Will a room thermostat help?

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First - two apologies -
1) For sounding a little thick with the question - and -
2) For asking in the wrong place - if I am; I wasn't sure if I should ask in the In The Home thread.....

Anyway, as the title says - would a room thermostate help do you think?

Obviously, gas usage/cost is a factor as it is for everyone.
The other thing is that the house (and me) is either stifling or uncomfortably chilly, there seems no way to get a reasonable temeperature.

Here's the set up (by the way, this house is rented, in my previous (owned) home, there was none of this as I had it all set up quite well WITH a room thermostat) -

Two bedroom semi with full (recent) loft and cavity wall insulation, all double-glazed apart from small landing window. (Built in 70's.)

Gas CH (added after building - pipes are visible) run from wall-mounted 'antique' boiler with old-fashioned dial timer that allows for two on and offs per day and for water but no heating but not heating but no water (which I'm sure I used to have previously). The boiler itself has settings which I presume are for temperature but even on the very lowest, the water and radiators (apart from two who have thermostat valves of their own) get very very warm (the hot always needs cold adding).

As far as I can tell, whilstever programmed to be on, the boiler is running (and obviously using gas), however warm the house gets, nothing makes it go off except the timer - and then - despite the insulation, the temperature drops fairly swiftly to become chilly.

In my head, it makes sense to have a room thermostat as when the house gets warm, the boiler would be turned off, am I right? BUT my landlord says there isn't any point because there isn't a good place to put it....? If that is the case, then why on earth does anyone have one?

Anyway, this is the year I plan to take matters into my own hands, I just need a bit of advice and information so I don't waste time or (more importantly) money - for example, who do I ask to fit it - plumber or elecrician? Where IS the best place for it?

All advice/input gratefully appreciated. Thanks a million.
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  • grumpyoldgal
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    I'm not much help but we are planning to do the same to manage the rooms that we don't use that much... British Gas did our annual boiler service last week and we asked him about it and he said it would cost £600 for them to do for each radiator, and that it would be around 3 years before we would see the benefit transferred to our bill.....:confused:
  • penrhyn
    penrhyn Posts: 15,215 Forumite
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    If you have thermostatic radiator valves then you don't really need a room thermostat as well. It is important to adjust these correctly so your room s are at a comfortable temperature. Best to get yourself a room thermometer, and when the room is around 20c turn the radiator stat down a bit.
    If I remember correctly the pump will run continuously with this sort of arrangement, and assuming that the water heating is gravity fed then this will tend to get very hot during the heating season.
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  • espresso
    espresso Posts: 16,446 Forumite
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    Got2change wrote: »
    .
    As far as I can tell, whilstever programmed to be on, the boiler is running (and obviously using gas), however warm the house gets, nothing makes it go off except the timer - and then - despite the insulation, the temperature drops fairly swiftly to become chilly.
    .

    You obviously should have a room stat fitted somewhere if TRV's are not fitted to each radiator, otherwise the only thing controlling the temperature, is the time that the boiler is on.

    If your landlord won't get one fitted for you, remind him/her of the landlord energy efficiency certificate, that they should now provide if asked for one. Search for more info on this e.g. here
    :doh: Blue text on this forum usually signifies hyperlinks, so click on them!..:wall:
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,038 Forumite
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    I actually have some sympathy with your landlord's point of view.

    The problem with a room thermostat(assuming you don't have Thermostatic Radiator Valves - TRV - on every radiator,) is that the temperature of the room where the thermostat is situated controls the temperature of the rest of the house.

    So your statement "In my head, it makes sense to have a room thermostat as when the house gets warm, the boiler would be turned off, am I right? needs qualifying.

    When the room(not house) gets up to the temperature set by the thermostat, the pump shuts off and this will lead to the boiler shutting down. The boiler shuts down because the water temperature in the CH system has reached the temperature set by the boiler thermostat; and with the pump off, and no water circulation, this happens very quickly.

    However without a room thermostat, or TRVs, you effectively have an on/off CH system with no temperature control other than use the timer, or manually turn the radiators on and off as required. So a room thermostat is certainly better than nothing.

    As an owner TRV's make sense as they don't cost much to buy and install.
  • notbritishgas
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    Got2change, It sounds as if you have not got any controls on your heating/hot water system apart from the time clock.
    You really do need some. Some people say that thermostatic valves on each radiator is the solution, that way if they are working correctly you can set the temperature for each room, ie the bedroom colder than the living room.
    A room thermostat as you suggest is another way, but the landlord was partly right as the positioning of it will affect the heating. For example if it is in a cold north facing room it will heat that room to the set temperature before it switches off, when the rest of the rooms could be too warm.The opposite would happen if it is put in a warm room, my room stat is in the hall adjacent to the kitchen, whenever we cook with door open the stat switches off and the rest of the house goes cold.
    It also sounds as if you have not got a stat on your hot water cylinder so that it switches off at the set temperature.
    I would say fitting of stats is an electricians job, whilst thermostatic valves are for the plumber .
  • Got2change
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    penrhyn wrote: »
    If you have thermostatic radiator valves then you don't really need a room thermostat as well. It is important to adjust these correctly so your room s are at a comfortable temperature. Best to get yourself a room thermometer, and when the room is around 20c turn the radiator stat down a bit.
    If I remember correctly the pump will run continuously with this sort of arrangement, and assuming that the water heating is gravity fed then this will tend to get very hot during the heating season.

