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Heating can account for more than 40% of total energy use, yet a large proportion of this is wasted due to incorrect control settings.

Having an effective controller on your boiler can save you 15-25% on fossil fuel consumption depending on your system.

1. Boiler controls

The principal function of most boiler controls is to maintain desired water temperature flowing from the boiler. Boiler controls can save thousands of pounds and often result in improved comfort. We recommend that you consult a heating technician to discuss your options.

  • Weather compensation controls

    These automatically regulate flow temperature based on outside conditions. This can be particularly useful for adjusting heating in line with the changeable Scottish weather.

  • Optimum start controllers

    Enter what time you need rooms up to a certain temperature, and the controller works out when the boilers need to come on. This means for example, that they will come on earlier in winter than in spring and autumn.

  • Nighttime setback controls

    These reduce temperature during specific time periods. For example, hotels can make savings by lowering the temperature of common areas such as corridors to 16°C between midnight and 5 am.

  • Frost protection controls

    These measure the temperature in the coolest part of the building to protect services from frost when unoccupied.

  • Sequence control

    Where there is more than one boiler, sequence control ensures only one is on at a time until that boiler can no longer meet demand, and then another comes on. This maximises efficiency.

2. Building Energy Management System

A Building Energy Management System controls and tracks building services. These include heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The system provides information on a computer screen in real time so that you can quickly and easily change settings.

You'll only make savings if you use these correctly and adjust the settings appropriately. A simple individual controller operated by a manager may be the best option to operate.

3. Boiler maintenance

  • Have regular check-ups

    Ensure you maintain your boiler every year. Combustion efficiency can reduce with boiler age ,so ask to see combustion efficiency test results. Your heating engineer can adjust settings to maximise efficiency, with 10-20% of excess air being optimal.

  • Insulate to save energy

    You should insulate boilers, hot water tanks, pipes valves and flanges to prevent heat escaping. Using valve covers that have a Velcro closers are easier to put back on than the metal hook and loop system.

  • Save money

    When refurbishing or installing a new heating system it pays to buy the most efficient equipment. Lower day-to-day running costs may outweigh the extra costs of installation.

  • Replace your old boiler with a better one

    If you need to replace your boiler(s), consider a high efficiency system like a condensing boiler.

    A series of smaller boilers that cater for the heating demand can be more efficient than a single larger boiler. Multiple boilers are usually set up with an intelligent sequence controller. This controller determines which ones go online to maintain correct temperatures.

    Always ask your system designers for heat loss calculations and heat demands at different times of the year.

4. Zoning

Zoning means that you divide your building into "zones" with separate time and temperature controls. In some zones, such as unoccupied floors, you could even turn the temperature off entirely.

Each zone has different temperature needs. Restaurants, for example, could zone their building into the:

  • Main restaurant
  • Kitchen
  • Storage areas

5. Further advice

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