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Boiler Thermostat

A boiler is the central device for producing heat in a home. Whether it runs on wood, oil or gas, it can be part of a communal or individual heating system and provides the heat needed to maintain a comfortable domestic temperature. It therefore accounts for a big part of a household budget, which is why it's best to buy a thermostat - a heating regulation device - to limit the amount of energy a boiler consumes and make savings.

Why buy a boiler thermostat?

Even in a well-insulated home it's difficult to maintain a consistent ambient temperature. There are gaps that cause heat losses, people coming and going and the opening of doors creates thermal movements, cooking or the use of electric devices or high-powered bulbs produces unexpected heat, etc. This is why the temperature in each room of your home may vary.
To remedy this, it's often tempting to turn up the radiators or switch off the boiler depending on whether it's too hot or too cold. However, these constant adjustments not only fatigue your boiler, they also cause significant temperature differences and increase energy consumption. That's why it's best to install a boiler thermostat, a regulating product that continuously adjusts the running of your boiler to maintain a stable ambient temperature.
Aside from ensuring your comfort, purchasing a heating regulation product allows you to make big energy savings. The French environment and energy conservation agency (ADEME) says that fitting a programmable atmosphere thermostat can save you up to 25% on your energy bill. By more intelligently adjusting the heating in your home, you'll not only make savings but also cut your CO2 emissions and protect the environment. Discover all our products

The different types of boiler thermostat

The market for heating regulation accessories includes many different types of boiler thermostats at a whole range of prices and with different features and regulation levels.
  • Atmosphere thermostats
An atmosphere thermostat is designed to regulate the temperature. Fitted with a thermal sensor, it measures the temperature in a room, compares it with the setpoint temperature you entered and tells the boiler to start up or stop running accordingly. If the ambient temperature is below the setpoint temperature, the atmosphere thermostat tells the boiler to start up. Meanwhile, if the setpoint temperature has been reached or if an external heat source has heated up the room, the atmosphere thermostat tells the boiler to stop producing heat. This means that the temperature of the room remains stable despite air movements and activities in the home.
An atmosphere thermostat can be mechanical (also known as electromechanical) if the appliance has a simple control wheel for adjusting the setpoint temperature to the nearest degree, or electronic if a digital display allows for more precise regulation, usually to the nearest half-degree and sometimes to the nearest tenth of a degree.
  • Programmable thermostats
More sophisticated boiler thermostats are also available: programmable thermostats. Like an atmosphere thermostat, a programmable thermostat regulates the temperature by adjusting how the boiler runs according to the temperature measured in a home. It also allows the ambient temperature to be programmed according to the time of day. A programmable thermostat lets you enter different setpoint temperatures for different times of the day (daily programming) and the day of the week (thermostats that allow weekly programming).
This allows you to maintain a comfortable temperature while you're at home and avoid having the heating on unnecessarily when you're not there, for example while you're at work. Weekly programming enables you to adjust the programme on certain days, for example at the weekend if you'll be at home for a different amount of time. A programmable thermostat also allows you to limit the heating at night. Whereas a temperature of 19°C is recommended during the day, 16 to 17° is sufficient when you're asleep.
Programmable thermostats also let you put the boiler into frost protection mode if you'll be away for a longer period of time. This means you can avoid unnecessarily heating your home while also maintaining a minimum temperature to stop the water in the pipes freezing if there's very cold weather for example.
  • Smart programmable thermostats
In addition to standard atmosphere thermostats and programmable atmosphere thermostats, there are also smart programmable thermostats. These offer the benefits of the other two products, namely regulation and programming, while also improving them and adding other features. A smart thermostat lets you choose a very precise setpoint temperature to make your home extremely comfortable without unintended temperature variations. Because it's programmable, it also lets you create a heating temperature programme for different times of the day, while weekly programming lets you personalise the programme for different days of the week.
With a programmable and smart boiler thermostat, you can create a schedule that's suited to your lifestyle to save on your heating when you're not at home. A smart product also lets you control your heating remotely, as the thermostat is connected to the internet via your home Wi-Fi network. This means you can adjust the temperature in your home even when you're not there by using an app on your smartphone or tablet, take action if you've forgotten to switch the heating on or off, handle unexpected events, plan ahead so that it's nice and warm when you get back home or cut down on unnecessary use of your heating if you'll be getting back later than expected, etc. You can also view your heating history and consumption to identify your habits more effectively and adjust your programming in even more detail.
Some boiler thermostats also offer other functions in addition to regulation and programming. The Netatmo smart thermostat takes your home's insulation and the outside temperature into account to plan when to switch on the heating if necessary. A smart atmosphere thermostat also notifies you if it detects a problem with your boiler or when the device's batteries are running low.
The Netatmo smart atmosphere thermostat is compatible with the leading voice assistants. This allows you to control your heating by voice using the Google Assistant, Siri via the Apple HomeKit or Alexa.
  • Wired/wireless thermostats
The wide range of boiler thermostats also includes wired and wireless versions. A wired thermostat is usually cheaper, although installing it often means you'll need to call a professional to connect the thermostat to the boiler. Nevertheless, if you're fitting a wired thermostat as a replacement for another wired boiler thermostat, if the connections are already in place and if you're handy around the home, you can carry out the installation yourself.
Although a wireless atmosphere thermostat is more expensive, it's far easier to install than a wired version. The thermostat's control unit is battery-powered and the thermostat communicates by radio waves with a receiver connected to the boiler. This makes installation easier because there's no cable between the thermostat and the boiler. All you have to do is install the receiver in the boiler and place the thermostat in your chosen position on a wall. If you want to install your receiver on a boiler that was previously fitted with a wired thermostat, the installation is even easier as all you need to do is replace the thermostat with your new receiver.
The wireless thermostat's control unit measures the ambient temperature. If this is below the setpoint temperature, the thermostat tells the receiver to switch on the heating.
A radio thermostat model is often preferable to a wired atmosphere thermostat, as you can move the thermostat's control unit wherever you like in the room. You sometimes need to experiment with different positions to find the one where the temperature measured by the thermal sensor is the most accurate, away from heat sources, sunshine and air currents. A wireless atmosphere thermostat can be easily repositioned by moving the control unit.
There are nevertheless a few advantages to wired thermostats. They're modestly priced, aren't affected by radio interference and don't suffer from insufficient range problems in a large home. In addition, if you use a professional, wired thermostat installations are eligible for national subsidies in France such as a 30% tax credit if you fit one to the boiler in your main home and use a company that's environmentally certified ("RGE") to install the atmosphere thermostat. You're also entitled to a lower VAT rate of 5.5%.

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