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How to regulate a central heating system?

The regulation of a central heating system takes place on several levels: from the boiler itself, which benefits from a programming system that is sometimes very sophisticated; at the room thermostat, more or less sophisticated; radiator radiator, with thermostatic valves.

Find the right indoor temperature

The regulation of the central heating must result in obtaining the "good" temperature in the living rooms. The ideal temperature is one that guarantees a good comfort without wasting energy.
Article R131-20 of the Construction and Housing Code sets out 19° C the average daytime temperature in a room and at 16-17° C the night temperature in the rooms. A increase of 1° C of the daytime temperature translates into a 7% increase of energy consumption.
The notion of thermal comfort essentially depends on the stability of the temperature. This stability can be achieved by good regulation.

Set the temperature at the boiler

The boiler has a thermometer which indicates to the user the temperature of the heat transfer liquidr it diffuses into the heating system. The adjustment of this temperature is generally obtained by rotation of the "heating" temperature button controlling the aquastat of the device.
This basic setting allows no modulation other than the general one of the installation, which does not make it possible to refine the operation of the boiler according to the variations of temperature in the house and the influence of the outside temperature.

Set the indoor temperature at the room thermostat

A room thermostat must be placed where it can not be disturbed.

Room thermostat.

Placed in neuralgic position (generally in the living room) in the apartment or in the house, the room thermostat allows to fine-tune the operation of the boiler. It is an electric thermostat, functioning as a switch, which opens or closes an electrical circuit connected to the boiler.It acts either directly on the operation of it, or on the accelerator or the pump of the boiler, lowering or increasing the efficiency of the installation according to the needs and the desired temperature.

Location of the room thermostat
Care must be taken to choose the location of the thermostat. It should not be placed on a cold wall, where it may be exposed to the sun, or in drafts.

Regulate the heating with an outdoor sensor

The outdoor sensor allows for temperature variations outside the house.

Outdoor probe.

An outdoor sensor is nothing more than a thermometer placed outside the house which, by transmitting to the boiler the information of decrease or rise of the external temperature, allows it toto anticipate thermal variations inside the house. It works according to the programming commands left by the user. It's the logical complement of the room thermostat.
Location of the outdoor sensor
As for the room thermostat, the location of the outdoor sensor should be carefully chosen, avoiding exposure to the sun (south) or the cold (north). A west or east position is desirable, sheltered from the prevailing winds.

Adjust the temperature at the thermostatic valves

A thermostatic valve regulates the individual operation of the radiators depending on the use of the parts.

Thermostatic valve.

To be installed on all radiators (or only those of certain rooms), the thermostatic valves allow to modulate, mechanically, the temperature of each room according to the temperature that one wishes to obtain at a given moment of the day. Thermostatic valves act on the flow of heat transfer in radiators and simply replace the control valves of the latter.

Evolution of thermostatic faucets
There are now thermostatic faucets programmable, some models can even be connected to a home automation box.

(photos / visuals: © DIY-Prod, except special mention)

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