Frequently Asked Questions
1. About Radbot
1.1. How does Radbot detect occupancy?
Radbot detects occupancy through monitoring and detecting changes in light levels (e.g. turning lights on/off, drawing/opening curtains and day/night cycles) as well as interaction with the device (setting the temperature of pressing the boost button). It uses this information within its unique occupancy algorithm to predict when a room will be occupied or unoccupied. It then regulates the heat output from the radiator to ensure the room is warm when someone will be using it but not heating it unnecessarily when the room is unoccupied.
1.2. How does Radbot save energy?
Radbot controls the temperature of a room by modifying the heat output from the radiator. It uses two temperature settings to achieve this. The ‘set-point’ temperature determines how warm you would like the room to be when it’s occupied. The ‘setback’ temperature’ is the temperature Radbot will allow the room to drop back to when it predicts it will be unoccupied. When it predicts a room will be unoccupied it maintains the lower ‘setback’ temperature which means your boiler has less work to do to meet the heat demand. This saves energy and money off your bills.
By not heating unoccupied rooms, Radbot has the effect of lowering the daily average temperature your home. Every 10C setback in a house’s average temperature is generally considered in the UK to save 8% to 10% in energy and thus bills.
1.3. How do I know how much energy Radbot is saving me?
Extensive testing of Radbot in both controlled laboratory conditions and field trials have demonstrated it is possible to save up to 30% of your heating energy per radiator. 4-5 Radbots installed in the average sized house can save up to 30% of your energy bill.
1.3. How much does Radbot reduce the temperature?
When Radbot predicts a room will unoccupied, it reduces the temperature between 10 C and 60 C below the set-point temperature. The level of setback is dependent on the comfort wheel setting. If you prefer warmer rooms, choose a higher set-point temperature on the comfort wheel. The corresponding level of setback will be lower (between 1 – 1.50C). If you prefer cooler rooms or want to save more energy choose a lower set point temperature. The corresponding level of setback when the room is unoccupied will be higher (between 1.5 – 3.5 C). Lower set point and set back temperatures will achieve higher levels of energy saving.
2.1. Will Radbot definitely work in my house?
Radbot works with all gas or oil central heating systems that use radiators. It doesn’t work with systems using underfloor heating, electric storage heaters or heat pump systems.
2.2 I already have a smart thermostat; can I use Radbot with it?
Yes, Each Radbot unit works completely independently to control each radiator on which it installed so it will not interfere with the operation your smart home thermostat. You cannot however link Radbot to work directly in conjunction with them.
2.3. I have a communal heating system; can I still use Radbot?
Yes, Radbot is designed to work with any radiators operating on a wet central heating system. You should however check with your heating provider that it is ok to install Radbot with their system.
2.4. Can I control my boiler/heating system with Radbot?
No, you will need to continue using your existing heating controls (programmer & room thermostat) to control the on/off times and other settings for your boiler/heating system.
2.5. I live in rented accommodation, can I use Radbot?
Yes, if the heating system and radiators are compatible however, we advise checking with your landlord to make sure it is OK prior to installing.
3. Installing Radbot
3.1. How do I install Radbot?
Radbot can be installed on any radiator that already has an existing thermostatic radiator valve. You simply remove your old TRV, fit the correct adaptor, install the batteries and the secure Radbot to the radiator. That’s it job done!
3.2. Will I need a plumber or engineer to install Radbot?
3.3. How many Radbots do I need to install?
You can install as many or as few Radbots as you like. We recommend installing Radbot in all of the main living areas (lounge, kitchen and bedrooms). Typically, 4-5 Radbots for the average UK household.
3.4. Which rooms should I install Radbot in?
Install it in the busiest rooms in your house – such as the living room, kitchen, children’s bedrooms, and so on. Radbot works best when it’s not hidden behind radiator covers, curtains or furniture.
3.5. Should I install Radbot in the same room as a room thermostat?
Your main heating thermostat is directly linked to your boiler system and controls when the boiler fires or turns off. Having a TRV in the same space will mean that they fight to control how hot or cold your room will be. Standard practice is therefore to leave one radiator without a thermostatic radiator valve installed, and to leave that appliance permanently switched on. This is typically the radiator where the room thermostat installed.
3.6. Can install Radbot in a bathroom?
We do not advise installing Radbot in bathrooms as its electronic components have not been tested and certified to operate in high humidity environments.
