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How To Set A Timer On A Boiler – An Illustrated Guide

Have you moved into a new house with a mechanical boiler timer, and don’t know what you’re doing with it? Don’t worry, I have a mechanical timer, so let me show you how to set a timer on a boiler. I’ve got a step-by-step photographic guide to make things as easy as possible.

I’ve written about setting the timer on your boiler in the past in order to save energy.  But the other day it dawned on me: what if you don’t know how to set a timer? Don’t worry. Let me show you how to set a timer on a boiler.

I have a combi boiler and it has one of those mechanical timers on it. Being used to digital timers I’ll admit I was a little flummoxed by it when we first moved into our house. I did a bit of internet searching and found this useful video about how to set a mechanical boiler timer. 

Video Guide on How to Set Your Boiler Timer

The video should appear above. If you can’t see the video in your browser, then here’s a direct link to the video in YouTube.

Although it is made for Worcester boilers, this video is actually really useful for most makes of boilers. It certainly did the trick for our Valiant boiler. This is because almost all mechanical timers work exactly the same, regardless of the make.

Step By Step Boiler Guide With Photos

If you can’t get the video to work, or if you would prefer a step by step guide that walks you through setting a timer at your own pace, then let me run you through exactly how to set a timer on a boiler. You’ll soon have yours working in no time:

1. Set the time on your boiler

First of all, ignore all the little tabs for now. What you need to do first is set the clock to the right time.

You can do this by turning the dial around clockwise until the arrow points to the correct time in the inner portion of the dial. It’s important to bear in mind that boilers work on the 24-hour clock.  So make sure you’ve set it to 24 hour clock time, otherwise, your heating will come out at odd hours of the night! If it’s 1:30 pm (13:30 in 24-hour clock speak) then you want the arrow to be halfway between the 13 and 14.

2. Now set the time when you want your boiler to come on

Once the time is set correctly, you can now set the times that you would like your heating to come on and go off at.

This is where the little tabs come in. These tabs on a mechanical boiler timer can be overwhelming as there are so many. However, I promise you that they are not as confusing as they look.  All that they do is represent 15 minute periods of time. 

To set what time you want your boiler to turn on, simply push those tabs in for the times that you want your heating on. Let me talk you through this, in case this sounds complicated.

After you’ve set the time properly on your boiler, you’ll notice that each tab lines up with each 15-minute segment of the 24-hour clock. So, to tell your boiler that you want your heating to come on between 5:45 am and 7:30 am, you are going to want to push in all of the tabs that represent that period of time.

Once you’ve done this you should have all 7 consecutive tabs pushed down between 5:45 am and 7:30 am. All of the other tabs should be up.

Here’s a picture of my boiler timer so you can see what I mean.

how to set a timer on a boiler

When I took the photo, the time was 1 pm so you can see that the arrow points to 1 pm (13). You can also see that my heating is set to come on twice a day.  Firstly between 5:45 am and 7:30 am (we are early birds!).  And secondly between 6 pm and 8 pm.  If you look closely you’ll notice the tabs are down at these times, and all of the other tabs are up. It can be quite tricky to see so I have annotated the photo to make this a bit clearer.

It’s quite easy to accidentally twist the dial and change the time when you’re adjusting the tabs. Therefore, you may have to readjust the time at this stage! Just something to be aware of.

3. Next Steps

Now you need to tell your boiler that you want it to run to your scheduled programme. To do this, simply turn the switch that you would normally switch the boiler on to point to automatic scheduling. This may take the form of a picture of a clock or of a stopwatch.  It will depend on your boiler – mine’s a stopwatch. Your boiler should now come on and then switch off automatically at the desired times!  And that’s how to set a timer on a boiler!

Energy Efficiency Tips

I always love a two-for-one deal. So as well as telling you how to set the timer on your boiler, do let me share with you my top energy efficiency tip for your boiler.

It typically takes about half an hour for your house to warm up once you’ve switched your boiler on.  It then takes around half an hour for your house to cool down again once it’s switched off. So, with that in mind, if you get up at 7:30 am and leave the house at 8.30 am, it’s most energy-efficient and comfortable for you if you set your boiler timer for your heating to come on at 7 am and off at 8 am.

ps: you can find lots of energy-saving tips here if you’re looking to save money on your heating bills!

Home, Home and Garden

Best Eco-Friendly Towels for the Bath To The Beach

luks towels

Looking for ethical and eco-friendly towels for the bath, shower, or beyond? Here are my top ethical and sustainable picks – from organic cotton to the zero-waste ones made from waste yarn, and more.

Many of us are busy trying to reduce our use of plastic in the bathroom. But did you know that your environmental efforts don’t have to stop at switching to bamboo toothbrushes and solid shampoo bars? Yes, if you need to replace your towels, then you can buy eco-friendly towels that are kind to both the environment and the workers who made them.

It can be a bit of a sustainable minefield trying to work out what products are actually eco-friendly and ethical (spoiler: even in the eco-friendly towel market there’s a lot of greenwashing). As such, I’ve done the leg work for you and rounded up my favourite sustainable towels.

Sustainable Towel Quick Links

First off, here are the quick links for towels in case you just want to visit the site of a particular brand. Scroll down past this section if you want more information about each ethical towel brand, including a price guide.

