In a nut shell, zone heating allows you to independantly control the temperature of a given room in your property seperately from any other (as long as they are setup as individual zones). For example, you may wish to retain a higher temperature in your living room than you do in your dinning room as the living room is occupied more frequently.
Zone heating concentrates on 3 basic principals in order to reduce the total cost of heating your home:
- Make use of appliances that are of a higher efficiency than heating system
- Reduce the total area being heated by breaking it into smaller more focussed chunks
- Heat a given area more efficiently by reducing the time that it is heated
Wireless heating controls, combining room thermostats and heating programmers offer greater, and more accurate control of your heating system.
One of the huge energy draining problems in homes is the introduction of very advanced boiler systems which lose every bit of their efficiency because the boiler control system is not up to the job.
There are quite a few companies on the market at the moment that offer wireless heating control system that give you the ability to control several zones (rooms or areas) at the same time, giving each room it's own unique temperature setting
These systems for example, could control the conservatory and main house heating or any other combination of rooms and zones. In order to comply with the new part L1 of the building regulations, most systems take into consideration existing heating systems within a property and also installations within new properties and can be installed along side each instance but you will have to check whether they are compatible with your current heating system.
Most companies supplying wireless zone systems will have a great deal of knowledge and will be able to inform you whether your current heating setup is compatible.
If it turns out that your current heating system is not compatible it is worth considering upgrading your boiler/heating system. Although the initial outlay is likely to be quite considerable, if you are going to remain in the property for some time the introduction of a new heating system may over time save you a huge amount of money (compared to what your existing system may waste).
British Gas have stated that the easiest upgrade to a central heating system is done by adding a room thermostat where one does not already exist. This simple upgrade can save up to 30% of the heating bill.
A further improvement on that is to fit a thermostat that uses Time Proportional Integral (TPI) control to help condensing boilers run more efficiently. TACMA tests indicate that under steady state conditions as much as 10% energy savings can be made with TPI. This would be reduced by seasonal and operational losses. But in addition, because the control is so much more accurate, the set point can be reduced, without loss of comfort, introducing extra savings.
Rather than controlling the whole house as a single heating zone, divide it up into zones that are used in the same way. Keep the bedrooms at a cooler temperature than the living room. Allow the kitchen heating to close down when you are cooking. Zoning is possible with wireless radiator thermostats. They are able to receive variable set points from a programmable room thermostat.