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Setting up your heating and hot water

Ensuring your home is as cosy as possible means keeping it at a comfortable temperature and having hot water at the turn of a tap. A bit of background knowledge about your central heating will help it run efficiently, save you money and give it a long life.

How your heating system works

Your new home has a heating and hot water system that normally includes a boiler, radiators, pump and controls. Water heated by the boiler passes through pipes, concealed in walls and under floors, to the radiators and taps.

Types of central heating system

The main types of system use either a conventional boiler or a combi boiler, though some homes may have district heating. If you’re not sure what kind of system you have, you can find out in our what kind of heating do I have guide.

Conventional boiler system

In a conventional boiler system, water heated by the boiler is stored in a pressurised tank or ‘cylinder’, from where it is piped around your home as needed. The cylinder thermostat can be used to adjust the water temperature.

Conventional boiler

Combi boiler system

Combi boilers don’t have a cylinder. The boiler is fed directly from the mains cold water supply. Water is heated on demand and piped around your home as needed. A control on the boiler allows you to set the water temperature.

Combi boiler

District heating

This brings steam or hot water from an outside energy source into your home. You’ll have a small unit (or heat interface unit/HIU) in your kitchen that can be used like a boiler.

Programming your heating system

Watch this video guide for a clear and easy overview on how to set your heating and hot water programmer.

Controlling your heating

Zoned central heating

Zoned central heating means you can set different temperatures in separate parts of your home, or have the heating set to come on at different times in different areas, to suit your lifestyle. In larger homes where this is fitted you’ll find two separate programmers on walls in different areas of the house.

Heating control panel

Thermostats

You can regulate the temperature of your home’s central heating by using wall-mounted thermostats.

Once your thermostat is set it will activate your radiators, allowing you to regulate the temperature in each room using the thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs).

Radiators

Another way to regulate the temperature in specific areas of your home is with the thermostatic valves on your radiators. These will only be found in rooms that don’t have a wall thermostat.

By using TRVs you can control the temperature of individual radiators.

TRV

TRVs are attached to the side of the radiator and alter the flow of hot water depending on the room’s temperature.

 To set your TRV:

  • Set your thermostat to the required temperature.
  • The TRV will be numbered one to five, with one being the coolest setting and five the hottest. It’s best to set most of your TRVs to three, but set your bedrooms at two.
  • There will also be a frost setting, marked ‘*’. When this is set the valve will automatically open when the surrounding temperature drops to 7C.
  • Let your whole house warm up for an hour and then check the temperatures in each room. You can adjust the TVRs up or down to suit.
  • If you want a room to heat up fast it’s best to turn up the TRV in that room, but if you want it to get generally warmer turn your thermostat up.
  • Always ensure radiators are not blocked by curtains or furniture, as this will affect their performance.
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