Lowering temperatures around your home
A room thermostat provides central temperature control of your home. It is usually located in the living room or hallway and will control the boiler to maintain the temperature setting you make at the point where the thermostat is located.
For more flexible temperature control, you should also have thermostatic radiator valves, referred to as ‘TRVs’, on each radiator. These are adjustable dials fixed where the hot water pipe connects into the radiator. They allow you to set the temperature you want in each room.
Whereas a room thermostat can be set to the temperature that you want, settings on TRVs are usually a 1 to 5 scale. This is because a TRV is less precise in measuring the room temperature due to their location, but each setting does broadly correspond to a room temperature and there is a tendency for people to set these higher than they need to be.
BEAMA carried out two tests on a heating system to find out how much more gas a boiler used if TRVs were set to maintain rooms at 20 degree C rather than 18 degrees C. In both cases the living room was kept at 21 degrees C by the room thermostat. In practice, this would typically mean setting your TRVs to ‘2’ rather than ‘3’.
Outline of TRV settings and room temperatures in Test 1
Outline of TRV settings and room temperatures in Test 2
Running the heating system for typical daily usage with the test 1 room temperatures used 89.7 kWh of gas, while test 2 used 74.9 kWh, a saving of around 16%. Under the Energy Price Guarantee introduced by the Government in October 2022, a kWh of gas will cost 10.3p for a dual fuel customer paying by direct debit. This means that this level of saving would equate to an overall saving of £200 for an average home this Winter.
These temperature settings may not be appropriate for everyone, but the tests show how keeping temperatures low in individual rooms can have a dramatic effect on the cost of heating your home.
Many people have their TRVs set at 4 or 5 so the savings could be even higher than in these tests, and if you are heating rooms that no one is using then you won’t notice the difference.
If this change was carried out as well as the changes to time and temperature settings the overall savings are likely to have been around £360. This is slightly lower than adding the two savings together as doing one will already have reduced the energy consumption before you make savings with the second action.
Other ways of reducing energy use:
Adjusting time and temperature settings
Running your heating for longer, rather than short bursts
Switching heating off when it’s not needed