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Some people do not understand why a centralised heating system is integral to a home. However, this is not likely the case for those who live in cold regions or understand harsh winters. This system is so crucial that your electricity and gas bill may take up to 40% of your total energy bill.
While these heating systems are essential in homes and some workspaces, many people still need to learn a lot of information about them. Such information is vital for you if you plan to get a new central heating system or are looking to replace the old one.
What Is A Central Heating System?
A central heating system usually comprises a gas boiler or an electric boiler. It is installed and kept away in places people are not likely to see; thus, they do their work in the background of homes where they are installed. They are responsible for providing heat during the winter and warm water for the family.
Heating systems are necessary, just like the air conditioners we all have come to accept as appliances we cannot do without. Central heating systems are designed to generate and distribute heat to different places in a building. It can accomplish this when it produces heat at one point and distributes the same throughout the building through steam, air, or water.
These systems are usually found in regions with colder climates in order to heat buildings. If you reside in Australia or the United Kingdom, you are likely to have a central heating system present in your home. Records have shown that up to 95% of homes in these regions use central heating systems, while up to 86% use gas central heating systems.
It is usual to have heating systems that distribute hot water to the taps in homes. So if you have a hot water tank, this may also apply to you. Professionals can work to combine other systems with central heating systems to create an HVAC system (Ventilation, Heating, and Air Conditioning) that can dictate the climate in a building. Central heating systems are used in most modern commercial facilities such as hotels, office buildings, and shopping centres.
How The Central Heating System Works
The way centralised heat systems work will depend on the system type. For this reason, you must understand any heating system's capabilities before installing it. This is, so you get actual value for the investment you will make and the system's installation process.
Types Of Central Heating Systems
While you may come across different space heaters in the market today, central heating systems are unique in their own way and may be identified quite easily by their features. There are different types of centralised heating systems, which differ in how they generate and distribute heat.
Wet central heating system
A wet central heating system typically contains a heating appliance, which in most cases would be a combi boiler. This heating appliance is connected to radiators and pipework, which distribute heat to different parts of the house. Water or air will be heated, depending on how the system is set up. The heating process takes place at a selected centralised location within the building.
Using two pipes in wet central heating systems is more common in this type of system. One of the pipes takes hot water to the radiators while the other collects the cooled water and returns it for reheating in the boiler. It has been discovered that with a single-pipe layout, the hot water will travel down each radiator and lose temperature during this process.
This has made this type of layout less common these days. The heated water may be sent straight to a water tap or a hot water storage tank, depending on whether the type of boiler installed is a combi boiler or a different boiler. Central heating systems that use combi boilers only heat water on-demand, so there is no need to have a storage tank installed.
This way, they are also more cost-effective. The room gets warmed when the water circulates from the boiler to the radiators. This is done through convection by heating the cooler air in the room as the temperature within the room increases. You can monitor the temperature with a thermostat and personalise the settings by switching the boiler on as soon as you discover that the temperature has decreased below your preferred setting.
Warm air central system
Warm air systems are also referred to as dry systems and may be seen in some older homes. These systems peaked in the 1960s-70s, although for the larger part are now replaced by wet systems. It is possible to come across a variation of this system, especially in some commercial buildings where the circulation of cool air is needed.
In dry central heating systems, cold air is channelled in from outside, which gets heated in a central boiler. The heated air circulates throughout the home via air ducts and vents. Dry systems have massive ducts that can be obtrusive, and as such, these systems are best installed while building houses where they are to be used.
Storage heater system
Electric storage heater systems use electrical heating to store heat at night in firebricks. The heat stored this way is released gradually into the house during the day. The system heats mainly overnight and for short periods during the day. The system can be configured to use cheaper, off-peak electricity made available for people on Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs.
While storage heating systems consist primarily of individual storage heaters, they depend on a wiring system used with the home to use off-peak electricity. As such, this type of system can still be somewhat described as a centralised system.
District heating system
A district heating system generates heat in a single centralised power source. This heat is then distributed to several buildings within a given area with the aid of insulated pipes. This heating system makes it unnecessary for properties to require separate and individual heating systems.
A lot gets saved on energy bills this way, and there are also lower carbon emissions as an added benefit. When properties are connected to the district heating system, they can enjoy the heat and hot water delivery when needed through an intricate pipe network. In this case, properties do not need boilers or any accompanying heating system maintenance fees.
What Heating System Is Best For My Needs?
Many people will consider having a wet central heating system the most efficient way of heating their homes, especially if they use a relatively new gas boiler. If this is what you currently use, you may continue with it unless there are some serious issues that continue to affect the smooth delivery of heat and hot water in your home. You may be thinking of reducing your carbon footprint, in which case switching over to renewable energy may be the route to go.
The first step you would want to consider if this is the case is the use of a hybrid heating system which will allow you to pair your current boiler with a heating pump. You may have been using your heating system for a while now and are wondering if it is still efficient. The least efficient heating systems should have boilers that are older than 15 years.
You would know with this that if you are using an old boiler at home which you are yet to upgrade, it could be a source of energy and money wastage. If the cost of buying a new boiler is not allowing you to upgrade to a heating system that is more efficient for you, let a professional guide you on what you may do to achieve the best results with your budget.