How to control your heating this winter

With Christmas approaching, it’s the time of year we all start wondering: “how do I control my heating?”

Knowing your heating controls and how to operate them correctly will help you to keep your home at a comfortable temperature without wasting energy, costing a fortune or costing the Earth.

We answer your most frequently asked questions to help you confidently control your heating this winter.

Neostat on wall

How should I use my thermostat/s?

A simple tip is to remember that a thermostat is simply a switch that turns the heating on and off depending on the room temperature. Thermostats are commonly mistaken for a throttle, turned up high with the misconception that this will speed up the heating of your home. By correctly using your thermostat, setting it at the desired temperature, you avoid wasting energy by accidentally overheating your home.

What temperature should I set my thermostat to?

This varies from person-to-person, but generally 21°C is the ideal temperature for living areas. Bedrooms tend to be set slightly cooler at 18°C.

The temperature you choose can make a big difference to both the comfort of your home and your bank balance – by turning your room thermostats down by just 1 degree could save £80-£85 and 340kg – 350kg CO2 per year according to the Energy Savings Trust.

Should I leave my heating on all day?

This can depend on the heating system you have installed and your lifestyle. Generally, for a comfortable and welcoming home that isn’t wasting energy, you should set a timer.

When setting up your timer, use a cold evening and time how long it takes for the heating to warm up to a comfortable temperature – this is the warm up time. Then switch the system off, and time how long it takes the system to cool down to cold – this is the cool down time. With these two figures you can now work out an accurate timing schedule for the heating system. If you know it takes 30 minutes to reach 21°C, you can set the heating to come on half an hour before you arrive home from work or get out of bed.

If this sounds a little too complicated, you may choose to install a more sophisticated thermostat like Nu-Heat’s neoStat. Many modern stats like the neo now come with self-learning functions and are able to automatically adjust when your heating switches on throughout the year for optimum performance.

Does it really matter where my thermostat is located?

Yes, definitely. Room thermostats should be placed in a location where they can receive a free flow of air from the room to read an accurate temperature. It’s important that they are not blocked by items such as curtains, pictures, or furniture. You should also make sure that they are not near any additional heat sources, like a log burner, or draughts.

Do I need to update or replace my heating controls?

At a bare minimum, a heating system should have a boiler thermostat, programmer/timer, and room thermostats (or thermostatic radiator valves with radiators). Providing you have all of these items installed it’s generally just a case of understanding how to effectively use them.

If your existing controls are over 14 years old it may pay to upgrade them. Newer, more precise controls could well offer greater savings and comfort levels.

What is the most efficient way to control my underfloor heating?

Warm water underfloor heating is highly efficient and you can improve this efficiency even further by making sure you are controlling the system in the best possible way.

There are two main types of underfloor heating and they are controlled in very different ways:

Screed underfloor heating

In a screed system, the heating tube is embedded beneath a thick layer of screed. It will have a high thermal mass, so you can expect it to take some time to warm. Because of this, screed underfloor heating should be turned on around an hour earlier than an equivalent radiator system. A screed underfloor heating system will also hold heat well, meaning that longer “off” periods are possible.

For an efficient system and quick response times, set your programmable room thermostats to 16⁰C in “off” periods. This will result in a quicker warm up time as the heating system needs to supply less energy.

Low profile and retrofit systems

Retrofit underfloor heating systems, like LoPro™, or solutions where the heating tube is close to the floor surface will heat up quicker than a traditional screed system.

If you have a low profile system with good heat outputs you can control your underfloor heating in the same way that you would a radiator system.

Questions?

Call us on 01404 540650.

Nu-Heat wins customer service award

We are delighted to announce that Nu-Heat’s commitment to delivering exceptional customer service has been recognised with an award!

Nu-Heat wins WMN Customer Service Award

Selected from a shortlist of five strong finalists, Nu-Heat scooped the coveted Customer Service Award at last night’s Western Morning News Business Awards in Plymouth.

