Types of central heating control
Below is an overview of the main types of central heating control and how they work. Follow the links to find out more about each type of control and read about the products we've reviewed.
Programmers control the boiler. You can turn the boiler on or off, or have it follow a programme you’ve set on a timer. Click here to read more about programmers.
Thermostats let you choose what temperature you want your house to be. They will only work when the boiler is switched on. There are a few different kinds:
- TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves) attach to radiators. You set your chosen temperature and they meet it by controlling how much hot water gets into the radiator. Click here to read more about TRVs.
- Room thermostats attach to the wall. You set your chosen temperature, and the thermostat tells the boiler to turn on or off to meet it. Click here to read more about room thermostats.
- Programmable thermostats act like a room thermostat, but also let you programme temperature settings by time and day. We also reviewed a version you can control online or using your smartphone. Click here to read more about programmable thermostats.
This guide gives each product a score out of 5. The score reflects our testers’ views on accessibility rather than any test of performance. The tests in 2013 were carried out by different people looking at slightly different criteria than those testing products in 2004, so the two can’t be directly compared.
All prices listed are guide prices, and were last updated in February 2014.
Last updated: February 2014