Save money on heating bills with outdoor reset

Heating system efficiency is a hot topic for homeowners. Not only is year-round comfort a priority, but there are also environmental concerns to consider as well as the question of how to save money on heating over the long term.

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How to save money on heating

Modern condensing boilers, popular in Europe but now also becoming more widespread in North America, have made a huge difference to heating system efficiencies over the past 20 years. However, this equipment can be made even more efficient through the use of intelligent thermostat controls.

Viessmann's outdoor reset technology delivers exactly that, improving efficiency by ensuring the boiler burns only the amount of fuel required to match the heat lost from your home. In turn, this maximizes indoor comfort by maintaining the desired temperature and minimizes the amount of heat wasted.

Outdoor reset vs. conventional controls

Condensing boilers have the potential to deliver very high efficiencies when compared to conventional boilers, typically 90% on the higher heating value. However, standard thermostats cannot take optimal advantage of these efficiencies for a number of reasons.

Conventional thermostats are placed inside the home, detecting changes in temperature when the inside of the house gets cooler or warmer. This means two things:

  1. When the outdoor temperature rises, the rooms of your home heat up slowly. This means the boiler may not switch off until rooms have become uncomfortably warm. You may be tempted to adjust the thermostat and open windows, allowing the heat generated to escape. This might make you more comfortable, but it wastes fuel.
  2. When the outdoor temperature cools, heat is lost through the walls and windows and rooms slowly get colder. The indoor thermostat tells the boiler to switch on and raise the temperature. The difference between the outdoor and indoor temperature may leave you feeling cold, meaning you manually turn up the thermostat, burning more fuel than is necessary.

In both of these cases, the location of the thermostat is key. Since the rooms warm or cool more slowly than the outdoor temperature, indoor thermostats detect the changes too late, playing "catch up" to maintain the desired temperature. As a result, there will be times when your home is at an uncomfortable temperature inside, as well as wasting fuel.

Outdoor reset technology, on the other hand, uses a temperature sensor located on the north wall outside of the home (highlighted in red in the diagram below). This sensor communicates with the internal controls of the boiler, allowing a continuous transfer of data about the outside temperature, which in turn automatically adjusts the boiler's operating temperature. This ensures that a consistent temperature is maintained, less fuel is burned, and you save money on heating since your boiler adapts to outside temperatures rather than compensating for fluctuations in indoor temperatures.

Additionally, when combined with condensing boilers, outdoor reset systems maximize the condensing effect and dramatically improve efficiency. This is because the boiler is able to operate at lower temperatures for longer periods, providing more time for condensation to take place.  

Other benefits of outdoor reset systems

Besides saving money on heating bills, outdoor reset systems also offer a number of other benefits. These include:

Easy installation, commissioning and maintenance, with integrated diagnostics
Service interval display
Digital time switch for selecting daily or weekly programs
Automatic summer/winter change-over
Integrated control unit for three heating circuits (two mixed, one unmixed) and one DHW circuit
Integrated remote monitoring and operation interfaces
Night set-back option
Built-in 7-day programming interface
Built-in pump logic for optimized pump over-run to reduce power consumption
Morning booster function – it lifts the flow temperature in the morning to heat the house faster
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Other ways to save money on heating

There are plenty of ways to save money on heating your home, from upgrading your boiler and thermostat to increasing your insulation values through better doors, windows, and cavity insulation. However, depending on your existing heating system, you may be wondering about whether space heaters can save money or how to save money with electric baseboard heat.

Space heaters have the potential to save money in certain circumstances. If you wish to heat only one room, a space heater allows you to do this, helping you save money by only directing heat to where you need it. However, this equipment is relatively expensive to run over long periods and upgrading older heating systems using modern boilers and control systems usually allows you to achieve the same result through room management.

For more information on outdoor reset and advanced boiler systems, contact us today to discuss your options, as well as how our services can help keep your system running optimally through regular maintenance.

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