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Central Heating


morddwyd

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As the temperature starts to drop (or remains obstinately low!) this time of the year, one sees references, including sometimes on this fotum, from people "having to turn on the central heating" and so on.

I am at a bit of a loss here.

There is obviously a reason why they do not wish to rely on a thermostat, but I can't think what it is.

My central heating hasn't been off for the annual service since we last went on holiday three years ago, apart from service visits.

I could understand it in the old days of coal fires when the first lighting was final sign of autumn, but why with CH?

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Forum Editor

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carver

"*every radiator in our house bar one has it's own thermostatic control and the boiler also has it's own thermostat. So if a room that isn't being used drops in temperature it would start the boiler up*".

No, it wouldn't. Thermostatic radiator valves don't (and can't) operate the boiler, only a programmer can do that. A thermostatic radiator valve senses its local temperature, and opens or closes accordingly. What you do when you set a thermostatic valve is limit the amount of heat that the valve will allow the radiator to pass into the room. Set the valve high and it will stay open longer, allowing the room to become warmer. Turn it to a low setting and it will allow less heat to pass into the room before reducing the flow through the radiator, thus keeping the room cooler.

The boiler will know nothing of this - it will continue to fire as long as the programmer says it can, and the room thermostat (usually in a hallway) calls for heat. A boiler's own internal thermostat operates rather like a radiator valve. It will turn the boiler off if the water inside it exceeds the temperature it's set at. Its main purpose is to act as an overheat sensor that shuts the boiler down in case of a problem - it's not advisable to try to run a central heating system using only the boiler's own thermostat. A thermal cut-out button has to be pressed to reset the system each time the boiler's overheat sensor operates.

A boiler will still operate when a room-stat tells it to, regardless of whether you have thermostatic radiator valves fitted, but if they are fitted you'll use less fuel - the system cycle more efficiently. That's the reason that the building regulations now require that on all new heating installations TRVs are fitted to all radiators except the one in the room where the room-stat is fitted.

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Aitchbee

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My 20 mature tomato plants need a bit of heat. Can I bring them indoors to redden them up?

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BRYNIT

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morddwyd

The reason I think some people turn the central heating off in summer is because they don't know what a room thermostat is, or how it works.

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Aitchbee

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I use the cold water tap for washing my hands ...my gas bills are acceptable.

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morddwyd

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BRYNIT

Possibly the most plausible answer yet.

Thank you.

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morddwyd

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"Morddwyd has said he has it on for about an hour in the morning and an hour at nightime."

Sorry, it was obviously not clear enough.

Yes I have the timer set to switch it on in the morning and evening, but it will only actually come on if it is cold enough (using a thermostat).

The stat is set to about 45, which is really quite cool.

We don't normally get it kicking in until about November time.

I must confess I do cheat sometimes as I have the facility to put it on for a one hour "boost" period, but I use this very rarely , perhaps once or twice a year.

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Aitchbee

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I live in a second floor flat - so, I get the heating benefits of the flat below ( and the flat above), I can't complain too much.

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interzone55

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Many central heating systems have a wireless controller, so you can keep it in the room that is occupied, if the temperature in that room drops down the heating will kick in.

I've never understood why installers used to place the thermostat in the hall way, every time the front door is opened a blast of cold air hits the thermostat, potentially causing it to kick in.

As for pipes freezing if you leave the heating off in winter, that's a real problem where I live, as many people around here are retired, so spend the winter in Spain or Southern France. To stop the burst heating pipes problem many people lace the boiler water with anti-freeze, they also tip a load of anti-freeze down the toilet and drains, as our neighbour's toilet cracked last winter while they were away...

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Forum Editor

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"I've never understood why installers used to place the thermostat in the hall way"

For a very good reason. If you put a room stat in a warm room it will read the temperature there, and may not fire the boiler, even though other rooms in the house may need heat.

Placing a room stat in a hallway means that it is reading from what is almost always the coolest area in the house. Radiators in other rooms can be balanced (by using the check-shield valve) so that they lose a consistent amount of heat into the room. That way the entire system can be balanced, so all rooms are warmed, and the hallway thermostat should keep the boiler cycling properly.

Modern installations with thermostatic radiator valves make the whole process much easier, but it is still good practice to place the room stat in the hallway, whether it's a wireless type or not. If you just want to heat one room you could take the wireless stat in there, but that would be rather pointless - you could achieve the same result by simply turning the other radiator valves down, or off completely.

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woodchip

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As above thermostat will not turn a Boiler on unless the Programmer is set to be on, or is set to on all the time. It will then react to a Thermostat

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