A central heating system is an essential part of any modern home and it’s purpose is to provide your home with adequate heating and hot water for your requirements.
What is a central heating system?
A central heating system needs to do 2 things:
- Heat your home
- Provide hot water to your water outlets (taps, showers etc)
A heat exchanger is required to heat water for your home. The two most common types in UK homes are either a boiler or, more recently, solar thermal. This ‘central’ source is external to the system and heats the water to be used by the heat emitters – namely your radiators or underfloor heating – to heat your home or delivered to your hot water outlets such as taps and showers. We’ll be talking about a gas-fired boiler in this article.
At the most basic level a central heating system consists of a ‘central’ water heater (your boiler) and a network of pipes that transports the heated water throughout the heating system. This circuit is totally separate from the domestic hot water system that’s used for baths and showers etc. On the top of the cylinder is a water outlet that goes off to all your taps. The heated water either cycled through the system circuit to heat your radiators or can be delivered to the hot water outlets in your home.
Hot water can be supplied either instantaneously through a water heater (usually a combi boiler) or via a hot water system. each has its advantages that we will outline…
As with any heating system, the better the property is insulated that more efficient it will be.
Boilers: deliver heated water on demand. great for smaller properties with low water demands, cheaper to install than hot water cylinder systems. supplied at mains pressure and the entire system shares this. so using 2 taps at the same time reduces the pressure. have you ever been in the shower and suddenly the pressure gets lower? probably as a result of someone filling the kettle downstairs in the kitchen.
hot water cylinders. require a
The type of central heating system and boiler will depend on a number of things:Type of dwelling and other factors that dictate the system that should be fitted.
For example, it wouldn’t be a good decision to install a combi boiler in a large house with 3 bathrooms, a kitchen, a utility room and a downstairs washroom. the hot water demand would be more than the boiler could handle.
Overall the main considerations that must be taken into account are…and then we can advise accordingly.
1. the size of the property
We’ll need to know what type of property you live and the size (usually number of bedrooms) that you live in .
2. the number of occupants and the amount of hot water that will be required.
larger households, those with children, will obviously have a higher demand for hot water. In such circumstances, a hot water cylinder might be necessary to cope with the hot water requirements.
3. the number of hot water taps or outlets in the property.
A lot of companies will ask how many bathrooms are in your property. because only one tap can be opened satisfactorily with a standard combo boiler system it might be the case that another type of hot water system that will allow you to open multiple taps with a good flow rate.
4. type of fuel used.
Most combi boilers are gas (although log and oil are also available). other systems can use multiple fuels or gas, oil, solid fuel. electrical backup (immersion heater) is also used with hot water cylinder system.
5. Installation costs
installation costs are determined by the size of the system and the appliances used. Combi boilers are the cheapest solution but can really only be used for smaller properties with a single bathroom.
6. Running costs
Running costs are also a factor. modern, more efficient, ways of heating water are being developed and products released into the market.
Modern boilers are are all condensing boilers, and energy efficient to at least 90% meaning that they utilise over 90% of the gas or oil that goes into them.
Modern boilers are already designed with advanced condensing technology there is little scope for much more improvement in terms of efficiency.
Adding intelligent boiler controls and TRV’s can help boost the systems overall efficiency and save you money on heating bills and have less of an environmental impact.