Underfloor heating

The "power" of the underfloor heating is controlled via a small knob (mine is in a box with a flap on it) next to the electricity panel (typically in the same cupboard as the boiler). It "tops up" over night using off-peak electricity and releases the heat during the day.

This works in conjunction with an outside thermostat (mine is on my balcony) to set the correct temperature in the apartment - what you may find is that if the weather suddenly turns cold, then the underfloor heating takes a day to catch up.

If yours completely doesn't work:

  • Check to see if your off peak electricity panel is actually switching on at the correct time. Believe it or not it's controlled by a radio signal sent by the electricity board, so it's perfectly possible that its crapped out and either switching on at the wrong times, or not turning on at all. One of the boiler immersion heaters is also connected to the off peak panel, so if you're finding that you're getting no hot water unless you turn the boost on, this could be another indicator.
  • Check that the outside thermostat is working - if you're reasonably competent you can short the thermostat to cut that out of the loop. If you're reading this and have no idea what I'm talking about, it's probably better to get an electrician in.
  • Check the fuses. The underfloor heating is divided into zones (a zone in my apartment is a room), each covered by its own fuse, hidden behind the door.
  • Make sure the breakers in the off-peak panel are switched on.

More info on operation can be found here: http://www.pactrol.com/pdfs/Pactrol_weather_watcher.pdf

Ceiling Heating

The ceiling heaters are thought to have originally been designed as a top-up to the main underfloor heating, so if you're regularly needing to turn the ceiling heaters on there is a possibility of a bigger issue.

Some residents have also reported that some flats have incomplete ceiling heaters, only heating small areas rather than the whole ceiling.

Usage of room thermostat (wall dials)

Once you flick the switch and the light (red or green) comes on, that means the ceiling heaters are "engaged". The dials are actually a thermostat, so setting the dial essentially dictates the amount of juice you want the ceiling heaters to give out.

If the light is red, then that means the heaters are on and trying to heat the room to the requested temperature. If the light is green then that means they're off, but they'll kick in again when the room temperature drops below the requested temperature.

If you twist the dial from bottom to top, there'll be a point that the light changes from green to red - that point is the current temperature of the room. If you want the room heated, then set it slightly above that point so the light is red. If everything is working as expected, the heaters will do their heating thing, and the light will then switch from red to green, turning the heaters off. As the temperature naturally drops, the light will go red again, the heaters will kick back in and the process starts again.

Tips and tricks

Draft exclusion

The 5mm thick roll of spongey draft excluder tape works wonders for the sides and top of the front door, combined with a 'snake' style one along the floor.

The vents along the tops of the windows and sliding glass doors (external) are meant to be adjustable, but in the closed position they still introduce much cold air. Taping these up with clear sticky tape has worked well during mid-winter for at least one resident, but remember to open your windows periodically to compensate.

Last revised January 06, 2015 09:31 by David Stephens