We get questions on our forum about whether it is better to control room temperature by the main thermostat or the individual TVR’s (Thermostatic Radiator Valves). The question is usually driven by finding the best ways to save money on Central Heating, but the answer isn’t that simple. On one hand it depends on where the sensor is in the house, and on the other it depends on whether you are good at keeping doors closed.
It is a good idea to shut the doors in the house while the central heating is on. This means that the radiator is only heating that one room, rather than spreading its heat around the rest around the house.
Radiators work using convection currents, so if the door is open it will usually result in the top floor becoming warmer than the ground floor. You will also be wasting energy by heating areas like hallways and stairs that don’t need to be very warm.
Thermostat in the Living Room
If you have your room thermostat in the living room you can set it to the right temperature for you when you are sitting in the evening. This is likely to be a slightly warmer temperature than you need in the kitchen or bedroom, where you will be more active or snuggled up respectively.
You will find that if you keep the living room door closed, then when the thermostat temperature is reached, the other areas of the house can be kept slightly cooler . If you have the living room door open, then the thermostat will not stop the boiler heating your home until the coldest room comes up to the temperature you set using the thermostat.
Thermostat in the Coldest Room
If your thermostat is located in the hall (or another cooler room) then you will have to take into account that the central heating will continue to keep trying to get the temperature to the level you set it at, in that cooler area. So you might find that you can set the thermostat much lower than you think you need it, in order to get your living room up to a temperature that is comfortable for you.
Again keeping your living room door closed should make that room feel more cozy than the cooler area where your thermostat is located.
TVR’s or Thermostatic Radiator Valves allow you to set a different level of heat in each room. It makes sense that you will then have to keep each door closed otherwise the radiators that are set the highest will be working to counteract the radiators that are turned down in other rooms.
TVR’s give you the greatest level of control over the heating in your home, however by having rooms that are significantly cooler than others you may find that you get problems with condensation, especially if you restrict air flow throughout the house too. So you will need to strike a balance between these in order to make your home comfortable and cost effective.