Adapting to the outside temperature, automatically.
Weather compensated gas boilers and heat pumps dramatically improve the efficiency of a heating system.
Most houses in the UK have heating systems with very basic controls, typically a boiler and a single thermostat positioned somewhere in the house. The boiler is usually set to run at its maximum temperature and the heating comes on when the thermostat calls for demand and switches off when either the room temperature is reached or the programmed heating time has come to an end.
To overcome poor control, radiators (and boilers) are commonly oversized to meet the worst-case heating scenario. This can lead to systems overheating and the boiler cycling (turning on and off).
Turning your heating on just before you wake up, off when you go to work and then on again when you get home until bed time is the most common method of heating a house. The problem is that this method requires a lot more energy than if the system would be ticking over at a lower, constant temperature. We all know that the best fuel consumption in a car is achieved if you travel at a consistent 56mph.
Weather compensated systems (both heat pumps and gas boilers) vary the flow temperature into the heating system depending on the outside temperature. The temperature of the heating system in the house can automatically be raised - without the occupant having to lift a finger. The room temperatures may be set to a constant temperature but the output may have to increase depending on the heat loss of the room. So as the weather gets colder the system works harder and produces hotter water to the underfloor heating, and as the weather warms up the system reduces the water temperature to the heating system.
The key benefits to weather compensation are:
Energy is delivered to the building gradually over a period of time using the equipment as it is designed to be used.
The heat source will modulate and run at a lower, more efficient rate.
The heat pump or boiler fires less often and reduces cycling which is a major cause of inefficiency and premature failure in traditional central heating systems.
It maintains the fabric of the building at a steady and consistent temperature, providing the occupants with increased levels of comfort.
There is no need to turn off your heating system at all. The heating will come on as required by the outside temperature. This means that on a cool, late summer evening the heating will automatically come on to provide some heat, and on a warm spring day the heating will not switch on at all.
Running a heating system with weather compensation means a potential saving of up to 15% on your fuel bills.