Heating Thermostat: Wired, Wireless, and Smart Options

Sep 1, 2023 | Heating Measures and Technologies

– The article was updated on 16 October 2023

In many UK homes, the central heating system is governed by the heating thermostat, a pivotal device that continuously monitors the air temperature. Over the years, it has undergone significant transformations, evolving from a simple temperature dial to an advanced smart system compatible with modern technology.

These smart thermostats, which can be controlled remotely via a smart device, are now an integral part of the ECO4 scheme in the UK. This scheme champions energy-saving and eco-friendly home solutions. If you’re keen to make your home more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, consider checking your eligibility for the ECO4 grant on our website.

Heating thermostat controller

Heating Thermostat Types

Over the years, the central heating thermostat has really come a long way. Nowadays, there are so many different kinds to choose from, making it easier for everyone to find one that suits their home and lifestyle.

  1. Room Thermostat
  2. Digital Thermostats
  3. Smart Thermostat
  4. Radiator Thermostat
  5. Cylinder Thermostat

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1. Room Thermostat:

A room thermostat is an essential component in many UK homes, acting as the central hub for regulating indoor temperatures. These devices work by sensing the room temperature and comparing it to a set desired level. If the room’s temperature deviates from this set point, the thermostat will either activate or deactivate the heating system to bring the room back to the desired temperature.

Modern room thermostats have evolved significantly from their older, dial-based counterparts. Today, they often come with digital displays, programmable schedules, and even smart capabilities, allowing homeowners to control them remotely via apps or integrate them with other smart home systems.

By ensuring a consistent and comfortable temperature, room thermostats play a pivotal role in enhancing the overall comfort of a home.

Predominantly found in homes, room thermostats can be:

  • Mechanical vs. Digital: Traditional mechanical thermostats operate with a bi-metallic strip or a gas-filled bellows, which activates a switch as the temperature changes. These are often simple to use, with a basic dial or lever for temperature adjustment. On the other hand, digital thermostats offer a more modern approach. They use electronic controls to detect and display the current room temperature and allow for more precise temperature settings.
  • Wired vs. Wireless thermostat: Wired thermostats are directly connected to the heating system via cables. Wireless thermostat communicates with the heating system using radio frequencies. Their rising popularity can be attributed to the ease of installation and the flexibility they offer.
  • Timer Functionality: Some room thermostats come equipped with a timer function. This feature is particularly useful for those looking to optimise their energy usage. By programming the heating to turn on or off at specific times, homeowners can ensure they’re not wasting energy heating their homes when it’s not needed.
energy saving smart meters

2. Digital Thermostats:

We mentioned the old-style room thermostat with a simple dial to set the temperature, the digital thermostat is its modern cousin. Instead of guessing the air temperature, these new devices show you the exact temperature on a clear display.

What’s even better is that many of these are battery powered, so you don’t have to worry about complicated wiring. Plus, with features like a timer, you can set when your heating comes on and off, helping you to save energy and money. And while they might sound fancy, they’re designed to be user-friendly. So, if you’re considering an upgrade, a digital thermostat is a simple step into the future of home heating.

3. Smart Thermostat

Representing the pinnacle of thermostat technology, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely, often via a smartphone app. They learn from your habits, adjusting heating schedules to ensure your home’s temperature remains at your preferred temperature. Moreover, with an internet connection, they can provide real-time feedback on the current temperature, helping homeowners adjust settings to save on heating costs.

4. Radiator Thermostat

Also known as the Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV), this device is attached to your radiator. It controls the water flow to your radiators, self-regulating to maintain the optimal room temperature. It’s essential to ensure that the TRV is not placed in direct sunlight or near other heat sources, as this can affect its accuracy.

5. Cylinder Thermostat

Just like the room heating thermostat you might have on your wall to control your home’s heating, a cylinder thermostat is a handy little device that looks after the temperature of your hot water. Imagine it as a guardian for your hot water tank. Positioned right there on the tank, this thermostat makes sure your water stays at a steady, warm temperature. It stops the water from getting too hot or too cold, ensuring you always have the perfect temperature when you need it. This not only helps you save energy but also means you don’t have to switch things on and off or adjust settings constantly.

In most cases, once it’s installed, you can pretty much forget about it and let it do its job. Some of the leading brands even offer an add on feature, giving you a bit more control over how you use your heat and power. So, if you’re thinking about the best way to manage your home’s temperature, especially for your hot water, a cylinder thermostat is a simple and effective choice.

The Role of Radiator Thermostats in the ECO4 Scheme

Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) are more than just supplementary components to our best heating systems. Their significance, especially within the ECO4 scheme, cannot be overstated.

TRVs provide a unique advantage by allowing individual room control, a feature traditional systems often lack. By self-regulating, they ensure each room increases or decreases in temperature to meet the set temperature, curbing energy wastage. This not only fosters a more comfortable living environment but also paves the way for energy efficiency and reduced heating costs.

