Extreme temperatures cast spotlight on heating response times

Extreme temperatures cast spotlight on heating response times

Extreme fluctuations in outside temperatures this winter have strengthened the case for a more widespread use of sophisticated heating controls says Martyn Bridges, Director of Marketing and Technical Support at Worcester, Bosch Group.

The first week in January saw a difference of 18°C between the highest maximum and lowest minimum temperatures in England, which is the kind of temperature swing that we’re seeing more of year-on-year. Fluctuations like this are making it increasingly difficult for homeowners to maintain a consistent level of heating comfort within their property – not least because many rely on nothing more than a room thermostat and timer to control their heating.

There is always a correlation between the outdoor temperature and the temperature within people’s homes and depending on the thermal characteristics of the building, some are more quickly and directly affected than others. A building with either no or poor cavity wall insulation will more quickly lose heat to outside and therefore be more quickly affected by the swings in external temperatures. While a boiler can respond to extreme differences in temperature reasonably well, this will only happen if the controls it is paired with are sophisticated enough.

In this respect, the use of a weather sensor in conjunction with standard heating controls – or a more advanced system that incorporates both weather and load compensation controls – would give the boiler advanced warning that not only does the temperature of the boiler need boosting to cope with the colder weather, but that its load needs managing to ensure that the house does not overheat.

While the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) recent suggestion that weather compensation controls should be made mandatory is likely to be difficult to implement across the board, these huge swings in temperature certainly suggest we should be making a more concerted effort to at least recommend them for suitable properties.

Anything which picks up, and adapts to, extreme weather conditions before they affect the temperature within the property will certainly be useful in establishing the right level of home comfort, which is the primary objective for most heating engineers.

For more information on Worcester, Bosch Group and its range of high-efficiency heating and hot water technologies, visit www.worcester-bosch.co.uk.

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