    Thank you for your reply -
    but I only have TRVs on the two bedrooms and it actually seems that there is little option between very warm and off; this happens at about 3 on the scale. I can't help but believe (in my ignorance) that a room (air) thermotstat might help the heat build up and discomfort; I'm not really expecting it to reduce the bills (I can only wish - as I sit here surrounded by the last 4 years worth trying to predict my consumption and costs for the wintertime).

    If the pump is running all the time that the heating/water is on, is there a cost - and does it also use electricity?

    Sorry for (more) stupid questions -the disclaimer is in my signature.
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  • Got2change
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    Got2change, It sounds as if you have not got any controls on your heating/hot water system apart from the time clock.
    You really do need some. Some people say that thermostatic valves on each radiator is the solution, that way if they are working correctly you can set the temperature for each room, ie the bedroom colder than the living room.
    A room thermostat as you suggest is another way, but the landlord was partly right as the positioning of it will affect the heating. For example if it is in a cold north facing room it will heat that room to the set temperature before it switches off, when the rest of the rooms could be too warm.The opposite would happen if it is put in a warm room, my room stat is in the hall adjacent to the kitchen, whenever we cook with door open the stat switches off and the rest of the house goes cold.
    It also sounds as if you have not got a stat on your hot water cylinder so that it switches off at the set temperature.
    I would say fitting of stats is an electricians job, whilst thermostatic valves are for the plumber .

    Thank you for great advice [and others not quoted - yet]; I totally see how a room thermostat is only effective for the room that it is in - which previously would have been the kitchen/dining room. But since LL's tame builder did something to the valve (not fitting a TRV), the double bank radiator now doesn't get as scorchingly (and dangerously it has to be said - i.e. ankle-biters touching it) hot as it did and that, combined with the half inch gap around the exterior door allowing some ventilation:rolleyes: means that it is the lounge that can become suffocatingly warm (for example, I don't envisage using the (expensive?) electric fire that was fitted when the annual check revealed a killer living flame gas fire that I'd [thankfully] stopped using because I knew it was expensive to run), so I thought a good place to locate the thermostat would be the little lobby between dining room and lounge (I never close the doors) as the upstairs (the whole warm air rising thingy) is always (too? unless radiators are turned off) warm.

    Gosh, it's a nightmare. I never bothered when I was paying only £46 a month - now it's £102, I'm getting a bit miserly about it. But - it really is the uncomfortable extremes that bug me. The LL has said he'll get one fitted - but he won't and I'm not going to nag; I'll just sort it myself - if I can.

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  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,038 Forumite
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    If the radiator gets too hot, a room thermostat will not help. You have to turn down the water temperature for the CH on the boiler - depending on system this may reduce the temp of your domestic hot water.
  • Got2change
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    Cardew wrote: »
    If the radiator gets too hot, a room thermostat will not help. You have to turn down the water temperature for the CH on the boiler - depending on system this may reduce the temp of your domestic hot water.

    I agree - it's just whatever is controlling the temp of the water (dial on the boiler 0-5) is as low as it can go without clicking itself off and the system shutting down.
    I guess my thoughts would be that the temperature of the radiator would to some extent affect the warmth of the room although realise that the temperature of the radiator is of course dictated by the temperature of the water going through the system. But have no idea how to lower that any further than it is....
    (I assume if the system does actually go OFF when the dial is turned to it's lowest, the thermostat on the boiler is functioning OK.....)
    Blonde: Unemployed: Bankrupt.
    What do I know?
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  • brysiewysie
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    Something you may have issues with is the cost for you LL of installing a room thermostat. From the souunds of things you very little controls. Won't even adding a thermostst be quite a lot because of all the bits involved in getting it done? I had something like this done some years ago and it seemed expensive for what you got.

    In case it's of any relevance (although it's unlikley to be of help to the OP) I've just changed my old dial/mechanical type room thermostat to a programable digital one (under £30 from Screwfix). It in effect combines being a CH timer and also gives me different settings for temperature on different days and at different times of the day. Because it's battery powered it only needs 2 wires to it (rather than the one I removed which has 4) although obviously all the wiring was already in place.
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