When it comes to setting the temperature of your radiators and central heating system, determining the correct level is a little subjective since some individuals feel the cold more than others. However, there are some guidelines as to what temperature you should aim for with your radiators in your home. Whilst some people prefer to have the home cooler than others, for elderly individuals it is important to ensure that the home is heated adequately since this group of individuals are more vulnerable when it comes to the cold weather.
Whilst it is not a good idea having the heating set too low, alternatively having the heating set too high is not a good idea either. There are two good reasons for lowering the temperature of your radiators and central heating. The first is that it will help reduce your carbon footprint and will benefit the environment since you effectively use less energy. The second key benefit is that by using less energy you will save money on your heating bills. With the spiraling cost of energy, this is an important factor. The good news is that even a small change can over time save you a lot of money. So what temperature is the right one?
As a rule of thumb most guidelines recommend heating your home to 70F (21C) and bedroom temperatures should be kept a little cooler to around 64F (18C). For most people this temperature will be comfortable, but if it feels a little hot (or alternatively cold) then the temperature can be adjusted from this baseline.
It's important to note when asking the question, what temperature should a radiator be set at, the answer doesn’t just relate to the radiator’s settings. Instead the temperature of your home, and the setting of the central heating systems and the radiator work hand in hand. Both elements need to be set up correctly and at the right setting to work effectively.
Setting Your Room Thermostat at the Right Temperature
The starting point when setting up the temperature of your central heating in your home is ensuring that the room thermostat is set correctly.
Most homes which have central heating fitted with some with a room thermostat installed to control the overall temperature of the home. In many cases this will be a solitary thermostat that will control the entire system. Some modern implementations may include having in thermostat included in more locations around the home, and this can be commonly found where underfloor heating is installed.
Manual Radiator Valves and Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)
When it comes to setting your radiator valves typically the radiators in your home will come with either manual valves or Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs). With a manual valve this works a bit like a tap, where turning the valve will either allow more or less water to enter the radiator. Closing the valve will reduce the amount of water, and the radiator’s ability to heat, whereas opening the valve will increase the flow of water and the heat that the radiator will produce.
TRVs are also used with radiators to help control the available heat the radiator can produce. Setting a TRV to a lower setting reduces the flow of hot water to the radiator, effectively reducing the temperature in the room. It is also possible to turn off a radiator completely with a TRV so if there is a little used room in your home, you can save money by not heating it as often as other rooms.
On the surface a TRV and a manual valve may seem to operate in a similar fashion, but there is one key difference. A TRV can self-regulate the temperature in the room, based on its setting. This is a more efficient way of heating the room. However, you may find in humid rooms such as bathrooms, a TRV may not be the right valve for the job since the humidity can affect the way the TRV works. In these situations it is common to find manual radiator valves.
Setting a TRV or a manual valve to the right setting is dependant on the size of radiator and the size of the room in question. Some rooms and radiator configurations will require the valve to be set higher to get an adequate temperature in the room, whilst in smaller rooms, the valve may be able to be set lower. When starting out, set the valve in the middle setting and then adjust accordingly depending on your own comfort levels.
One thing that should be noted is that it is important to never cover a TRV since it relies on the ambient room temperature to sense the temperature. So, avoid installing with radiator covers, or long curtains covering the TRV. It is also important to note that the TRV doesn’t control the boiler settings, instead the room thermostat does this.
TRVs can save you money because they are designed to keep the room at a consistent temperature meaning when the room has reached the preferred temperature this is then maintained. This is an improvement on standard radiator valves which will simply keep working at the same output set, regardless. TRVs can be a good investment if you are looking to save some money on your heating bills long term.
Lockshield valves are another type of value that you may come across. These valves are used to balance the radiators in your home, which means that they help reduce or increase the flow of water through the radiators so that all the radiators in the home heat up at the same rate. Generally, once these are set they are left alone.
Zone Control and Smart Heating Controls
If you are looking to completely replace your central heating system, or are moving into a new build home, then you may come across zone controls and even smart heating controls. Zone control is a system which allows you to set the heating temperature to different amounts depending on the area of your house, which are called zones.
Smart controls from brands such as Nest combine modern technology with traditional heating systems, giving you precise control over the temperature of your heating system. Some of the features of smart controls include setting up automated heating patterns, and the ability of the system to ‘learn’ when you require heating. For instance, smart heating controls can sometimes predict that you will not require heating in the day-time when you are not in the home, but will need it at the weekend, for example. Other features include the ability to control the heating system from a smart phone or tablet computer, adding and improving on the flexibility of the heating system.
Find out more about smart heating controls by brand at https://www.mrcentralheating.co.uk/heating-control/controls-by-brand