How to Use Central Heating Thermostat For The Best Energy Efficiency

James Elston
Written by James Elston
Updated on 4th December 2023
Posted on 30th November 2023
How to Use Central Heating Thermostat For The Best Energy Efficiency

How to use a central heating thermostat to make your home energy efficient

Are you wondering how to use your central heating controls and how to use your central heating thermostat? Thermostats control most types of boilers.

If the answers to the above are yes, then you are reading the right guide.

How to Use Central Heating Thermostat?

We all need to know how to use a thermostat so we can run our homes efficiently and comfortably.

The central heating thermostats enable you to set temperatures differently in each room to suit your needs and to keep fuel bills low.

Once you are happy, make sure you read our guide on setting the best heating schedule for all seasons.

Using A Thermostat For Central Heating

If you are unsure what the temperature should be in each room to have a healthy and comfortable home you can read our other guide here.

The thermostats in your boiler replacement not only make it easier to use but also help to utilise the boiler accurately and efficiently

Each central heating room thermostat reduces your energy bills dramatically.

Controlling temperature and time is a crucial factor in the central heating system.

However, there is a lot of confusion among people, about how to use a central heating thermostat, and it is because of several types and models are available on the market.


Room Thermostats for Central Heating:

  • Digital central heating thermostat
  • Smart thermostat to control heating from your smartphone
  • Boiler room thermostats with a dial
  • Built-in boiler thermostats
  • Thermostatic radiator valves
  • Boiler thermostats with timers

Below we will discuss all you need to know about boiler thermostats and why you need to use them efficiently.


How do Heating Thermostats Work?

First things first, how does the thermostat for your boiler work?

The thermometer is what we use to see the temperature, but the thermostat controls the central heating, which shows on the thermometer. Without the thermostat, you wouldn’t be able to manage your temperature at certain times of the day.

How to Use Central Heating Thermostat?

With a thermostat, you can set what temperature you would like, if the temperature drops in your home because of the outside weather or other reasons the thermostat comes back on to heat your home.

Once the temperature is back to the desired level, the thermostat works to turn the heating off, so it doesn’t become too hot. Therefore no heating is being wasted, and there are no extra fuel charges for no reason.

The boiler thermostat is crucial, whether it is a central heating wall thermostat, digital thermostat for central heating or the best smart thermostat.


How do Room Thermostats Connect?

  • Some connect with the boiler by wires.
  • Some thermostats run with batteries and are wireless.
  • Smart thermostats memorise your routine and adapt to your needs.
  • Programmable heating thermostats follow a routine. They go on and off at set times as and when they are scheduled to do so.

Don’t confuse your boiler timer with a digital thermostat, they are two different things. A boiler timer is a mechanical device with pins usually and the boiler timer not working is different to the time set on your digital thermostat not working properly.

How to Set up a New Thermostat for your Boiler:

A couple of rules to follow when you are thinking about how to install a thermostat for central heating :

  • Don’t locate your thermostat in a sun trap, behind a curtain or a cupboard. The reason being, your thermostat will not get a correct reading of the temperature outside. How to Use Central Heating Thermostat?
  • Where to position your thermostat – Locate your room thermostats for central heating where there is a good flow of air circulating.
  • When you have set up your new thermostat set it to the minimum temperature, which is not too hot, not too cold, the recommended temperature is 18 degrees, but 20 degrees is popular.
  • If you replace your boiler you may also need to reconnect.


Room Thermostats on a Cold Day

How to Use Central Heating Thermostat?

When we feel a cold day we think we need to turn the heating up, but we don’t, the central heating thermostat controls the heating from the weather outside therefore if the temperature drops freezing the thermostat will leave the heating on longer.

If you wanted to, you could change the heating thermostat for it to come on earlier than usual so you get up in a warmer bedroom.

Read our guide on setting the best heating schedule for all seasons.


Programmable Thermostats

programmable thermostats

If you have programmable heating thermostats, they have the option to set the temperature and the time so you can choose if you want it hotter in the morning, turned off in the afternoon but to come on earlier in the evening. Hence, it is warm for you to arrive home from work.

Programmable heating thermostats will save wasted heating while you are at work and reduce fuel bills, but you need to take into account the heating up and cooling down if your schedule changes one day. When you but a new boiler you could get one included in the boiler cost with some new boiler deals. 


Room thermostats including a dial 

Your room thermostats will start turning off the heating after your room reaches the desired temperature you have set.

Once the temperature reaches your desired position, it will turn the heating off.

thermostats with a dial

You have to fit the thermostat onto the wall.

Thermostats absorb the air around if the air is blocked the thermostat cannot work correctly. 

It is very important to locate the thermostat not behind any cupboards or curtains. 

We have a misconception that turning the thermostat on high means it would heat your home quickly; this is a myth and will cause you to have high fuel bills.

