A Homeowner&#39
A Homeowner’s Guide To Heating Controls
• Reduce your heating bills by improving your
energy efficiency.
• Increase your home comfort levels.
• Support the climate by reducing your own
greenhouse gas emissions.
Do you know that you are entitled to a grant through the
SEAI Better Energy Homes programme to help improve
your home heating system?
Installing Heating Controls to your home heating system will
typically reduce your energy usage by up to 20%.
Home heating systems without heating controls can be
wasteful of energy and costly to run because there is little to
no control of the amount of heat being used to heat your home
and your hot water. Adding modern heating controls can help
you to accurately match your space heating and hot water
schedules to the working and living patterns in your home, so
when heat and hot water are required, it is there; and when it
is not required, it is turned off.
As a minimum, your heating systems should be split into two
independently controlled zones. They are your ‘Space Heating
Zone’ and your ‘Domestic Hot Water Zone’. This allows you to
heat your domestic hot water without being forced to turn
on your space heating. It will also allow you to use your boiler
to heat your hot water in the summer time, without using the
immersion. Additional zones can also be put in place in large
homes to split upstairs and downstairs or living areas and
There is a grant available through the SEAI Better Energy
Homes programme to help you improve your home heating
system through the installation of heating controls.
You can do a quick check on your heating control
requirements by answering the simple questions below. If you
answer NO to some or all of the below questions, it would be
beneficial for you to install some heating controls:
1. Can you heat your domestic hot water without switching
on your radiators or an electric immersion heater?
2. Can you turn on your heating without heating your
domestic hot water?
3. Can you easily adjust the heat output from radiators in the
rooms you use most often?
4. Do you have temperature control on your boiler?
5. Have you time control on your boiler that you can set for
different days of the week?
6. Have you a separate temperature control for your hot
water cylinder?
7. Have you a separate time control on your hot water
Choosing and installing heating controls should not prove
to be a difficult process. However, there are important
decisions to make and a few rules to apply to ensure that your
heating controls will be to your satisfaction and meet your
requirements. It is vital to look for high quality when choosing
your heating controls. To achieve this, products should only be
chosen that comply with the appropriate Irish Standards (IS),
British Standards (BS) or European Standards (EN).
Please visit www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/better-energy-homes/how-to-apply for a list of registered contractors for
this grant programme. We recommend that you shop around
and view other installed systems before making your final
decision in order to get the best product and the best value for
money. It is a good idea to discuss the heating controls on offer
with any friends, neighbours or workmates who may already
have them installed, to give you a better insight of how they
are operated, how often you might need to change settings
and also the advantages, improvements and any problems
people have experienced when they have had them installed.
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A Homeowner’s Guide To Heating Controls
A TRV is a thermostat that regulates the amount of heat
going into a radiator according to the temperature in the room.
You can set a specific temperature level for a room that you
are comfortable with, and then as the room heats up to that
comfortable temperature, heat flow is reduced into the
radiator, stopping when it reaches your comfortable set level.
TRV’s are particularly useful in rooms where the temperature
requirement is different to that required in the main living
area bedrooms, or rooms where there are other heat sources
such as in kitchens.
SEAI have compiled a list of questions you should ask your
suppliers and contractors prior to making a purchase. It is in
your best interest to make sure you are satisfied that all your
questions are answered. If an answer seems too complicated,
then ask for a simpler explanation. If someone is selling you
new controls, they will be happy to provide an explanation to
your satisfaction.
A 7-Day programmable timer will allow you to set your
heating system to match your occupancy patterns on a
daily and weekly basis. The separation of space heating and
domestic hot water controls into zones will also allow you
to set each zone to operate for required periods only. For
example: you can set your boiler to switch on automatically
before you wake in the morning to heat water for showers
without turning on the central heating.
Boiler interlock is a method of interconnecting your heating
system controls with your boiler to ensure that the boiler only
operates when required.
Time and temperature controls installed on immersion
heaters allow householders to pre-set the time period
required for water heating and the temperature to which
water is heated. This means that water need not be
heated for longer than required or to higher temperatures than
required. Temperatures for hot water should be set to
around 60°C. To heat water above this temperature, only to
add cold water to it afterwards, is a waste of your energy.
