Understanding the role of thermostats in home heating

Gaining control of your central heating system is important when you want to keep your home a comfortable temperature without wasting unnecessary energy. Thermostats allow for greater control of the heat that your home is producing, while enabling you with the correct tools to help you reduce your heating bills. Installing room thermostats combined with a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves, and using these controls efficiently, could help you save around £75 a year on your energy bills*.

How does a thermostat work?

A thermostat works to control the specific temperature of each room in your home or the whole system by deciding when to turn your central heating system on or off. It allows you to set your preferred temperature for your heating and will automatically turn on when the temperature is below this and turn off when it reaches the set temperature. This in turn ensures that no excess heat is being produced and that your home does not get too hot. Regulating your heating proficiently this way can help you use less energy and save money on your heating bills.

Types of thermostats

There are multiple types of thermostats that you could get installed into your home heating system, including either one thermostat to control the whole heating system or individual thermostats to control the temperature of each room.


Manual (or non-programmable) thermostats are normally the simplest type of thermostat that you can have installed, and the cheapest. These thermostats must be manually adjusted by a dial to set a specific temperature, so you have to be at home to change the heating temperature or to turn it off. Typically, you only have one or two of these in your home and they can be installed as mechanical, digital, wired, or wireless. They work by turning on your heating and allowing it run until they detect that the temperature within your home matches the one set. Then it will turn off the heating as it reaches this desired temperature. Did you know that if you have a manual thermostat for the whole house, for every degree that you increase your temperature by, it will increase your heating bill by around 10%? **


Programmable thermostats, which are also known as digital thermostats, allow for more control over when the heating turns on and off. They allow for not only specific temperatures to be set for the heating to run at, but also let you schedule specific times during the day for the heating to turn off and on. For example, in the winter if you want the heating to turn on one hour before you wake up so that you can wake up to a warm home. These thermostats help you to fit the heating of your home around your lifestyle better. Digital thermostats are quite popular as they are easier for homeowners to use and will generally give more accurate readings then manual thermostats.


Smart heating controls are one of the more advanced control options available for your home central heating. They allow for complete control over your central heating system, which you can even adjust from an app on your phone remotely. This can help you keep your home at a comfortable temperature when it best suits you and your lifestyle. Giving you more flexibility with your heating will help you use it only when you really need it, saving you energy and money on your bills in the long run. Some smart thermostats can even learn your schedule and give you suggestions on how you could run your heating differently to save you more money.



Benefits of using your thermostat efficiently

  • Using your thermostat effectively allows you to take more control of your heating and adapt your central heating to fit around you.
  • It also keeps your home at a comfortable temperature while avoiding wasting any unnecessary energy. With some smart thermostats even claiming that with effective use you can potentially reduce your energy consumption by up to 31%.***
  • When used efficiently, thermostats can help you save energy and in turn save you money on your heating bills.

If you’re interested in upgrading your thermostat or updating any other area of your central heating system, you can call our expert Sales Team on 0800 731 33 44.

Why choose Swale Heating?

We were founded in 1972 to focus on top quality installation with follow-up maintenance to the same standard.

Swale Heating is now one of Kent's largest installers of boilers and heating systems, completing thousands of installations each year, and keeping homes safe and warm, via our maintenance and repair services.

We understand that the failure of your heating system can leave you feeling anxious, which is why we're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can find out more about our boiler cover plans and use our online portal to book your repair or annual service. If you would like a quote for a new boiler, click here.


Information sources:

*Energy Saving Trust

**Energy Saving Trust