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

What To Look For In An Eco-Friendly Towel

When asking what towels are eco-friendly, there are a few things you can look out for. Organic cotton is a better choice than regular cotton. This is because regular cotton requires heavy pesticide use that can contaminate the soil, land, and water. For peace of mind, look for external certification, such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. This means that the entire textile supply chain is backed up by independent certification, so you can be sure you aren’t being greenwashed.

OEKO-TEX® certified cotton is another good choice to look out for. This means the product has been tested at all stages of production for harmful substances. This ensures that workers are working in a safe environment and that the product does not discharge any harmful chemicals either in the production stage or at home.

You might come across BCI cotton, which positions itself as a sustainable alternative. I personally avoid BCI cotton, as it turns out it isn’t a great ethical choice.

Some brands have started to use leftover yarn from making other products to make towels. This is a great zero-waste and low-impact eco-friendly option, which I’d love to see more of.

Bamboo is also pervasive in the eco-friendly towel market. However bamboo can be problematic. Whilst bamboo is faster-growing and requires fewer chemicals and water to grow, it is chemically intensive to turn woody bamboo into soft fabrics. This process can be harmful to both workers and the environment.

I haven’t featured any bamboo towel brands in this guide. This is because I couldn’t verify the bamboo towel brands that I found were making bamboo fibre responsibly. If you do specifically want bamboo towels, then look for brands that prioritise the safety of their workers. Also, look for those that have robust chemical management plans in place to minimise the environmental impact of the industrial effluent.

The Best Eco-Friendly Towels

Guide to eco-friendly towels - from organic bath towels to beach towels and more.

Whilst it can indeed be a minefield separating the green from the greenwash, to help make it easy for you, I’ve put together a guide to my favourite eco-friendly towels. I’ve particularly looked for ethical brands producing independently certified organic cotton towels. I’ve also found brands using sustainable materials such as waste yarns.

On to the towels!

Gudrun Sjoden

gudrun sjoden green organic towels hanging in white bathroom

Gudrun Sjoden’s range of brightly printed organic cotton towels are a favourite in our house. Here are ours hanging in our bathroom! In the interests of full transparency, these towels were a PR gift to me three years ago. This means I’m under no obligation at all to share them in this post. However, we use them on a daily basis and they still look new, so I wanted to share them as a tried and tested recommendation.

As well as being durable, these ethical towels are cuddly soft. They also cleverly feature two in-built hooks. This means you can hang them either on the long side or short side depending on the height of your hook. I love this clever feature!

Find Gudrun Sjoden’s towels online, starting from £14.

Himeya

Himeya at Bedeck

Himêya’s eco-friendly ‘Rescue’ hand towels are made with yarns from production waste. They are a by-product of waste yarns that do not conform to a designed size, weight, or pattern and would otherwise be binned. However, Himeya found that when these yarns are woven together, they make great-looking and well-functioning hand towels.

As well as using waste yarns, Himêya donates 20% of its Rescue Towel proceeds to the International Rescue Committee (IRC). This is an organisation dedicated to supporting those whose livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster. Donations help affected people to survive, recover and regain control of their future.

I have a set of these hand towels, also previously given to me as a PR gift. I find these stand up well to daily life, and all the extra hand washing that we need to do these days.

Buy the Himeya Rescue Towels from Bedeck* for £8.

Luks

Luks from Wearth

Luks beautiful handcrafted bath towels are handmade ethically in Turkey from OEKO-TEX® cotton. As a lightweight towel, rather than fluffy bath towels, the fabric itself is lightweight and quick drying.

Whilst it does take some getting used to a thin towel, if you’re used to the fluffy variety, you’ll soon be swung round to the pros of these types of towels. I love that they don’t take long to dry. Damp towels hanging around your bathroom for hours soon becomes a thing of the past.  

Storing your towels also takes up less room in your home – which is great if you live in a small space. The Ekin towel, for example, is as big as a bath sheet but it rolls or folds down to about a quarter of the size. This also means they are great for travelling or for trips to the beach or for wild swimming – taking up much less space in your bag. More room for snacks!

Buy Luks towels from Wearth*, from £35.

Natural Collection’s Eco-Friendly Towels

Natural Collection eco-friendly and ethical bath towels

Natural Collection’s GOTS certified organic towels organic cotton are ethically made in Turkey.

Super soft, and a great size for drying off after a relaxing shower or bath, these eco-friendly towels will soon be a favourite in your house.

These towels come in a range of sizes and coordinating colours, so you can mix and match your towels, or have a different colour for each member of the family.

Buy Natural Collection’s towels from Ethical Superstore*, from £4.95.

Wild & Stone Eco-Friendly Towels

Wild & Stone hand towels

Finally, Wild & Stone’s hand towels are fairly made in India from organic cotton that is both GOTS and OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified. To minimise their carbon footprint, Wild & Stone use sea shipments, rather than air, for all of their products.

All of their lovely hand towels are packaged in fully recyclable, plastic-free packaging. And what’s more, a percentage from each purchase is donated to the Marine Conservation Society.

Buy Wild & Stone towels from Ethical Superstore* for £14.95.

I hope this roundup of eco-friendly and ethical towels is helpful! Do also check out my guide to plastic-free bubble bath if you have all things bathing in mind.