It is interesting to see just where the central heating boiler system of the future might go as the price of fuels increase. To manage this, the boiler and the system controls must get better and better to control the system so that the boiler is only used for the least amount of time possible and when it is used that it only heats the rooms required and to the temperature required. All the components are available already but to retro fit them to an old house or in fact any ready built house would be enormous.
If however these were done in bulk as the properties were being built the cost would reduce massively and the visual effect would be no more than at present. The boiler controls would cost but not excessively Cv storing, and the savings would be large and the comfort of the house would be at its best. If an intelligent thermostatic control valve system was put onto each radiator with a link back to a computer every room could be set to the temperature required at any time of the day.
The thermostatic valve would have to be of a small motor controlled type to open and close the radiator according to signals received from the computer. The heating cycle for the day could be programmed into the system and this could be done room by room for the full 24 hours and also for the week. This would limit the heating to the rooms to the relevant time that it is required.
If we take the lounge for an example, it is probably only used to sit in during the evening but you probably want it at a temperature that you can go into the room and clean it or collect stuff and so the working temperature would be different. The Kitchen is probably used during the day only and then only certain parts of the day and in the evening it may require a temperature lower, as you only go in to make a cup of tea or coffee.
Bedrooms are different again in that they probably only need heating well on getting up and going to bed. An intelligent boiler system not only deals with these totally different requirements on a daily basis but you can also plan for the weekend and holiday requirements when you may be at home more or less. Such a system linked back to the boiler has a tremendous energy saving potential as they only heat when required and the room required.