Central heating is common place in most homes these days. One type consists of metal radiators located in each room normally below the window and a network of pipes connecting the heating boiler. The system is filled with water which is heated by a boiler. The hot water is pumped around the system and the heat radiates from the various radiators into each room space. It’s a relatively simple system and has been used in this format for years. Improvements have been made over the years making it more efficient. Another type is where pipes are buried in the floor structure, making the floor slab behave like a very large radiator. This method produces a well-balanced distribution of heat, however some people do not favour it as they don’t enjoy walking with heat emitting below foot. The most common part of these heating systems is the boiler.
Perhaps you are building a new home or want to exchange your existing heating and can’t decide on a way forward. Local heating companies can offer expert advice on the best heating system to suit your particular circumstances.
Some initial questions could be answered before you decide on the type of heating system and these are:
Will anyone be in the home during the day?
What time with the occupants return in the evening?
What sort of temperatures will be required?
What is the size of the house and do you want a mix of temperatures in different rooms? For example, that it may be warmer in the living room than in the bedroom
The most used room is probably the family room. Does it face north or south?
How old is the property?
What are the size of the rooms and the overall size of the house?
How well is the house insulated? The general rule is the better the insulation the less energy it will take to heat it and keep it warm
Is there room available for fuel storage tanks?
No matter how the heat is dispersed around the various rooms i.e. radiators etc. the heating source i.e. the boiler is the common part for each type of heating system. Recent years have seen the emergence of wood burning stoves and boilers, but they tend to be dirty and require regular cleaning so that they operate efficiently. Oil or gas is still probably the preferred choice due to their convenience of operation. Geothermal heat pumps which extract natural heat from the ground are becoming more popular but are very expensive to install.