Micro-zoning your building to save energy and money

With gas and electricity bills reaching an all-time high, the idea of implementing energy saving measures must become more than just “wishful thinking” for everyone, whether we’re talking about home owners or business managers.

While most non-domestic buildings are centrally managed with the help of a complex Building Energy Management System, that’s rarely the case with domestic users, who typically require a more affordable system that’s also easier to use.

Micro-zoning

Thermostatic radiator valves are the simplest micro-zoning solutions out there (and also, the easiest to install), since they’re used for setting the amount of heat users get from each single radiator. While not being extremely accurate, the difference between two consecutive values is quite easily noticeable.

Naturally, by lowering the amount of heat generated by each radiator or switching them off altogether, the boiler powering the central heating system will reduce its output, which will immediately translate into less fuel being used and lower energy bills.

However, basic TRVs offer limited functionality an no scheduling options, which is the reason why programmable TRVs were developed.

Programmable TRVs (wired or wireless) represent the next logical step in the evolution of TRVs, since they grant users extensive micro-zoning options. In fact, one can turn every single room in their house into a heating zone, with its own heating pattern.

Basically, depending on the planned use for the room (or area) where the radiator is placed, home owners can easily set the functioning times and temperatures for the respective unit, using the programmable TRV.

The functioning intervals and associated temperatures create the heating pattern, which is saved within the valves’ memory. Depending on the type of valve, the heating pattern can be set to be repeated over a period or time, or several different heating patterns can be implemented.

By using specific heating patterns that match their daily schedules, users will be able to optimize the radiator’s functionality, reduce the amount of required heating and, as a direct effect, reduce their overall energy bills.

Wireless programmable TRVs are more convenient than their standard counterparts since they enable users to control each valve from a single location (their PC), and implement changes in a much simpler and more straightforward manner.

Regardless of the specific type of radiator control you’ll ultimately decide to go for, it’s very important to remember that even lowering the temperature by a few degrees in a room you’re not frequently using could save you at least a few pounds on your heating bills, and that’s just the start.

 

About the author: Alex is a Web Content Editor for Tensor / HeatingSave, a leading UK-based developer and supplier of off-the-shelf integrated web and mobile based BEMS’ that allow users to save on their energy bills and manage their buildings’ infrastructure and security from one system.

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