Please note that if you have a solar water heating system in
place, this temperature may need to be set higher. SEAI also
recommend that lagging jackets are fitted to old,
uninsulated copper hot water cylinders to ensure that
minimum energy is lost. This should not be necessary for
factory-insulated cylinders, which should be the norm for new
1. Is the heating system in my dwelling currently zoned/
divided according to Industry Best Practice? If not, will
installation of these controls achieve this?
2. How should I divide my house into zones? What is
Industry Best Practice?
3. Do I already have some of these products installed in my
home? If so, do they need replacing?
4. Are all of the proposed heating controls suitable for my
particular requirements?
5. What Irish Standard (IS), British Standard (BS) or
European Standard (EN) do the controls comply with?
6. Will the product improve the Building Energy Rating (BER)
of my home?
7. Will the system allow me to set different time and
temperature schedules for different days of the week?
8. How often should I change settings on the controls to
make my house more efficient? Will the products satisfy
all rules and requirements for receipt of a grant under the
Better Energy Homes programme?
9. Do the products have the required CE or Kitemark?
10. Will the programmer be user-friendly and easy to
reprogramme, should my schedule change in the future?
1. Is the contractor on SEAI’s list of Registered
Contractors? (Remember, if the contractor is not listed you
will not receive a grant under the Better Energy Homes
2. To what standards will the products be installed?
3. Does the contractor offer delivery, installation,
commissioning and after sales service?
4. What training or accreditation has the contractor
5. To which trade associations does the contractor belong?
6. How many similar systems has the contractor installed?
Are local references available?
7. Will any of the installation be sub-contracted? How much?
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A Homeowner’s Guide To Heating Controls
8. Who is ultimately responsible for what segments of work?
9. Does the contractor have the plumbing and electrical
skills required for the installation?
10. How long will the installation take?
11. What are the procedures and tests carried out when
commissioning the system?
12. Who is responsible for repairing any disruption to walls/
ceilings etc., necessary during the installation of the
13. What additional pieces of work need to be done to my
home to prepare for the installation?
14. Will the contractor provide all of these services, and at
what cost?
15. What work will need to be done to get my home
back into its’ original condition following installation?
1. Is full documentation, including any operation manuals
and warranties provided in English?
2. Will the supplier provide instruction and demonstration
on how the installed controls work?
3. Will I need to carry out any housekeeping or
maintenance tasks once the controls are installed? If so,
how often do I need to carry out these tasks?
4. Does the supplier have spare parts available if required?
5. Will I be charged for subsequent call outs if required?
1. Does the detailed quotation cover all costs associated
with the works?
2. What range of energy savings are these control
measures likely to achieve? Approximately how much will
this installation save me on my heating bill?
3. What are the financing options or payment terms?
4. At what stage will I get my SEAI grant payment?
5. Are there any additional costs that I should be aware of?
1. What after sales service does the contractor provide?
2. What is the guarantee on labour and parts for each
component of the system?
3. Is any ongoing professional maintenance required (by the
Contractor or similar)?
4. For how long does the supplier provide emergency
service work if required?
1. You can get more information on the Better Energy
Homes programme in one of three ways:
• Request more information by ringing 1850 927 000.
• Contact the programme team directly at:
[email protected]
• Visit: https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/
2. Contact a registered contractor for heating controls from
the SEAI Registered Contractor list at: https://hes.seai.ie/
3. It is recommended you contact a number of
registered contractors to ensure you receive the best
quality available, at a competitive price.
4. Once you have selected a suitable contractor, follow the
steps to complete the Better Energy Homes programme
online application form: https://www.seai.ie/grants
5. The next step is to have the works carried out. It is in
your best interest to make sure you are satisfied that all
your questions are answered. If an answer seems too
complicated, then ask for a simpler explanation. If
someone is selling you a new boiler they will be happy to
provide an explanation to your satisfaction.
To qualify for a grant, all works must be undertaken by an
SEAI registered Contractor in accordance with the technical
requirements set out in the Contractor Code of Practice and
Quality Assurance & Discipline Procedures (QADP). For more
information visit: https://www.seai.ie/energy-in-business/
The applicant shall have a formal contract in place with each of
their chosen registered Contractors before works commence.
The contract of works agreed is between the Homeowner and
the Contractor only. SEAI accepts no liability or responsibility
for any breach of contract between the Homeowner and the
For the full list of Terms & Conditions please refer to the
Better Energy Homes Programme Application Guide,
available at: https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/betterenergy-homes/how-to-apply/
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