Central Heating

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I live in a split level flat with good, efficient Gas Central Heating. Upstairs is the main living area with kitchen, bathroom, lounge and spare bedroom.

We have a flat above too and as such the upstairs level always warms quickly once the heating comes on and retains the heat well.

Downstairs there are two bedrooms, one has two outside walls and the other has one long one. Both rooms also have another wall which effectively can be considered an outside wall as it backs onto two garages.

Even though the walls are well insulated, the radiators are good double ones, we have great double glazing it still gets a lot colder quickly down there.

The thermostat is in the hall upstairs which also doesn't help the downstairs get up to the temp we want, even if we turn the radiator in the hall right down.

Is there a way I can split the Heating System to work independently, upstairs and down?

Otherwise I thought about fitting thermostatic valves to all of the upstairs radiators in order to better control the distribution of heat. Is this the best option?

Thanks in advance.

Mike
 
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Reckon thermostatic valves are the easiest modification. However an alternative is using motorised valves for zone control with separate room thermostats. Plumbing might need modification as you would need to split circuit. Your problem would not have arisen if radiators were sized correctly for rooms rather than putting in what was convenient or cheaper.
 
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I would suggest you fit thermostatic valves to all you radiators except the one in the room where the wall stat is. It would be quite difficult and disruptive now to split the system into two circuits.

Another thing you could consider is moving the thermostat to the coldest room, so that the heating switches on when heat is needed here, even though the upstairs rooms will still be comfortable. Here the TRVs will save you money, as you won't waste heat overheating these upstairs rooms when you need to heat the downstairs ones.

It is easier to re-run cable compared to changing the plumbing.

You could even consider a wireless thermostat - you replace your existing wall stat with a receiver, and put the (battery operated) tramsmitter in any room you want. No need to run new cables.

One other thing, if you go for TRVs on the radiators, consider putting in an automatic bypass valve to maintain constant flow through the boiler, and cut down on system noise as the TRVs close down. The TRVs will also work better with constant differential pressure at the rads. Honeywell make a good one - model DU145.

Good luck
 
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Tell the builders about the radiator sizes!

Thanks for the info. As a bit of a gadget freak it sounds like the wireless thermostat combined with TRV's in the upstair rooms is the way I should go.

Has anyone had any experience of these wireless thermostats - or could recommend a good make / model?

Just to clear up one point, are you saying that the DU145 comes with an automatic bypass valve which I can employ - or are you saying I should be fitting an automatic bypass valve in addition to the TRV?

Regards

Mike
 
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I think you are confusing Automatic Bypass Valves with Thermostatic Radiator Valves. Honeywell DU145 is an automatic bypass valve:

see below for application guide:

http://content.honeywell.com/uk/homes/files/pag102.pdf

Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) are valves that replace the handwheel valve on your rads. They open and close according to the temperature in the room.

If you are using TRVs, then as the house warms up and the valves start to close down, the water flow in the heating circuit reduces due to the increased resistance of the TRVs. The pressure drop across the TRVs causes a whistling noise. In extreme cases, particularly with combi boilers, the flow of water can be reduced sufficiently to cause the boiler to trip out due to low flow, or overtemperature. An automatic bypass valve avoid this happening, as the TRVs close down, the bypass valve opens up to maintain a constant pressure drop, and hence ensure sufficient flow through the boiler.
 

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