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What are Thermostatic Radiator Valves and do I need them?

From June 15th 2022, the Building Regulations for England changed, meaning whenever someone upgrades the boiler in their home, every room should have Thermostatic Controls. But what does that mean? 

Simply put, it means every room should have either:

  • a thermostat, or
  • radiators with Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs), which mean that you can control the temperature of each radiator individually. This saves energy from being wasted to heat rooms that you’re not using or that don’t need to be kept as warm as others.

Do I need to have Thermostatic Radiator Valves in every room? 

The regulations state that all new homes in England, and every home where the heat generator (i.e. a boiler) is replaced, should have thermostatic controls in every room. 

A thermostatic control basically means something that controls the temperature. This can either be:

  • A thermostat 
  • Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs)

It’s not recommended to put a thermostat in every room of the house, as TRVs will do the job of controlling the temperature in each room and don’t cost as much as a thermostat. 

As long as you have your thermostat in a central location, ideally on an interior wall away from any direct sunlight or drafts, it will work with your boiler and the TRVs to maintain your designated temperature throughout the home.

It’s important to note that if you have a radiator in the same room as the thermostat, you don’t need to have a TRV on that radiator. 

How do Thermostatic Radiator Valves work? 

The TRVs change the flow of the water in the heating system when the temperature reaches a certain point, preventing the radiators from getting any hotter. 

As the temperature rises, the head of the valve expands, which moves a pin to close the body of the valve and stops any more water flowing through. 

When the temperature cools down again, the head of the valve contracts, allowing more hot water to flow into the radiator. 

What are the benefits of Thermostatic Radiator Valves? 

When used correctly, there are a number of reasons why it is beneficial to use TRVs with your radiators. 

Save money on bills

Because your boiler isn’t using as much energy to heat up the full heating system, it means that your energy bills will be lower too! In fact, studies have shown that on average households can save 18% on the energy energy bill by using TRVs - well worth the investment!

Save energy and reduce carbon emissions

As TRVs allow you to control the temperature of individual rooms separately, it means your system isn’t heating every room up to the full temperature on your thermostat, and therefore the boiler doesn’t have to generate as much heat as without TRVs, and so it doesn’t use as much energy. 

More comfortable for you

Being able to set the temperature of each room separately means that you can be sure that the rooms in your home will be the optimum comfortable temperature, depending on what you prefer. For example, you might want to keep the living room warmer while you’re watching TV on an evening, and at the same time the bedroom can be kept slightly cooler so you get a nice restful night’s sleep without getting too hot!

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