Your home will take the same amount of time to reach the required comfortable temperature. After that, it will continue heating until it reaches the temperature you set on the heating thermostat control.


Digital Room Thermostats for Central Heating 

digital thermostat

Digital thermostats have built-in sensors which can read the room temperature.

They also have electric sensors which read the actual room temperature and then set the temperature to the best degree.


Smart Thermostats 

Smart thermostats provide you with the highest level of central heating temperature control. 

Smart thermostats allow you to control your heating using your smartphone or tablet wherever you are.

How to Use Central Heating Thermostat?

Smart thermostats work through WiFi, and when you enter the desired temperature on the app, it connects from the WiFi to the thermostat.

Some smart thermostats you can connect by yourself if you follow the instructions which come with them.

Smart thermostats are a great way of saving money on your heating bills. You can set the temperature for as and when you need it without having to have a set routine.

Other features included in the smart thermostats are:

· Adaptable with your set routine

· Responsive behaviour upon the condition of the weather

· Recognising geolocation, which identifies people in the room or out of the room

The most popular brands to choose for smart thermostats are:

Hive and Nest. Hive won Which? Best buy in 2018. which? best buy thermostats


Thermostatic Radiator Valves 

While addressing thermostatic radiator valves, it doesn’t directly control the boiler valve. They control water flow by detecting how hot the water is. Even if you buy the best combi boilers or best system boilers, they don’t know how hot each room is. TRV’s can even help cheap boilers run more efficiently too. 

Thermostatic radiator valves vastly help you to keep the temperature of your room at your desired point to stop the temperature from dropping or rising. If you are using TRV’s, make sure you give your central heating system a flush so they work even better.

Thermostatic radiator valves control the flow of hot water through the radiator and reduce it when the temperature reaches a certain level.

thermostatic radiator valves

They detect the temperature when the air is flowing around them. These thermostats need to be located in an open space.

You will see symbols or numbers like 1-6, on the valve that represents the level of heat the radiator will produce.

Usually, if you set it to 3, the temperature would come out in the room is around 20°C.

It would help if you did not fit TRV to the radiators in the rooms where you already set up a wall-mounted smart thermostat, to avoid competition between the two thermostats. 

You can now connect a smart thermostat with smart radiator valves to control the output of the heat of the radiator using a smartphone. It doesn’t matter whether you are in the room or outside the house.


Seasonal Temperature Settings:

In the winter season, the recommendation is to keep the thermostat set between 20-21° C. (in Fahrenheit 68-72° F).

How to Use Central Heating Thermostat?

At night in the bedroom, try to set it between 17-19 ° C (in Fahrenheit 62-60° F), this will help save energy, money and your health.

It is better to have a higher quilt tog than it is to raise the temperature. A bedroom too hot is not suitable for your concentration levels and general well-being.

In the summer season, you can turn your heating off and open a window if needed. If you need the heating for your hot water, turn it on as and when it is required to keep fuel costs low.

12 degrees is classed as too cold for a home, and 30 degrees is classed as too hot for a home.

If you go on holiday, most heating thermostats now include a holiday mode so you can switch your heating off for the number of days you will be away without it clearing your scheduled routines. This mode is another way of keeping fuel bills reduced along with reducing the boiler temperature.

Boiler manufacturer thermostats

Whilst there are many standard universal thermostats, most boiler manufacturers have their own controls that are designed to be used specifically with their boilers to help keep running costs down. Take a look at some of the most popular brands that have their own thermostats.

The Central Heating Thermostat Not Working

If your boiler thermostat controls are not working then there are ways to check if they are broken that you can fix yourself.

  • Check the thermostat is turned on.
  • Check the electricity is on, if the thermostat is battery-powered they may need changing.
  • If the thermostat is old, it may need replacing.
  • Check the temperature is not set below 21 degrees.
  • Ensure your boiler is located in an area with airflow, not behind curtains, not in a sun trap or near a radiator
  • If the clocks have changed or there has been a power cut the boiler can get confused. Change the clock to the correct time.
  • Like a car or a person as the clock gets old wear and tear can start to happen, so you need to replace it.

Replacing your controls with the latest more efficient technology could end up saving you money.

For more information on “How to Use Central Heating Thermostat” fill in our contact page, and somebody will contact you as soon as possible to help with your query. We offer various finance options and various service plans at Boiler Central

Written by
James Elston
James Elston Director Of Boiler Central
Posted on: 30th November 2023

James Elston is our resident boiler replacement and heating expert here at Boiler Central. With over 20 years experience in the boiler installation industry, James ensures that he knows everything there is about our Gas Safe boiler installations, energy saving and home heating solutions. This can be from simply procuring the latest best combi boilers, to reviewing and ensuring that Boiler Central maintains the highest standards across our boiler installation company.

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