Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Digital programmers (2004 test reports)

Digital programmer features

The test reports below include information on the following features.

  • Hot water control - If you have a hot water tank, you need a programmer that also controls hot water. Combi (combination) boilers heat water when a hot tap is turned on. There is no storage tank and you don't need a programmer with hot-water controls.
  • Heating zones - If you live in a large house and want the heating to work differently in different areas, you will need a programmer with zone controls. Usually, people have separate zones for living and sleeping areas.
  • Advance or Override - This button functions simply to switch the heating on if it is off, or switch it off if it is on. It's useful for temporary changes - if you decide to go out, or if the temperature drops and you want the heating to come on at once, say.
  • Boost - Pressing this button keeps the heating on for a certain length of time, depending on the model.
  • Holiday - This feature allows you to set the heating at a lower temperature while you are on holiday and have it return to your normal setting on the day you come home.
  • Programmes - Depending on the model, once you have set the timings, you can switch the programmer to Automatic (the heating will go on and off at the times you have set), All day (the heating will come on at the beginning of the first time set, and stay on until the end of the last time set for that day), On constantly and Off.

Digital programmers - test reports

The price ranges given include VAT and should be used as a guide only. Prices vary from supplier to supplier and you may have to shop around to get nearer the price we give. Professional fitters should get a trade discount. The products are given a rating between one and five stars for each type of disability: ★☆☆☆☆ (one star) is the lowest and ★★★★★ (five stars) is the highest rating.

Danfoss Randall SET 3E digital programmerDanfoss Randall SET 3E

  • Price £69
  • Impaired dexterity - Some people thought this control was easy to use and understand overall. Some considered the slider was stiff to use. A few people did not like having to keep a constant pressure on the time button. ★★★★☆
  • Impaired vision - Scored highly; testers made few comments. ★★★★☆
Summary of features
Hot water control yes
Heating zones 1
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 2
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
1
Advance yes
Boost (number of hours) 1
Holiday no
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day no
On constantly yes
Off yes

Drayton Lifestyle LP722 digital programmerDrayton Lifestyle LP722

  • (Now replaced by a new model)
  • Price £81
  • Impaired dexterity - ★★★☆☆
  • Impaired vision - Colour contrast on the LCD screen was not good enough for some. ★★★☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control yes
Heating zones 1
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 2
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
7
Advance yes
Boost (number of hours) n/a
Holiday yes
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day yes
On constantly yes
Off yes

Drayton Tempus 7 digital programmerDrayton Tempus 7

  • Price £73
  • Impaired dexterity - The slider was too stiff. ★★★☆☆
  • Impaired vision - Information on the screen and on the unit was too small for some people. ★★★☆☆
There is no features summary for this model.

Honeywell ST799 digital programmerHoneywell ST799

  • Price £56
  • Impaired dexterity - A number complained that the sliders were stiff and awkwardly shaped. It was easy to overshoot when using them and they were too near each other. ★★★☆☆
  • Impaired vision - ★★★☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control yes
Heating zones 1
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 2
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
7
Advance yes
Boost (number of hours) n/a
Holiday no
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day yes
On constantly yes
Off yes

Horstmann Channelplus H37XL digital programmerHorstmann Channelplus H37XL

  • (Manufacturer tells us a new design is in the pipeline)
  • Price £132
  • Impaired dexterity - Flap could fall off. Some people found the 'select' button too small and some thought the sliders were difficult to use. ★★★☆☆
  • Impaired vision - All but the time was difficult to read. Contrast was poor, lettering too small and some people were confused by the layout. It was hard to tie up what was happening on the screen with the buttons. ★★☆☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control yes
Heating zones 2
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 3
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
7
Advance yes
Boost (number of hours) 1 or 2
Holiday yes
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day yes
On constantly yes
Off yes

Myson MEP 2c digital programmerMyson MEP 2c

  • Price £50
  • Impaired dexterity - It could be difficult to tell if buttons had been pressed. Some people did not like having to keep a constant pressure on the time button. ★★★☆☆
  • Impaired vision - Colour contrast was not good enough for some and markings were too small. ★★☆☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control yes
Heating zones 1
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 3
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
7
Advance yes
Boost (number of hours) 1, 2 or 3
Holiday no
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day yes
On constantly yes
Off yes

Last updated: February 2014


Main page: Previously tested