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How TRV’s can save you money on your heating bills

Looking to save money on your heating bill? Your central heating may be the furthest thing from your mind but as the winter is in full swing , you will want your house to be nice and toasty, but you also want your bills to be as low as possible.

If your central heating does not already have TRV’s fitted, installing these may be a good way to save money and energy when heating your home. TRV’s are Thermostatic Radiator Valves, and they allow you to adjust the temperature for individual rooms.

How do TRV’s work?

TRV’s stop the flow of water through the radiators they are attached to when the room temperature goes above a certain setting. They do this by sensing the air temperature next to the radiator.

Contrary to the popular belief, the numbers on the TRV do not dictate how hot the radiator gets, but rather at what temperature the radiator will switch off. For example, if you set the TRV to number 5, the radiator will stay on until the room gets to a high temperature and then it will switch off, whereas if you set it to number 1 it will switch off once the room is at a much lower temperature.

Once the room is at the desired temperature the TRV will stop the flow of water to the radiator. The TRV is made up of two parts – the valve head and the valve body. When the room temperature changes, a capsule in the valve head contracts or expands, which moves a pin in the valve body causing water to stop flowing to the radiator, and when the TRV detects that the room has dropped below the desired temperature, the valve opens and water flows to the radiator once more. This means that if you want a room to heat up faster, you shouldn’t turn up the TRV but instead adjust the temperature at your boiler.

Why might you want to use TRV’s

TRV’s are useful if you want a particular room to be set at a higher or lower temperature than the rest of the house, as they do not control the boiler but just that one radiator.

For example, if you don’t use one room, you might want to set it at a lower temperature than other rooms as it doesn’t matter if that room is a little cooler. Or you might want to set a lower temperature if a room is heated through other means – for example through electrical appliances, fires, the sun coming through the windows, or if there is going to be a lot of people in the room – body heat can really make a difference to a room’s temperature. Other rooms where you might want a different temperature include conservatories or utility rooms, where the temperature is often different to the rest of the house.

All of this means that you could set the individual radiator for that room to a lower temperature, and this will save you energy and money, without compromising on your family’s comfort.

Why might TRV’s not be quite so useful?

TRV’s will not be as effective if you use radiator covers because they sense the air temperature around them, and enclosing them in a radiator cover may make them think the room is warmer than it really is.

Similarly, if the radiator is near a draft the TRV may detect the room is cooler than it is and therefore the temperature will become too warm. However, the good thing about the TRV’s is that if the temperature isn’t comfortable, you can easily adjust them so that the temperature the radiator turns off at is lower or higher. TRV’s are available in a variety of designs, and some also come with an energy saving button so you can ensure it is set at the most economic temperature. You can even get electronic TRV’s which use batteries and electronic thermostats to monitor and adjust the temperature digitally.

If you would like more information or advice on TRV’s, or if you are interested in fitting them in your home, get in touch with Baker Smith Ltd.

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