Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Programmable thermostats (2004 test reports)

Programmable thermostat 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.

Programmable thermostats - 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 TP5EDanfoss Randall TP5E

  • (Now replaced by the TP5000)
  • Price £45-£55
  • Impaired dexterity - A high proportion of testers had no problems using this programmer. ★★★★☆
  • Impaired vision - Instructions on unit too small for a few. ★★★☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control no
Heating zones 1
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 6
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
2
Advance no
Boost (number of hours) n/a
Holiday no
Temperature override yes
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day yes
On constantly no
Off no

Danfoss Randall TP75Danfoss Randall TP75

  • (Now replaced by the TP7000)
  • Price £55-£65
  • Impaired dexterity - Some found it confusing to set. ★★★☆☆
  • Impaired vision - Information was too small for all functions but time. ★★★☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control no
Heating zones 1
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 6
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
2
Advance no
Boost (number of hours) 1, 2 or 3
Holiday yes
Temperature override yes
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day yes
On constantly no
Off no

Honeywell CM31/37Honeywell CM31/37

  • Price £50-£66
  • Impaired dexterity - Some people could not use it. Some buttons were particularly difficult. They were too small, close together, stiff and were an awkward shape. The small teeth around the dial were very small and too difficult to select and move. ★★☆☆☆
  • Impaired vision - Letters were too small. ★★★☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control no
Heating zones 1
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 48*
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
7
Advance no
Boost (number of hours) n/a
Holiday no
Temperature override no
LCD display no
Indicator to show heating is on no
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day no
On constantly no
Off no

* You can programme control so that heat can turn on and off in any combination of 15 minute intervals.

Honeywell CM67Honeywell CM67

  • (This model has been discontinued and replaced with the Honeywell CM907, which has some different design features)
  • Price £49
  • Impaired dexterity - Some thought the buttons were too small and close together. ★★★★☆
  • Impaired vision - Letters were too small on screen and unit. ★★★☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control no
Heating zones 1
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 6
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
7
Advance no
Boost (number of hours) n/a
Holiday yes
Temperature override yes
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day yes
On constantly no
Off yes

Horstmann Centaurstat 7Horstmann Centaurstat 7

  • (The manufacturer tells us that there will be changes to this product in the near future)
  • Price £29-£39
  • Impaired dexterity - Push buttons were too small. The flap was fiddly to open. ★★★☆☆
  • Impaired vision - A high proportion of people could not use this control because they could not see the LCD screen. Others complained about the small letters with poor contrast. ★★☆☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control no
Heating zones 1
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 4
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
2
Advance yes
Boost (number of hours) n/a
Holiday no
Temperature override yes
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day no
On constantly no
Off yes

Myson MPRTMyson MPRT

  • (There have been some design changes to this product since we tested it)
  • Price £37-£43
  • Impaired dexterity - The nine buttons beneath the flap were too close together and were small. ★★★☆☆
  • Impaired vision - Half of the testers could not read the settings. Symbols on the LCD screen were too small. ★★☆☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control no
Heating zones 1
Max number of on/off periods in 24 hours 4
Number of days a week that can
be programmed separately
7
Advance no
Boost (number of hours) n/a
Holiday yes
Temperature override yes
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day no
On constantly no
Off yes

Siemens REV200Siemens REV200

  • Price £125-£210
  • Impaired dexterity - Some users could not complete tasks. It could be hard to tie up displays on the screen with the buttons; flashing symbols were hard to see; the overall layout was confusing; and the symbols were hard to understand. When information was not entered quickly enough, the display switched off. The unit could be removed from the wall when settings were being altered. ★★☆☆☆
  • Impaired vision - Half of the users could not read the settings. The LCD screen had poor colour contrast, and glare could make the screen difficult to see. ★☆☆☆☆
Summary of features
Hot water control no
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 no
Boost (number of hours) n/a
Holiday yes
Temperature override yes
LCD display yes
Indicator to show heating is on yes
Programmes
Automatic yes
All day no
On constantly no
Off yes

Last updated: February 2014


Main page: Previously tested