In this day and age, depending on where you are in life, people can have very different lifestyles from one another. In terms of householder’s heating requirements, this means that the need for flexible heating systems is becoming greater and greater.
When searching for a suitable flexible heating system that matches up with their lifestyle, people will look to a heating installer for advice and information. Therefore, heating installers should make sure they are asking the right questions to ensure they recommend a system that gives the best combination of comfort and energy efficiency.
So what information should the installer be getting from the customers?
It’s important to know if the client works the same hours from Monday to Friday. This will usually result in the client needing very different heating and hot water settings at weekends to during the week. Does the client have a job that requires them to travel a lot? The need to have flexible controls that can easily fit in with their work routine will therefore be vital.
Does the homeowner have a particularly large property or use different areas of the house for different purposes (e.g. a home office, a gym room, or an annex)? If so, the homeowner may require zone control, whereby separate ‘zones’ are set up within the home that can have independent time and temperature programmes from one another.
Flexible heating requirements often depends on the types of people or families that inhabit a property. Below, we provide 5 examples of the common types of people that occupy a home that require flexible heating controls and the best type of heating controls to suit their needs:
Single person who works long hours and is away a lot
Probably the best option to suit this type of householder is to have a thermostat combined with a programmer. This would allow the user to set the hot water and heating to fit in with their busy lives. Using a device with universal programming options, including 5 day/ 2 day settings, would let them customise their their heating and hot water to come on at different times during the week and weekend.
Childless, 30-something couple who work 9-5, Monday to Friday
These people are typically home on weeknights and at weekends, often with friends or relatives over to socialise. A good option for them would be to have wireless programmable room thermostats, as these are easily customisable, simple to install and would easily adjustable to fit in with their routines. Additionally, the use of thermostatic radiator valves, would allow them an extra degree of control over individual rooms, particularly useful in keeping the temperature down in rooms that are not used frequently.
Working family with 3 active and independent teenagers
With a full-size family that will be coming and going at different times, the system they require will need to meet the demands of a large family while also making sure that utility bills don’t escalate out of control.
They would probably benefit most from a 7 day programmer that is easy to use. This would offer the family great flexibility in accessing hot water and heating and needed, as would be required from a family who are in and out of the property at different times. By adding a cylinder thermostat to a conventional boiler and seperate hot water storage set-up, hot water being kept at a safe temperature would be ensured. Adding thermostatic radiator valves would be useful additions to the bedrooms, as would a wireless digital thermostat, which would allow for the temperature to be easily control and adjusted when necessary.
Middle-aged couple living in a family home, but whose children have moved out
In this situation, it is likely the householders have a few spare rooms that are rarely used. Using a combo of a programmer with two digital thermostats, as well as thermostatic radiator valves, would allow them to have comfortable room and water temperatures without expending too much energy. The heating in the rarely-used bedrooms can be scaled right back, but easily turned on if needed, and the holiday mode can be utilised when the house is completely empty, keeping energy usage down to a minimum.
Elderly, retired couple who rarely leave the house
They will require a system that is very flexible, yet simple to use and easily adjustable. Having a wireless room thermostat with a programmer and TRVs will give the couple a system that allows them a huge amount of control. It will be necessary for the controls to have a large, readable screen that can be used with the minimum of fuss. This will enable them to use the settings easily, while making sure they maximise the energy and money-saving benefits such a system allows.
Installers may need to tweak each heating system set-up depending on the needs of each individual household, but by bearing the 5 examples above in mind, they will be able to offer advice and solutions that enable families to make the most of their heating systems, whichever category they fit into.
Article by Benjamin Clarke