What does a timer/programmer do?
A timer or programmer will make sure that your boiler isn’t running when your home is empty – during the day, for example, when everyone is at work or at school. You can set a timer to turn your heating and hot water on and off automatically – as and when required, and usually independently of one another.
Tips on using a timer/programmer correctly
The timer’s programmer can have as many as six different settings, which can be set separately for hot water and heating. These settings work as follows:
• Auto or Twice – allows the heating and hot water to come on and off twice a day, at times that you set. You can set start and stop times for a morning programme and an evening programme, for example. • Off – turns heating or hot water off. • On – allows your heating or hot water to be on constantly. Remember: your boiler is working all the time that this programme is switched on (although if you have a room thermostat the boiler will switch on and off periodically to maintain the correct temperature). • Once – switches on your heating or hot water at the set start time of your morning programme, and won’t switch off again until the end time of your evening programme. • Advance (Adv) or Override – overrides the timing programme. If the heating system is off, press this button to switch it on immediately. It will then stay on until the end of the next programme. If the heating system is on, pressing this button will switch it off until the start of the next programme. Afterwards, the timer/programmer will revert to your normal morning and evening settings. • +1 hr or Boost – adds an extra amount of time (typically one hour) to the current programme so that it goes off an hour later. This is a temporary action and will not be saved as a regular setting.
Remember: when setting the programmer, always make sure the current time is set correctly and don’t forget to adjust it when the clocks change.
Find out more about how to get the best from your timer/programmer. Please note that different timers and programmers may use differing terminology and have different functions. Always consult the manufacturer's instructions if you have any problems.
Setting your central heating timer- some examples
Programming in practice
Check out the following examples of how to set your timer/programmer to suit your lifestyle.
Example 1 – the nine-to-five working family Heating up time: 30 minutes Cooling down time: 30 minutes The family usually gets up at around 7.30am and leaves the house by 8.30am. Using the Auto/Twice programme, the heating is set to come on at 7am and go off again at 8am. They return at 5.30pm and are typically all in bed by 11.30pm. So, the heating comes on again at 5pm and switches off for the night at 11pm.
What if someone leaves for work later than usual?
He/she could press the Boost button once for an extra hour of heating, or twice for two more hours. Any hours added to the programme by the boost button are immediately cleared from the programmer when that day ends.
What if someone comes home earlier than 5.30pm?
He/she should press the Override button on the programmer to switch the heating on from the time they come in until 11pm.
What about weekends?
The family is likely to have a different pattern of waking up, going out and going to bed at weekends. A seven day programmer would be a good way to cope with this – allowing them to set different programmes for weekdays and weekends.
Example 2 – the stay-at-home family
Heating up time: 1 hour Cooling down time: 1 hour The heating should be set to come on one hour before the family typically get up – but in this case using the Once programme. The heating will then stay on all day and won’t switch off again until one hour before bedtime. But if they do decide to go out during the day, the programmer is easily reset to Auto/Twice for two separate on/off periods (as in example 1).
Remember: both families will need a full set of heating controls