Add weather compensation controls to 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 weather compensation?

Weather compensation controls are most simply introduced to wet heating systems (i.e. those where hot water is used to distribute the heat around the building). This can include radiators and underfloor systems.

On a cold day, a building will lose more heat to the outside environment. This is because the rate of heat loss (transfer) increases. As a result, more heat needs to be supplied to the building to ensure the internal temperature remains stable. This can be simply achieved by increasing the temperature of the water circulating through the heating system.

On warmer days the opposite is true. Less heat is lost and so less needs to be supplied to keep the building at a constant temperature. The water circulated through the heating system can be at a lower temperature and still achieve the same effect.

Adjusting the temperature of the water circulating correctly has a number of benefits. Firstly, it will save energy preventing unnecessary heat being produced. Secondly, it can make the building more comfortable ensuring the temperature remains more constant during occupation and fluctuating less as the heating starts and stops.

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.