3.7. I don’t have TRVs on my Radiator, can I still use Radbot?
You will need to have your existing radiator valves upgraded to thermostatic valves first before you can use Radbot. We advise this is job to be carried out by a professional (plumber/heating engineer).
3.8. What is a thermostatic radiator valve?
Thermostatic radiator valves (also commonly referred to as TRVs) are the controls on your radiators used to set the temperature. They usually have a numbered scale around the top which you change by hand. The valve changes the flow of hot water to the radiator until it reaches that temperature.
3.9. How do I know which valve adaptor I need?
In the box you will find an assortment of 6 different plastic valve adaptors. Only one of these will fit a particular valve. We recommend trying the M30x1.5 valve first as this the most commonly used valve in the UK (this they one supplied in the handy cardboard tray at the top of the box). If that does not work, we recommend trying each one in turn until you find the right one.
3.10. Can I use Radbot with a radiator cover?
We do not recommend using radiator covers with Radbot as they can block both air circulation and light. Light and airflow are bit like food to Radbot, it needs a good supply of both to function at its best. If you starve Radbot then it will not work as well.
3.11. What do I do if my old TRV is stuck and I can’t remove it?
If the metal or plastic securing ring is stuck, you may need to use a tool to loosen it. The best tool is either a plumber’s wrench or a strap wrench which can be used to grip the securing ring securely and making it easier to the loosen the ring. Once the securing ring is undone the TRV should just lift off. Sometimes they can be quite stiff, so you may have to give them a bit of tug to get it off.
3.12. How tight do I secure Radbot onto the valve?
As with all TRVs, the securing ring should be finger tight.
4. Using Radbot
4.1. How do I set the room temperature on Radbot?
When you first install Radbot move the comfort until the desired level of comfort is shown in the window. Number 3 equates to approx. 19C. You may then have to adjust it slightly up and down to achieve the warmth you require as this will differ in each room.
4.2. What does the boost button do?
Pressing the boost tells Radbot to open the radiator valve to maximum. Providing your heating is switched on this will give you a boost of maximum heating for 30 minutes after which Radbot will revert to its original settings so you don’t have to remember to turn it back down again.
4.3. I pressed boost by accident, can I cancel it?
Yes, you can cancel boost by turning the comfort wheel down. This will override the boost command.
4.4. What does the snowflake symbol mean?
The snowflake signal stands for frost protection mode. If the room is used infrequently you can set Radbot to this mode and it will ensure the temperature is not allowed to drop below 6C to minimise the risk of pipes freezing.
4.5. What does the flame symbol mean?
The flame signal is maximum output for the radiator. It is similar to the boost setting but it will not turn itself back down again. We do not recommend using this setting for longer periods as it will consume a lot of energy.
4.6. Why does Radbot make a noise?
Radbot has a little motor inside that opens and close your radiator valve. This is how it regulates the flow of hot water to your radiator and controls the temperature in the room. So when you hear a whirring noise you can sit back and relax knowing that Radbot is doing its job.
4.7. Does Radbot turn my heating off when I’m not there?
No, Radbot does not control your heating system directly, it only controls the flow of hot water into individual radiators. Your heating system will still be controlled by your standard heating controls (e.g. programmer and thermostat). However, after a few days of detecting no activity, Radbot will reduce the temperature in that room until it next detects some activity – but this will not save as much energy as placing your whole heating system into frost protection mode.
5.1. How long do Radbot’s batteries last?
Under normal operating conditions the batteries will last for approximately 2 years. You can easily change them yourself when it’s needed.
5.2. How will I know when the batteries need changing?
You will know when Radbot’s batteries need changing because;
- The LED light will no longer flash (e.g. when you press the boost or adjust the comfort wheel
- Radbot will no longer make a noise.
- Your radiator will be continually on.
We recommend changing the batteries in all Radbots you have installed at the same time.
5.3. What type of batteries does Radbot use?
Radbot use 2 standard AA (LR6) batteries.
5.4. How do I change the batteries?
To change the batteries simply remove the battery cover and old batteries and insert two new batteries ensuring the polarities +/- are correctly aligned.
We recommend installing new batteries within 2 minutes of with removing the old batteries as this will ensure Radbot keeps it memory about the occupancy patterns for a room which it has learnt.
To this we recommend changing the batteries without removing Radbot from the radiator. Watch the video for more information.