Heating Controls on Electric Appliances PDF, 143.53 KB

Heating Controls on Electric Appliances PDF, 143.53 KB
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Heating controls on electric systems
To get the best out of your heating system, you need to use the controls you
have in the best possible way. Look out for one or more of these controls on
your system and have a go at setting them.
What is a thermostat?
A thermostat adjusts the amount of heating and cooling produced and/or distributed by automatically
responding to the temperature surrounding it
Electric Storage Heaters
Storage heaters ‘charge up’ at night, using electricity supplied at a cheaper night-time rate, and store the
heat in special heat-retaining bricks. This heat is then given out slowly during the following day. You can
only get cheap night-time electricity if you are on an off-peak tariff such as Economy 7 – if you are unsure,
speak to your electricity supplier. Modern storage heaters are slim-line and have a number of controls
designed to make sure you are getting the most from your system.
- manual controls consist of dials which you can use to set how much heat is stored over night (input
control) and then how quickly this is released (boost control). To use most efficiently, the settings need to
be judged every evening and morning against the likely temperature that night and the following day.
You would also need to think about when you would need this heat and set the controls accordingly. If
your system includes a timer and a room thermostat, controlling the heat output will be simpler.
- automatic charge controls. More modern systems have these controls and they set the amount of
heat stored overnight according to the room temperature at that time. This is a good way of determining
how much heat might be required the following day and means less fiddling around for you. Some more
sophisticated systems set the amount of heat according to external temperatures or even to a weather
forecast signal
Warm air heating
Warm air systems can run on gas, bottled gas (LPG), oil or electricity. Generally, the main heater will be
positioned in the centre of the house and heat is distributed through ducts around the property. Some
models also provide hot water via a storage tank, or circulate hot water via radiators. A new system will be
about 78% efficient, compared to around 95% for a condensing boiler working on a wet central heating
system. To make sure you are getting the most from your warm air heating, you should have a
programmer and a room thermostat.
Individual room heaters
You may have individual room heaters to add to your central heating on particularly cold nights.
Alternatively, it may be that you live in a small flat or house that doesn’t need a full central heating system.
Room heaters vary in type and can run on gas, bottled gas, electricity, solid fuel or oil. The newer versions
are equipped with time and temperature controls, meaning that they work more efficiently, providing the
right amount of heat when you need it. A programmer or time clock allows you to programme when you
want the heating and hot water to switch on and off. Newer versions allow you to set a different time
table for weekdays and weekends, when you may need more heating and hot water.
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Warming up and cooling down
When you are setting the programmer, remember to consider how long it will take for your house to heat up.
For example, if you think it will take an hour, set the heating to come on one hour before you come home
from the office or shops so you are returning to a warm home. Likewise, take into account how long your
home will stay hot for once the heating is off. It may be that you can switch the heating off 30 minutes before
leaving the house in the morning for example.
Heating your water
If you have electric heating, chances are that your water is heated in a cylinder that incorporates electric
immersion heater elements running on off peak or on peak electricity. You may have instantaneous water
heaters which provide water when you need it – these are generally hung on the wall above a bath (electric
shower) or a sink (single point wall heater). Whatever your system, there are things you can do to make sure
you’re getting most for your money.
1 Make sure your hot water tank and pipes are well insulated - insulating them is an easy and cheap way of
reducing their heat loss by up to 75%.
2 Make sure you are using the correct controls to determine when the water switches on
and off and how hot it gets.
Controls for your hot water system
A programmer or time clock allows you to programme when you want the
hot water to switch on and off. If you have a wet central heating system, this
will often be the same programmer as you use to set you heating to come
on and off. If you heat your water with an electric immersion, you may have a
separate timer. Remember to take into account the amount of time it takes to
heat the water and, provided the hot water cylinder is well Insulated, how long it
will stay heated for.
A hot water cylinder thermostat fits on to the cylinder and switches the
water heating off when the set temperature is reached. The recommended
temperature to set this at is 60°c - not too hot but hot enough to make sure
no bacteria can breed in the cylinder.
Tel. 0800 358 6669
The Kent Energy Centre works in partnership
with Kent’s 13 local authorities
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