File - Advantage SW

Heating system Frequently Asked Questions
Should I leave my hot water and
heating on all the time or use my
Should I use my portable heater /
decorative fire or turn on my central
heating system?
It's a common misconception that it is
cheaper to leave your hot water and
heating on all the time. Although the
boiler will use more power initially to
heat the home and water from cold, the
cost of this is greatly exceeded by the
cost of keeping the boiler running 24
hours a day. The principle of an
appliance using more power when it
starts is quite normal - cars, ovens and
kettles are the same - but we don't run
these appliances 24 hours a day. Ideally
the heating and hot water should not be
on for more than 9 hours a day, unless it
is extremely cold.
Any electric plug-in heater (including oil
filled radiators), portable gas heaters or
decorative gas fires are an expensive
and inefficient way to heat your home.
The heat costs around three times as
much per unit as that from a gas central
heating system. A portable gas heater
also produces a large amount of
condensation which makes the house
damp. The only time this is worth
considering is if it's a choice between
heating one room with a portable heater
or all of a large house with central
heating. However, portable heaters or
fires should not be considered as an
alternative to central heating and should
only be used for occasional use, such
as at the end of the day, when the
central heating has been turned off.
Is it cheaper to have my hot water on
all the time?
No, it's almost always cheaper to have
your hot water on when you need it, as
a full tank of hot water will always lose
heat and need topping up by the boiler.
Normally it takes around 30-45 minutes
to heat a tank of hot water. Set your
programmer to heat it up for a short time
before you are likely to want to shower
or bath in the morning and to come on
again before you next want heat. There
is often a button on your central heating
programmer that lets you get a boost of
hot water in between times.
Should I leave my electric immersion
heater on all the time?
No, if you have a gas central heating
boiler use that to heat your hot water,
ideally using your timer/programmer to
time your space heating and your hot
water heating at the same time. Only
use your immersion heater as a top up.
It could work out cheaper to use your
electric immersion heater to heat your
hot water in the summer radiators. if you
only use a moderate amount of hot
Even when I turn them right up, my
radiators don't stay hot all the time What's wrong?
The temperature of radiators will
naturally fluctuate when controlled by
TRVs. This is normal.
Why does the boiler keep firing on
and off?
The boiler will only fire up when your
heating and/or hot water is on. If you
have a room thermostat, the 'firing up'
will stop when your home is warm
enough. The boiler will then 'die down'
to the pilot light. When the temperature
drops, the room thermostat will tell the
boiler to 'fire up' again, re-heating the
water to pump round to the radiators.
If I turn the room thermostat to a high
setting will it heat up the room
No, turning it up will not heat the room
up quicker; it will heat it to a higher
Heating system Frequently Asked Questions
I spend most of my time in the living
room so have turned off the other
radiators - is that right?
No, as condensation may occur in
unused rooms. Also, if you just use one
radiator it is not good for the heating
system and it could break down.
Therefore, we recommend that you set
the TRVs in all the rooms to a 1 or a 2
setting and the one in the living room to
a higher setting.
My living room never gets warm
enough. I have the TRV set on
maximum all the time. My room
thermostat in the hall is set at 16°C. I
don't like my bedroom to be too hot.
What should I do?
Turn up the room thermostat in the hall
to 18°-21°C (66°-70°F). The living room
should get warmer now. Turn the TRV in
your bedroom to a low setting so that
the bedroom does not get too hot.
Why is a radiator with a TRV on it
cold when my heating is on?
The thermostat has shut off the water to
the radiator as it has sensed the room is
warm enough.
I don't use two of my bedrooms,
should I turn the radiators off?
Not really, as condensation may occur
in these bedrooms. Instead, turn the
TRVs on these radiators down to a low
setting.The radiator will now only come
on if the heating is on and these rooms
are very cold. Close the doors of these
bedrooms to prevent them from draining
heat from the rest of the house, too.
My heating is on but the radiator in
the living room has gone cool, why?
When the TRV senses that the radiator
is warm enough, it closes the pipe and
stops hot water flowing into the radiator.
When the room cools, the TRV opens
the pipe and hot water flows back into
the radiator and heats it up.