Radiator Valves: the ultimate guide to improving your heating system

When you open the valve on your hot water radiator, do you know what to do? With this guide, radiator valves will no longer be a mystery to you!

The role of the thermostat and the valve 

The role of the thermostat is to control the production of hot water which is then evenly distributed to all the radiators in the house. The valve is the device, specific to each radiator, that allows you to control the flow of hot water radiator by radiator.

There are two types of heating systems:

 - If your home is equipped with an individual boiler or a heat pump:

The thermostat is the chief-in-command, dishing out the orders. The valves control the flow of hot water to each individual radiator. The roles of the thermostat and the valve are complementary, they work together.

 - If your home is equipped with a collective heating system:

Hot water is circulated through the pipes as soon as the building's collective boiler is switched on. With this system, the valve is the only way to regulate the temperature in your home.

Check the compatibility of your heating system using our compatibility tool.

Thermostatic valves vs. Manual valves 

The market offers a wide range of radiators, from the more traditional cast iron all the way to the more modern aluminium models. When you change your heating system, you also have to choose between several valve models. How can you recognise them? Which ones best fulfil your needs?

 There are two types of valves: manual and thermostatic.

Manual valves  are not graduated, the opening and closing direction of the valve is indicated with "+" and "-" signs (for an increase or decrease in hot water flow).

Thermostatic valves can be recognised by their numbered scale from 1 to 5. They are equipped with an internal mechanism that regulates the valve opening in order to achieve and maintain the desired comfort level. Electronic models have buttons and even a display that shows the values in digital form.

Forming part of the thermostatic valve family, connected valves, such as those offered by Netatmo, benefit from intelligent functions. More efficient and precise than traditional models, these valves allow you to manage the temperature of each room from your smartphone.

 What are the benefits of different valve models?

 - Manual valves simply open and close the radiator. Their use is less technical, and they aren’t expensive.

 - Thermostatic valves allow the temperature to be regulated according to the desired comfort level. Based on its scale, the number 1 corresponds to the lowest temperature level and 5 to the highest.

 - The Netatmo Additional Smart Radiator Valves allow you to adjust a room’s temperature with an accuracy of within 0.5°C.  They follow a heating schedule adapted to your daily routine and can be controlled remotely from your smartphone or by voice. 

Unlike traditional models, these valves have intelligent control functions:

  • Open Window Detection: the valves detect when a window is open and stop the heating of the room to avoid wasting energy.
  •  Intelligent Regulation: the valves precisely analyse the environment (the weather and the insulation of the house) in real time in order to adjust the heating of the room and be more energy efficient.
  •  The Manual Boost function: you can temporarily increase the temperature of a room at any time. All you have to do is manually turn the valve or increase its temperature from the App.

 This allows for optimal temperature management, accurate to half a degree, via the connected thermostatic valves.  The more modern the device, the lower the annual heating bill: Estimate your savings with Netatmo solutions (in euros).

Upgrade your current heating equipment 

Now that you know the benefits of each system and their possible energy savings, how do you go about replacing your current system?

 Replacing a manual valve

Replacing a manual valve with a thermostatic model, connected or not, requires draining the radiator. We recommend that you seek professional help. This installation is best carried out in summer, when the heating is switched off.

 Replacing a thermostatic valve

You can easily replace a thermostatic valve by yourself without any technical knowledge. Simply unscrew the existing valve and install the new model in its place.

This can be done all year round, whether the radiator is switched on or off. There is no risk of leakage during installation.

Maintenance tips

Here are some simple steps to take care of your thermostatic valves:

- Turn the taps on to the maximum when the heating is off (spring - summer). When restarting, this will prevent them from locking up.

- Throughout the year, occasionally operate closed taps to prevent the mechanism from jamming. With the Netatmo Connected Valves, an automatic calibration is carried out every 15 days so that you do not have to do this.

- Clean the tap handle and valves with mild detergent (such as dishwashing liquid or Marseille soap). Avoid abrasive, solvent or acid products that will attack the device.

Netatmo Thermostatic Valves allow you to heat each room to a precise temperature that suits your lifestyle. Without having to give it any thought yourself, your valves will adapt to your needs depending on the time of day and the use of each room throughout the day!

Thanks to Netatmo Connected Valves, you can now wake up to 16°C in your bedroom (the recommended temperature to optimise the quality of your sleep), go through to your bathroom heated to 22°C, allowing you to gently wake up, and then finally have your breakfast in a 20°C heated kitchen.