Energy Guide: Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV)


A thermostatic radiator valve, also known as a TRV, is a self-regulating radiator valve which is fitted to radiators that are connected to a central heating system. Having a TRV on your radiators means you can easily control the temperature in the room so that you have different temperatures in different rooms.

Your boiler heats up the water and pumps it around the pipes in your home to your radiators. TRV’s sit on each radiator and control how much water flows through the radiator and heats it up. They work by sensing the air temperature in the room and adjusting the flow of hot water entering into the radiator to achieve the desired temperature.

As the room heats up the top of the valve head expands a little and blocks the flow of hot water to the radiator, as the temperature cools and it contracts, the valve opens to allow the hot water back  through. Most radiators will already have an adjustable valve that you can control but that stays fixed in that position and isn’t adjusting the temperature for you, once a TRV is installed and you’ve adjusted them to suit you’ll probably not touch them again.

You should ask your heating engineer to check each TRV is working when you have your yearly boiler service.

Where do they go?

You should fit thermostatic radiator valves in all room except bathrooms and the room or area that has the main thermostat housed in it. Bathrooms should be avoided as they will be confused by the changes in temperature from showers and baths.

How do I set them?

Your heating engineer will fit them and will usually have a good idea how a typical set up is. You can adjust them over the next few weeks to suit your personal taste. You’ll probably want a lower setting in the bedroom and in a south facing room that gets a lot of sun.

Intelligent Heating Systems

If you have an Intelligent Heating System such as Hive or Nest or are considering one then TRV’s can also be directly connected and controlled in a smart home and controlled from your mobile phone.

Saving Energy and Money Thermostatic valves save heat, energy and money, they are recommended by the government and energy saving trust as they are energy efficient. As they mean you’ll use less energy you’ll also be helping the fight against climate change.

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