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Visit Scotland | Alba

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Heating can account for more than 40% of total energy use. Depending on which system you use, controlling your heating can save 5 to 15% of fuel consumption. The key to this is:

  • Using your heating system only when required
  • Setting your heating system to the minimum acceptable temperature


You won't only be saving money and reduce your carbon emissions, you'll also improve comfort for guests and staff.


In this section:

  1. Appropriate temperatures
  2. Temperature control
  3. Further advice

1. Appropriate temperatures

A good starting point is to know the recommended temperatures for specific areas. Heating costs rise by about 8% for every 1°C of overheating, so keep checking if temperatures are set at the right level or could lower them.

For accommodation providers 21°C is acceptable for lounges and bathrooms and 16 to 18°C for corridors. For sleeping most people prefer a cooler bedroom (around 16°C), but if the bedroom doubles up as a living space then we'd recommend 19 to 21°C.

2. Temperature control

  • Thermostatic radiator valves

    A thermostatic radiator valve is a control valve with an air temperature sensor. It controls the heat output from a radiator by adjusting water flow to provide the correct level of localised heating. It is important to check settings regularly to maintain optimum comfort.

    You should mount a thermostatic radiator valve horizontally on a radiator. This way, they can measure and maintain the correct temperature.

  • Wall thermostats

    Wall or room thermostats control heating systems rather than individual radiators. When they reach the specified temperature the thermostat switches the boiler and / or pump off.

    The location of thermostats is important. You shouldn't place thermostats near draughts or heat sources such as:

    • Sunlight
    • Radiators
    • Office equipment, such as computers


    These create a false local temperature and can result in the heating system over or underheating.

  • Time control

    Set correctly, time controls ensure that a heating system is only on when you need it. A programmable timer can help to automate your heating. A typical time setting for a B&B would be: ON 7.30 am, OFF 10.30 am, ON 5 pm, OFF 10 pm.

    Regularly review the settings on your timers they're optimised for seasonal changes

    Timers with a half hour, 1 hour or 2 hour boost function can increase efficiency when fitted to an element that heats up, such as electric towel rails.

    Poorly maintained controls gradually deteriorate. This affects comfort and energy efficiency levels. Many systems function inefficiently because someone made a quick adjustment and forgot to set it back again.

  • Myth busting

    Turning a thermostat up to maximum won't heat the room faster. Temperature increases at a standard rate. So, you'll only waste energy and make any room too hot if you won't flip the thermostat back to the preferred temperature in time.

3. Further advice

If your business occupies a larger building, you may want to read our page about how to install a more sophisticated controller for your boiler.

Please also check out our page on draught proofing and insulating your building. This way, you'll ensure increase customer comfort and save money.

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