Best way to use combi boiler?

rachel23 Posts: 20 Forumite
Firstly, apologies if this is in the wrong forum but I hope somebody can help!

We recently moved into a new house with a combi boiler with a digital thermostat which is a nightmare to use!!!!!!!!!!

At first I switched it to manual and set the thermostat to about 18/19 degrees and then when I went out I would just put the thermostat down to about 7 so it wouldn't come on. At the boiler it was switched to heating & water on.

Our first gas bill was about £80 for the month - is this normal?

About our family:
1 husband out all day 8am-6pm weekdays. 2 showers per day...
1 wife mostly at home, cooking with gas, 1 shower per day and occasional bath (max 2 per month).
1 baby at home with Mum most of the time, bath every day in small baby bath.

Now I have worked out the digital timer and I have set it to come on at 0630 until 0800 then 1700 until 2100 every day with the temperature set to 19 degrees when on and 7 degrees when off. Boiler is still set to heating & water.

Should I just turn the whole system off during the day (ie. on the boiler itself) or possibly switch it to water only?

I hope this makes sense.... can anyone offer any advice?

Thanks in advance! :j


  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Now you've adjusted the heating to only come on at certain times, that should be fine. Setting it to 7C when not required is probably ok too -it'll probably not come on much anyway and if it does, it'll be to prevent damage due to freezing.

    Most systems should allow you to switch the water to heat up independantly of the CH. I would set this to heat up just before you need the majority of hot water (e.g showers/baths), perhaps 1 hour in the morning & 1 hour in the evening.

    Edit: Just noticed in the title it says combi boiler. Doesn't it only heat the hot water as you use it? :confused:
    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
  • ninky_2
    ninky_2 Posts: 5,872 Forumite
    this can actually be one of the best ways of operating your central heating system. is the thermostat one you can progamme for higher and lower settings? if it is you just need to programme it for a low temperature for the hours you will be out the house (say 16 degrees) and then the heating will effectively be off unless it is a very cold day.
    Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves. - Lord Byron
  • rachel23
    rachel23 Posts: 20 Forumite
    Thanks for your replies!

    Yes it heats the water as you need it so it activates when you turn on a tap and is quite quick to come through.

    I have looked at it again and there is no setting for water only so please ignore that in my original post!

    Has anyone any comments on £80/month bill? Is that pretty average?

    I forgot to give details of our house-
    Modern detatched
    Cavity wall insulation & loft insulation recently added
    3 bedroom
    2 reception
    2 bath
    large entrace lobby which is always cooler than anywhere else in the house!

    I usually turn the radiators off in the spare room and the baby's bathroom apart from the 1/2 hr is is acually in the bath as well.

    **In case you are wondering why I seem like an idiot who does not know anything, we recently moved here from Kenya where we did not have/need central heating and we used bottled gas for cooking as mains gas is uncommon**
  • ninky_2
    ninky_2 Posts: 5,872 Forumite
    I pay around 85 a month for gas AND elec but live in a 1 bed flat, so...
    Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves. - Lord Byron
  • andyfuk
    andyfuk Posts: 62 Forumite
    Sounds about right for that size house, and particularly as it's been a cold winter. In fact I'd say it sounds quite good!

    Don't replace the thermostat- they are much better than the old bi-metallic analogue type which you can never guarantee what temperature you've set them at in the first place or don't switch on/off accurately.

    I switched mine to a digital after getting fed up of roasting because it switched off too late or freezing because it didn't turn on soon enough when the temperature dropped, and so far it's saved me a lot of money, despite the price hikes!
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