Add optimum start/stop to the heating system.

Priority for Completion: High

Heating is usually a major expense for non-domestic buildings and accounts for a significant portion of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Effective, properly configured controls are essential to ensuring your heating system operates efficiently. Whilst new heating controls require some financial investment and professional installation, they can significantly reduce operating costs. As such, we have identified these are being of high priority for completion.

The exact benefits and savings you will see depend upon a wide range of factors. These include the type of heating system, cost of fuel, hours of building occupation, other controls present and the nature of activities being undertaken.

What is optimum start/stop?

Buildings don't respond instantly to changes made to heating and cooling systems. Once a change is made, it takes a period of time for the building environment to reach a new equilibrium or set point. In simple terms, it takes time for it to reach the required temperature. How much time this takes will be different for every building. It will also alter by occupation and weather conditions.

Optimum start/stop heating controls make sure your heating turns on at the right times to make sure your building reaches the correct temperature when you want it. Before a period of occupation or use they prevent the heating being on too early wasting energy or coming on too late impacting your comfort. At the end of a period of occupation they work in reverse. The heating can be shut off before occupation finishes as the building will remain warm for long enough to ensure the comfort of occupants.

Optimum start/stop controls are often combined with weather compensation and zone temperature controls to ensure even more effective system control. Most systems now also have the ability to learn from experience and so become even more effective over time as they get used to the characteristics of the building.

Fitting these controls

Building Regulations require that alterations to heating systems are subject to Building Control. The easiest way to comply is to make sure all work is carried out by a suitably qualified professional who is registered with an appropriate industry scheme. It can be very dangerous to attempt this work if you are not fully competent and, if you are unable to prove the work was completed properly, it could affect your ability to sell the building in future.

Fitting new controls is often a relatively simple task. Modern systems can perform multiple functions using a range of sensors. effectively acting as simple Building Management Systems (BMS). They often have smart capabilities to allow remote monitoring, targeting and easy control. Additionally, they can connect wirelessly so new cables often don't need to be run around the building.

NB: The videos on this page have been selected to illustrate the concepts discussed. They are not endorsements of any particular product, manufacturer or installer.