Their inclusion in the ECO4 scheme underscores their pivotal role in fostering energy conservation. The scheme acknowledges the merits of smart devices, including battery-powered wireless thermostats, in sculpting a greener, more sustainable future. By integrating TRVs in our installations under the ECO4, homeowners can rest assured that their central heating system is both efficient and eco-conscious.

Why do we use TRVs heating thermostat?

At UK Energy Support, we’re committed to providing our customers with the most efficient and user-friendly solutions for their heating needs. Here’s why we advocate for the use of Thermostatic Radiator Valves:

Intelligent Adaptability

TRVs are an intelligent systems that continually adjusts to how a room is used, ensuring optimal warmth and efficiency.

Self-learning Algorithm

Embedded within each TRV controller is a cutting-edge artificial intelligence algorithm. This technology can detect and predict when a room will be occupied, allowing the heating to be tailored precisely to actual usage patterns.

Energy and Cost Efficiency

Why expend energy and funds heating a room that’s empty? With Thermostatic Radiator Valves you’re not only conserving energy but also making significant savings on your energy bills.

User-friendly Design

The device eliminates the need for intricate apps, smart thermostats, or the setting of complicated schedules. It’s designed to be straightforward and hassle-free.

Easy Installation

There’s no need for a heating engineer or electrician. Thermostatic Radiator Valves can be set up in mere minutes, further reducing costs and inconvenience.

Simplicity at its Best

We love the idea of ‘install, set, and forget’. It’s all about intelligent heating made uncomplicated for our customers.

What’s the difference between a heating thermostat and a smart meter?

A heating thermostat, whether it’s a traditional one or a more advanced smart thermostat, allows you to set the temperature in your home. It acts as the main control for your room heater or boiler. For instance, if you want the living room cosy in the evening, you tweak the thermostat. The newer smart thermostats from leading brands can even be programmed to have different temperatures at different times of the day, offering more tailored comfort.

On the flip side, a smart meter doesn’t control temperature but instead keeps an eye on your energy consumption. Positioned usually near your fuse box or utility panel, it provides real-time data on how much energy you’re using in different rooms or at various times.

The central heating thermostat, in its myriad forms, remains an indispensable element of home comfort. With the ECO4 scheme endorsing the significance of smart devices and TRVs, UK homeowners can anticipate a future replete with efficient, sustainable heating solutions.

smart meter bckg

Gary’s Real-Life Experience with the ECO4 Scheme

Gary, a UK homeowner with a three-bedroom terraced house, learned about the ECO4 scheme through our website. After a quick eligibility check, he found he qualified for free installation of electric storage heaters with an advanced heating thermostat.

How ECO4 Changed Gary’s Home Heating

The ECO4 Scheme not only upgraded Gary’s heating system but introduced him to the world of smart heating. His new thermostat is an advanced device that detects occupancy in a room and activates the heating accordingly. This feature has drastically cut down Gary’s heating costs as it prevents unnecessary heating of rooms that are not in use.

Previously, Gary’s old system would heat the entire house regardless of where he was, but the new set-up ensures that he is only heating the spaces that genuinely require it. As a result, Gary has observed a significant reduction in his energy bills, saving him money and contributing to a more sustainable living environment.

Impact on Energy Usage and Savings

Month Energy Usage Before (kWh) Energy Usage After (kWh) Savings (£)
Jan-Mar 741 601 96
Apr-Jun 529 407 64
Jul-Sep 362 277 43
Oct-Dec 703 591 94


Key Takeaways

  • Energy Efficiency: Gary’s new heating system reduced his energy consumption significantly. The thermostat’s occupancy sensing feature only heats rooms when needed.
  • Cost Savings: The advanced thermostat helped Gary save an average of £20-30 per month on heating costs.

The ECO4 scheme provided Gary with a modern, energy-efficient heating system, reducing both his carbon footprint and monthly bills.

Frequently Asked Questions about heating thermostat:

How can I control my boiler or heater using modern technology?

With advancements in technology, controlling your boiler or energy efficient heater using voice commands through platforms like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa will be easy, especially if you have a wireless thermostat integrated.

How do I get a TRV with the ECO4 scheme?

The process to acquire a TRV through the ECO4 scheme is straightforward. Simply click on the button below, and note any specific requirements to check your eligibility for the grant. This will allow us to verify weather we can supply the heating thermostat for free and to ensure smooth delivery and installation of the unit.

Where should I place my thermostat for accurate temperature readings?

For the most accurate readings, it’s recommended to place your thermostat away from direct heat sources. Ideally, it should be positioned on an interior wall, away from windows, heaters, and not on the floor, to ensure it’s measuring the average room temperature.

Article written by

Abigail Hall

Abbie is an ECO4 specialist helping homeowners to enhance their home’s energy efficiency using government funding. With her guidance, many have adopted sustainable living practices and reduced their energy bills.
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