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  1. In these days of high energy bills it has become more important to consider how well you are controlling how much energy you use.

    You might have read about the importance of having an energy efficient condensing boiler.  However this is only relevant if your current boiler is beyond repair.  This is because it would probably take you a lot of years to recoup the money you spend on having a new boiler installed.

    It is more important to consider the control you have over your existing system.  It is estimated that up to 40% of households do not have a thermostat.  It is estimated that fitting a thermostat could save you up to 30% on your heating bill.

    In the last few years technology has moved on and you might be surprised to know how much control you can have over your heating system depending on the type of controls you need.

    The minimum you need is a thermostat and some thermostatically controlled radiator valves.  TRV’s means you can turn down or off some of the rooms you don’t use so much.

    You could have a programmable thermostat which in addition to the normal on and off times you can tell it when you go on holiday and set it to come back on when you come back meaning that you return to a warm house.  A lot of people worry about frozen pipes if they go away during the winter.  With one of these you can set the heating to come on if the temperature goes below a temperature chosen by you.  This type of thermostat allows you to set different temperatures for different times of day depending on your lifestyle or who is in the house.  You can also set different times on different days such as weekends.

    There are now some much more sophisticated controls available.  For example you could zone your house so that the heating comes on in different rooms at different times and at the temperatures that you choose.  The bigger your house the more value you might get out of this type of system.

    You could also have a system where you can control your heating system via your mobile phone, tablet or computer.  This might be useful if your working days are variable and you can set the heating to come on when you know you are coming home. If the weather gets bad while you are out you could set it to come on or if you know you aren’t going to get home you can turn it off remotely.

    When choosing how to control your system you need to consider your lifestyle.  For example if you are at home all day and wish you didn’t have to heat the whole house then zoning might be for you.

    If you have a second home it can be an asset to be able control the heating remotely.