What does the programmer do?
The programmer tells the boiler when to be turned on or off. You can set it to activate the boiler during different parts of the day and, usually, different days of the week (meaning you can have the system do different things at weekends to weekdays, for example). During the times that the boiler is turned on, it will provide you with heating or hot water if requested by other controls, such as a room thermostat. However, during the times the boiler is turned off, it will not be able to provide heating or hot water – even if asked to by other controls.
How should I use the programmer?
It is recommended that you set the programmer to turn the boiler on and off at times that suit your lifestyle. After all, there is little sense in heating the house and generating hot water all day if there is nobody at home. (One exception to this rule is if you are using the system for frost protection while on holiday, in which case the thermostat must be set to a low temperature.)
When setting the programmer to turn the boiler on in the morning, think about the time you usually get up, the size of your house (and how long it will take to heat), and the weather outside. This will help you work out roughly when your heating system needs to spring into action. A good time to try is around 30 minutes before you usually wake up. If the house is not warm enough for you, extend this time, and at times when the weather is warmer outside, reduce it. Your programmer will allow you to set a series of programmes throughout the day (for example, turning the boiler off once the house is warm in the morning, but turning it on again before you return home of an evening). Tip: Set the heating to come on later when you know you will be late home will save you money!
If you have a hot water cylinder, your boiler will need time to heat the water inside it to give you hot water when you need it. This can take anything up to two hours so, if you use a lot of hot water in the mornings, you should bear this in mind when setting the programmer. The thermostat on the cylinder will turn the boiler off when the water is hot enough.
The programmer can seem daunting at first but by taking time to get used to its controls you will be able to get the most out of your heating system – and be comfortable when you have to make changes to the programmes.
Programmable room thermostat
What does the programmable room thermostat do?
Your system may have this control, which does the job of both a programmer and room thermostat combined. A programmable room thermostat will have both time and temperature shown on its display. Like a programmer, it allows you to set on and off times for your boiler. But it also provides overall temperature control during times when the boiler is turned on.
When the boiler is turned on, the programmable room thermostat will react to the room temperature and operate the boiler to maintain the desired room temperature.
How should I use the programmable room thermostat?
Follow the guidance given for an individual programmer and room thermostat. The big advantage of this control is that it lets you set different temperatures for different times of the day, which can reduce your energy use and save money. For example, you could set the temperature to 18 dgrees C for mornings and early evenings when you are likely to be more active, and to 20 degrees C for late evenings.