairs. Even though it might seem complicated, it’s actually quite simple. You might wonder why you have different thermostats. But they work together to keep your home comfortable.

In this detailed guide, we’ll explain how central heating and these controls work, with tips for saving energy and cutting costs.

Boiler Controls Explained

Central heating controls, also called boiler controls, help you control the heating in your home. They include programmers, timers, and thermostats, etc. Moreover, these devices help save energy and money. Now, to manage your home’s temperature, you need these controls. So firstly, figure out what controls you have or want.

Most boilers have a room thermostat, and radiators have TRVs. So how you use these controls depends on the type and model. Moreover, you can find instructions in the manual.

Boiler Thermostats

Firstly, boiler thermostats control how hot the water is in your heating system. You can also change the temperature to what you like. For instance, for energy savings, you can set it to minimum or low, around 50°C. But, this is good for warmer times when you don’t need much heat. Moreover, for quick warmth, set it to maximum or high, over 80°C. This helps heat up your radiators fast, especially in winter. Additionally, you can use a boiler timer to heat water or radiators at specific times.

Smart Thermostats

So are you looking for a clever way to heat your home? Well, new smart thermostats for boiler controls are super advanced. With ones like Hive, you can control them using your phone. Moreover, some even learn your habits to heat your place without you doing anything. They use the internet and motion sensors to save energy and cash.

Room Thermostats

Room thermostats are another way to control heating in your home. They measure the air temperature and tell the heating system when to turn on or off. Moreover, there are different kinds of room thermostats. Some are on the wall, away from direct sunlight or radiators, so they can sense the room’s temperature accurately. Others connect to the boiler, while some are wireless and run on batteries.

Next, there are mechanical thermostats that are old-fashioned. Plus, they may not be very accurate. They use metal strips or gas to work. But, digital thermostats, on the other hand, have electronic displays and are more precise. So always make a better choice in your best interests.

Boiler Programmers

Boiler programmers help you decide when your heating works. You can make a timetable for heating and hot water.

There are different kinds of programmers for boiler controls. Some let you change settings daily, while others are the same every day. What’s more, you can get digital ones with a clock or old-fashioned ones like a room thermostat.

Wireless programmers can go anywhere in your house, so they’re easy to use and update. Plus, you don’t have to install new cables between the programmer and boiler for updates.

Compensation Controls

Some central heating systems have compensation controls. These are also important tools for boiler controls. Moreover, they save your energy and can be managed with a smartphone or thermostat. Load compensation controls change how much heat goes to each radiator. So when a room warms up, they lower the heat to keep things comfy.

Other compensation controls check the weather outside. They use outdoor sensors to adjust the boiler. So if it gets colder outside, the thermostat makes it warmer inside.

Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs)

Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) help control the temperature in each room. They’re attached to every radiator in your home. Furthermore, TRVs are good for saving energy because they stop too much hot water from flowing, which stops too much heat. But remember, TRVs don’t control the boiler; they only control how much hot water goes into a radiator.

How to use Smart Central Heating Controls?


Firstly, find your room thermostat. This is usually on a wall in a central location. It has a dial or buttons to set your desired temperature. The higher the number, the warmer your home will be. Next, locate your boiler timer. This box or panel controls when your heating turns on and off. Now, look for dials or buttons with numbers or clock symbols. These let you set heating schedules for different times of the day. Here’s a tip. Set the timer so your heating comes on before you wake up or get home in the evening.

Finally, some thermostats have a separate hot water control. This allows you to set a schedule for hot water usage, independent of the heating. It’s helpful to have hot water readily available in the mornings and evenings, but you can turn it off during the day to save on energy bills.

Tips for Saving Money while using Boiler Controls

To save money and use your boiler controls better, follow these tips:

Firstly, keep your room thermostat away from the boiler and radiators, and make sure it’s not blocked. Secondly, set your boiler to turn on in the morning and evening, not during the day. Also, remember to keep your hot water temperature above 60°C to stay safe from Legionnaires’ disease.

In fact, lowering your heating by just 1°C can save you around £80-85 per year. Set your TRVs to 3, but for bedrooms, use 2. Moreover, keep your room thermostat between 19-20°C, especially if you have older people at home, but don’t let it go below 16°C.

Lastly, if your boiler is having problems, we can help you replace it with a new one. We are experts in free boiler grants. Just enter your postcode here and we’ll be in touch with you.

What are Central Heating Control costs in the UK?

Well, prices of boiler controls vary depending on the type of boiler brand and warranty. Firstly, a basic thermostat with a dial might set you back £20-£50. But if you want more advanced features like scheduling or smartphone control, prices can be even higher. Moreover, smart thermostats range from £50-£250. Next, the costs of basic room thermostats start at around £15. On top of that, wireless ones cost £30-£60. However, these are just starting points. So, consider features, brand, and warranty when shopping for your perfect heating control system.

Now, take a look at the table below to get a general idea about the costs of central heating controls.


Brand Examples

Price Range (Approx.)

Warranty (Typical)

Boiler Thermostat (Basic)

Honeywell, Drayton

£20 – £50

1 year

Boiler Thermostat (Programmable)

Nest (Learning Thermostat E), Hive Heating Thermostat

£30 – £80

2 years

Smart Thermostat (Basic)

Tado Smart Thermostat, Netatmo Thermostat

£50 – £120

2 years

Smart Thermostat (Advanced)

Nest Learning Thermostat, Hive Active Heating 2

£100 – £250

2-3 years

Room Thermostat (Basic)

Salus, Drayton

£15 – £30

1 year

Room Thermostat (Wireless)

Honeywell Rondostat, Hive Wireless Thermostat

£30 – £60

1-2 years

Boiler Programmer (Basic)

Horstmann Centaur Plus, Honeywell CM907

£20 – £50

1 year

Boiler Programmer (Digital)

Drayton DialTM Programmer, Honeywell Programmer (Wireless)

£30 – £80

2 years

Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV – Single)

Drayton TRV4, Myson TRV

£10 – £30

1-2 years

Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV – Multipack)

Honeywell (pack of 5), Drayton TRV4 (pack of 4)

£20 – £80

1-2 years


In conclusion, knowing how to use your boiler controls well is crucial for making your boiler work best. Without a doubt, boiler thermostats, programmers, radiator valves, etc play a crucial role in your central heating system. But before buying anything, always compare costs. These costs vary based on brand and warranty. Moreover, never forget good manufacturing quality. On top of that, the location of these central heating controls is critically important. Also, you should know where you put them, when you schedule them, and what temperature you set them at. Whether it’s adjusting for seasons or fixing problems, you must have basic information. So, with these tips, you can stay warm and save money all year round.

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