Martyn Bridges

Winter temperatures highlight need for better heating controls

Extreme fluctuations in temperatures this winter have strengthened the case for using sophisticated heating controls, says Worcester Bosch.

Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support (pictured), says recent temperature swings outside will have left many homeowners struggling to achieve the desired comfort level in their homes.

“The first week in January saw a difference of 18°C between the highest maximum and lowest minimum temperatures in England, which is the kind of temperature swing that we’re seeing more of year-on-year. Fluctuations like this are making it increasingly difficult for homeowners to maintain a consistent level of heating comfort within their property – not least because many rely on nothing more than a room thermostat and timer to control their heating.

“There is always a correlation between the outdoor temperature and the temperature in people’s homes and, depending on the thermal characteristics of the building, some affected are more quickly and directly than others.

A building with either no or poor cavity wall insulation will more quickly lose heat to outside and therefore be affected more quickly by the swings in external temperatures. While a boiler can respond to extreme differences in temperature reasonably well, this will only happen if the controls it is paired with are sophisticated enough.

“The use of a weather sensor in conjunction with standard heating controls – or a more advanced system that incorporates both weather and load compensation controls – would give the boiler advanced warning that not only does the temperature of the boiler need boosting to cope with the colder weather, but that its load needs managing to ensure that the house does not overheat.”

December saw the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) propose the mandatory use of weather compensation controls in its Heat in Buildings consultation. Martyn adds: “While the suggestion that weather compensation controls should be made mandatory is likely to be difficult to implement across the board, these huge swings in temperature certainly suggest we should be making a more concerted effort to at least recommend them for suitable properties.”

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