The Central heating system is the heart of your home that keeps you and your loved ones warm and cosy during the winter season. We rely heavily on central heating systems to make our lives comfortable as we relax, dine or sleep.
Some of the earliest methods of heating a home or office include use of a fireplace and cast-iron stove – this is called direct heating. Indirect or central heating is technology where heat is transferred through water, steam or air.
A central heating system is an indispensable part of a home. Almost 95% of the homes in the UK have a central heating system of one type or another. No doubt your home needs a heating system, but which one best suits your needs?
There are four main types of central heating systems used in the UK. They are Gas Heating systems, Electrical Storage Heaters, Warm Air Systems and District Heating. Of these four types, Gas heating systems are most commonly used followed by electric storage heaters. Warm air systems are older technology which has become less popular now. District heating is available in certain areas only.
Let’s dig a little deeper and find out what kind of central heating system will work best for you.
Gas Heating Systems or Wet Systems:
These are the most popular type of central heating systems in the UK. A Gas heating system uses a fuel-burning boiler to heat up the water. The heated water is then pumped into radiators through a network of pipes either buried under the floor or passing through the walls.
Natural gas is the most widely used heating fuel in the UK. Although it is the most energy efficient and cheapest fuel option, it is not available in all areas. If you are unable to connect to the national gas network where you live, the boiler can run on oil, LPG, coal or wood.
For many families that cannot connect to the gas grid, heating oil or LPG are the best options. These fuels work in a similar way natural gas, but the fuel is delivered to you and needs to be stored on site. One significant difference between the oil and LPG fuel is that oil central heating systems are cheaper to run as compared to LPG fuelled central heating systems.
Solid fuels like coal, wood or biomass can also be used to run boilers. However, these fuel types are outdated and rarely used because they produce high emissions / pollution and are not considered as a clean source of energy.
Gas powered central heating systems are the most economical in terms of cost, efficiency and being a clean fuel. Simply put, natural gas from the national gas grid is the cheapest, cleanest and the most energy –efficient fuel option.
At the same time, gas central heating systems have their own disadvantages too. Firstly, connecting your property to the gas grid can be expensive if you are not already connected and gas prices are continuously rising and are not likely to come down in near future. Also, gas boilers need servicing periodically to ensure they run efficiently.
Warm Air Heating Systems:
In a warm air system, cold air is sucked in from outside and then gets heated by a boiler. Then this warm air is released into the rooms through the vents. It is an effective way to heat up your home quickly and stops dampness from building up. These heating systems were quite popular in the 80s and 90s but have lost popularity in recent years. This is because installation cost is higher, many warm air systems do not heat water and moving air can adversely affect people with allergies.
District Central Heating Systems:
In this type of heating system, heat and hot water are supplied to homes from a centralised heating source. You only pay for what you use and there is no hassle servicing or repairing a boiler in your home. Unfortunately, district heating system is only available in certain areas in the UK.
Let Professionals Help You
Well, all these central heating systems have their own pros and cons. Some of these systems are also subject to availability in your area. But now you know how these heating systems work and which one will best suit your needs. If you are still in dilemma which of these heating systems will be ideal for your home, why not get a professional opinion? Absolute Plumbing & Gas Solutions are your local central heating experts serving.