Boiler controls explained

Every central heating system needs controllers to keep things ticking over. And there is a broad range of controls available on the market, that all give a variety of options to allow you to manage temperature, set up timing, and track your energy consumption. In this guide, we’re going to explain each of the different types of boiler controls and outline what they actually do. Read on to find out more!

Explaining the boiler thermostat

Let’s start at the source of all your home’s heat – the boiler. The thermostat on your boiler is like a master control for keeping all the water that flows through your system at the correct temperature. The heating of everything, from the radiators through to your tap water, is controlled from here, and the temperature can be changed as and when you see fit.

As a rough guide, most households use ‘low’ or ‘min’ settings during the warm, summer months. It gives you warm water, is highly efficient, and means you won’t scald yourself on boiling pipes. In winter, however, most households use the ‘high’ or ‘max’ settings. The higher temperature means that you can heat your home faster when it’s cold, and also enjoy warmer showers and baths – but watch out for scalding!

Explaining the room thermostat

Next up, let’s take a look at the room thermostat. It’s usually found at the midpoint of your home – possibly in a hallway or landing. The room thermostat will send messages to your boiler to turn on or off when the temperature hits a certain level. Most heating efficiency experts will tell you that the best temperature to leave your room thermostat is around 19-20 degrees, although this can vary from home to home.

Introducing the cylinder thermostat

Not every central heating system has a cylinder thermostat – they are usually only found in homes that have a hot water cylinder. They work in a similar way to a room thermostat, in that they will regulate the temperature of your water. This particular thermostat is best kept at a temperature of 60-65 degrees, to ensure that you won’t suffer from scalding, but still kill off the vast majority of bugs and bacteria when washing.

Timer and programmer

Finally, let’s take a look at the timer and programmer. This allows you to set the maximum and minimum temperatures as you see fit, and put the heating and/or water on a timer to come on when you need it. A lot of people struggle to get to grips with their controllers these days, but once you understand how to use them, it’s remarkably easy to get a tight grip on your heating.

Some of the more advanced models have all kinds of features and will allow you to drill down to create different settings for every day. Plus, of course, all timers will also include a manual configuration, that puts your heating on immediately if you are feeling the cold outside of your usual timings. Using your timer and programmer correctly is a big part of ensuring you don’t overspend your heating bill – so it’s well worth getting to grips with is as soon as possible!