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Amazingly, central heating systems are one of the most overlooked and taken-for-granted pieces of kit to be found anywhere in the home – I mean how often do you really think about it, other than when you’re turning it on and off?

If you take a second to think about that, you’ll realise that it’s probably not really that much!

Providing warmth and comfort in every room, as well as supplying the hot water for use in the bathroomkitchen and utility space, your central heating plays an integral part in your comfort and all-around well-being, so getting it wrong could spell disaster.

It’s important to understand that the system providing your heating may not be the same as the system that brings you hot water, they may not even come from the same place.

There a few different variations on the ‘central’ heating theme.

You might have one of these set-ups:

  • A central heating system powered by a boiler and made up of radiators and underfloor heating, which also provides your hot water (this is the most common type of system to be found in the UK).

  • Individual storage heaters – or stand-alone heaters – and a boiler providing you with hot water.

  • A system that pumps hot air through vents and into rooms; air that is generated from a boiler that also provides you with hot water.

  • Or underfloor heating, which is unlikely to be installed in every room, but will work perfectly with any one of the systems listed above.

So what is central heating?

With most central heating systems, there will be a single boiler heating up your water. This warm water will then be circulated around your home through a system of pipes, into radiators and towel rails in different rooms.

The same boiler that feeds your radiators in this way is likely to provide the hot water that comes through your taps in the kitchen, bathroom or ensuite if you have one.

The vast majority of central heating boilers tend to run on mains gas – this is normally cheaper than any other fuel and has the lowest carbon dioxide emissions, when burnt, apart from wood (apparently).

And As For The Boilers…

When it comes to boilers, there are three main types of boiler to keep in mind and consider for installation –

Combi Boilers – The UK’s most popular type of boiler, combi, or combination, boilers are considered a good economical option as they only heat the water that you use.

Conventional Boilers – Also known as ‘regular’ or ‘heat-only’ boilers, they send hot water to your radiators and a hot water cylinder.

System Boilers – Similar in style to a regular boiler, a system boiler will take up less space whilst still providing a steady flow of hot water.

To discover more about the different types of boilers available, check out our guide to buying a new boiler.

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