Extreme temperature fluctuations causing problems

Martyn Bridges
Martyn Bridges
Martyn Bridges

Extreme fluctuations in outside temperatures this winter have strengthened the case for a more widespread use of sophisticated heating controls, according to a leading boiler manufacturer, Worcester, Bosch Group believes recent swings in the external conditions will have left many homeowners struggling to achieve the desired comfort level within their property.

Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support, said: “The first week in January saw a difference of 18°C between the highest maximum and lowest minimum temperatures in England, which is the kind of temperature swing that we’re seeing more of year-on-year. Fluctuations like this are making it increasingly difficult for homeowners to maintain a consistent level of heating comfort.

“There is always a correlation between the outdoor temperature and the temperature within homes and depending on the thermal characteristics of the building, some are more directly affected than others. A building with either no or poor cavity wall insulation will more quickly lose heat to outside and be more quickly affected by the swings in external temperatures. While a boiler can respond to extreme differences in temperature reasonably well, this will only happen if the controls it is paired with are sophisticated enough.

“In this respect, the use of a weather sensor in conjunction with standard heating controls would give the boiler advanced warning that not only does the temperature of the boiler need boosting to cope with the colder weather, but that its load needs managing to ensure that the house does not overheat.”

In December, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy proposed the mandatory use of weather compensation controls in its Heat in Buildings consultation.

Martyn added: “The suggestion that weather compensation controls should be made mandatory is likely to be difficult to implement, these huge swings in temperature suggest we should be making a more concerted effort to recommend them for suitable properties.

“Anything which picks up, and adapts to, extreme weather conditions before they affect the temperature within the property will certainly be useful in establishing the right level of home comfort, which is the primary objective for most heating engineers.”