How to use your heating controls

Did you know that over 70% of your energy bills are made up of heating your home and hot water? Its really important you know how to get the best out of your central heating and hot water system to reduce your energy bills and save money.

Using your programmers efficiently

image of a mechanical boiler prgrammer There are 2 types of programmers, a mechanical timer or a digital timer. They both do the same job, which is to tell your heating system when to come on and off.

It takes approximately half an hour for your home to heat up or cool down, so its a good idea to set your programmer to come on half an hour before you want your home to be warm and to go off half an hour before you go to bed in the evening.

If you are out of the home all day, don’t leave the heating or hot water on as this is a waste of energy and will just cost you more on your fuel bills. Set your programmer to come on when you are in during the day or due to return.

You can download these documents which explain in more detail how to use your mechanical and digital programmer:

How to use your Mechinical Programmer [docx] 315KB

How to use your digital programmer [docx] 124KB

How to use your storage heaters

image of storage heater showing input and output Storage heaters have two basic controls:

  • an input 
  • an output

Your storage heater stores heat overnight using cheap electricity (input) and releases this heat slowly during the next day (output).

So if you are expecting cold weather - turn the input to MAX.

If you are expecting warmer weather - turn the input to MIN.

If you are running out of heat half-way through the day, you can turn down the output dial and this will slow down the release of heat making it last longer into the evening.

This document explains in more detail how to use your storage heater:

How to use your storage heaters [docx] 141KB

Heating your hot water in electric only properties

image of a hot water timer Electrically heated properties use immersion heaters to provide hot water for the following day. They are controlled by a timer which uses cheap rate night time (or off peak) electricity.

You must make sure the clock is set to the right time, ie remember to reset when the clocks go forward or back.

Hot water controllers often have a boost button – this is for emergency use if your hot water runs out as this will use the expensive day-rate or ‘peak’ electricity.

Make sure the timer is set to heat the water overnight because this is when electricity is the cheapest (during the economy seven period.)

You can download this document which explains in more detail how to use your hot water timer:

How to use your hot water timer [docx] 149KB

Using your thermostat

image of a thermostat Your thermostat should be set at a healthy 18 to 21 degrees by turning the dial up or down.

Turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree can save you 10% on your gas bills, that’s about £80 saving per year!

Turning up your thermostat to max when its cold doesn’t heat your home quicker- it just uses more gas!

You can download this document which explains how to use your room thermostat in more detail:

How to use your Room Thermostat [docx] 133KB

How to use your thermostatic radiator valves

image of thermostatic radiator valveYou can control the temperature in each room by adjusting the Thermostatic Radiator Valve.

Save money by turning down radiators in rooms that you don’t use.

You can download this document which explains how to use your Thermostatic Radiator Valve in more detail.

How to use your Thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) [docx] 117KB