How Does Central Heating Work?

First of all, there are different types of central heating systems, with the majority using a boiler that pumps hot water around the home via radiators that are connected by a series of pipes. This boiler might be powered by electricity, gas, or heating oil, and inside the boiler would be a heating element in the case of an electrical system, while gas or oil systems have burners that fire up to heat the water.

The Boiler

This is the heart of the central heating system, and the boiler would need to be regularly serviced, to ensure it is performing efficiently. It pays to choose a well-known brand, and if you happen to be looking for Worcester boilers, for example, there is a local company that installs new boilers and also services existing units. A modern Worcester Bosch boiler would be under warranty for ten years, and with regular servicing, there is no reason why it won’t last longer than that.

Gas Fired Boilers

These would have a pilot light that ignites the gas when the thermostat senses the water temperature has dropped, and if this were to become extinguished, the boiler would not be able to fire and the gas supply would be automatically switched off, as it could cause an explosion.

The Pump

Of course, the system will require a pump, which sends the hot water around the normal cycle, then the water is reheated and pumped around again, and so on. The pump might need bleeding to remove trapped air, which is something a qualified heating engineer can safely carry out, and if there is a water leak around the pump area, this could be down to a ruptured seal.

The Thermostat

An essential component in any central heating system, as it tells the boiler when to fire up, and with older units, there might be an inaccuracy, which will either result in the water being too hot or not hot enough. Sometimes a thermostat can be recalibrated, but more often than not, the service engineer would recommend a replacement. The latest generation of thermostats are very efficient and can save you as much as 20% on your winter heating bills, so if yours has seen better days, it might be time to replace the unit with something more efficient.

The Pipes

The boiler has two connections, in and out, and these pipes run through the home, sending hot water to every part of the building. Your central heating pipes should be lagged, as this provides adequate insulation and also stops the pipes from freezing up when temperatures drop below zero. If there is a leak, you would notice damp patches, either on the wall or the floor, and any leak should be fixed immediately, as the dampness will cause damage to the interior of your home.

Modern central heating systems are very cost effective and providing the system has regular servicing, it should perform at optimum levels throughout the year.

About the author

Lily Jhonsons


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