Celebration of business excellence

The Western Morning News Business Awards are a celebration of business excellence in the South West, recognising innovative businesses who help drive the region’s economy. The judging panel commended Nu-Heat for our well-implemented customer care policy and commitment to exceeding customer expectations, as well as our work to continuously improve our customer service standards and business performance.
The award comes just months after Nu-Heat outperformed national and sector averages in the independent UK Customer Satisfaction Index by more than 10%.wmn-award-winner-logo

Striving for the very best customer service

We know that building or renovating property can be stressful, and that the underfloor heating systems we design and supply can often be one piece of a large and complicated puzzle.

We are delighted to have won this Customer Service Award, which recognises our efforts to deliver the very best customer experience.

 

Thank you for sharing your feedback

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has shared their feedback or completed surveys about our products and services. Nu-Heat prides itself on delivering consistently excellent customer service, and records all feedback to help us continue to improve.

If you would like to leave us some feedback, you can do so by calling 01404 540650 or sending an email to info@nu-heat.co.uk.

A homeowner’s guide to heat pumps – part 2

Following on from our introduction to heat pumps part 1, we talk through the technicalities of using your heat pump system.

Heat pump controls

How do I control my heat pump?

You can easily control your heat pump via a series of icons on the control panel that enable you to set heating and domestic hot water (DHW) schedules, as well as view live operating data and current temperatures. Every on-screen menu has a help button which provides clarification on each of the functions.

All Nu-Heat heating systems come with a straightforward, comprehensive user guide as standard.

Will my heat pump come with a warranty?

Yes – Nu-Heat offer a choice of warranties to support your requirements. Your system will be designed to meet your specific property needs and to maintain your desired internal temperature even when it is -3°C outside.

If you have any queries or concerns, you have access to free, expert advice from our Technical Support team.

My heat pump is weather compensating – what does this mean?

All Nu-Heat supplied air source and ground source heat pumps come with weather compensating technology.

Weather compensation works by adjusting the amount of energy it uses to achieve the desired inside temperature, according to the outside weather conditions. For example, your heating system will not have to work as hard to achieve and maintain a set minimum inside temperature on a warm summer’s day as it would in the depths of winter. This is a more efficient alternative to a traditional central heating schedule, which will fire up the boiler to deliver heat to your radiators at certain times of the day or night regardless of the outside temperature, and only regulates the heat output according to the temperature of the water circulating around the system.

Will my system provide enough hot water at peak times?

The most efficient means of providing DHW for your home is to allow the DHW cylinder to remain ‘topped up’, with the heat pump operating to replace the used hot water.

Most heat pumps can be set to switch on a standby electric immersion heater to ensure that there is no disruption to the hot water supply at times of high demand.

What is a hygiene purge?

Your Nu-Heat heat pump will automatically run a hygiene purge on any stored DHW once a day. This heats the stored water in the cylinder to a minimum of 60°C to eliminate the risk of harmful bacteria. If for any reason the system is unable to complete the scheduled hygiene purge, it will attempt to do so every day for another seven days, before displaying an alarm on the control panel. If you choose to upgrade your remote monitoring and control package, you will also receive an email at this point advising you to contact your installer.

What is remote monitoring and control?

This is an optional data package that allows you to monitor and control the performance of your heat pump remotely, and includes access to the last month of running data as standard. Additional remote control of your heat pump is available as an optional extra, allowing you to change settings or modes whilst away from home, and also receive email alerts from the heat pump if action is required.

Will I still have heating when my heat pump is being serviced?

Yes! There is a manual override function which maintains the UFH and DHW temperatures whilst the heat pump is being serviced. Electric back up heaters within the cylinder and buffer tank also ensure that heating and hot water can be maintained if the heat pump is in fault or cannot keep up with demand.

Still have questions?

If you have questions about heat pumps that we have not answered here, please call 01404 540650 to speak to one of our technical experts, or email info@nu-heat.co.uk.