These days, it’s pretty much a given that every home has some form of central heating system keeping their property warm and, in the case of rented properties, they are legally required to have some form of central heating.
Yet, for one reason or another, you may be needing to give your current system an upgrade. Investing in a new central heating system is always going to be a big investment and can be a fairly daunting process to consider as you trawl through the endless jargon on the various models and systems you can invest in.
However, in updating your central heating system, you could end up saving yourself a significant amount of money in the long run and make your property an even more comfortable place to live during those colder months.
With this in mind, we at Your Local Plumbing Network have decided to put together a handy list of the different types of heating systems on offer and the various benefits they can provide you.
Before you begin
Before we jump into looking at the various heating systems on the market, there are a few factors to keep in mind. For starters, the size of your boiler will directly correlate with the number of central heating radiators throughout your home plus the average amount of hot water your property uses. This means that, for example, a one bedroom flat will require a much smaller heating system than a five-bedroom rented property.
It’s also essential to always work with the professionals when looking to both repair or replace any component within your heating system. All gas heating engineers are, by law, required to be listed on the Gas Safe Register, whilst any work carried out on an oil boiler must be done by an OFTEC registered technician.
This is vital in ensuring that the work carried out is done safely and to spec, so always carry out the required accreditation checks beforehand.
Conventional heating system
Also known as a traditional boiler, heat-only boiler or open vent heating system, the conventional boiler is a very common system used throughout older homes in the UK. Requiring two water tanks, cold water storage and Feed Tank, they both need to placed high up to create the necessary water pressure; a pump then circulates hot water throughout the property.
The conventional boiler system is the perfect choice for older homes with excess space in the loft to install the tanks and is especially handy for large, busy households as the system can provide hot water to multiple sources. Older radiators can benefit from a conventional system too, as they may not be able to handle the increased water pressure of combi or system boilers.
However, one of the main issues with a conventional system is that, due to its reliance on a storage tank, when the hot water runs out, it can take a while for the system to reheat.
System boiler heating system
System central heating boilers are, in many ways, quite similar to their conventional counterparts, working in much the same way. However, the main difference between the two is that a system boiler doesn’t rely on a water tank in the loft and instead receives its water directly from the mains. Indeed, most of the components of system heating are built into the boiler itself, with the hot water cylinder being the only external piece of the system.
This has a variety of benefits, especially for those with less space in their loft. Also, with less individual components, installation is much easier and doesn’t require multiple trips into the attic as the cylinder can be compactly stored in an airing cupboard instead.
System boilers also have the added benefit of creating consistently high-pressured water without the chance of having to wait for it to reheat; one of the main problems with a conventional system. This is due to the water being channelled directly from the mains, cutting out the storage tank.
A system boiler only offers these benefits to properties that have a high-pressured mains system, so it is essential to check your water pressure beforehand.
Easily the most popular central heating system on the market today, the combi boiler system is the most economical and compact model available. Whilst conventional and system boilers rely on expansion tanks or hot water cylinders, a combi is an all-in-one solution, combining a boiler and heating cylinder into one compact model.
As the smallest central heating model on the market, they can comfortably fit into nearly any household. They also work by reacting to your hot water and energy needs, meaning that they kick into action as soon as you turn on a hot water tap or fire up the heating.
A huge benefit of this is that, by reacting to your needs rather than having to heat up a water tank, a combi boiler is both faster and more efficient, meaning lower heating bills. Also, as combi boilers are at the cutting edge of boiler innovation as they are much easier to service and suffer less from problems such as pressure issues and sludge build-up which plague more traditional models.
Now that we’ve covered the types of heating systems available, it is important to consider the fuel types available. Each has their own benefits but will work better or worse depending on your individual needs.
Gas is the most popular fuel type used in the UK when it comes to heating your home and comes in two different forms: natural gas and LPG. Natural gas is the most common form and is piped directly into the home via a supply company. If you’re on the gas grid, this is usually the most efficient way of powering your heating system and works great as you’ll always have access.
On the other hand, LPG is great for those where connecting to the gas line is not a viable option, whether that be because you live in a rural area or cannot afford to connect to the supply. LPG is instead supplied to a property in large cylinders, negating the need to be connected, however, you will need a boiler conversion kit so keep this in mind.
Both work in much the same way and are compatible with many boiler models.
Although the boiler options are restricted in comparison to gas, oil is one of the most energy efficient fuels available and is known to surpass gas in energy efficiency ratings. Much like LPG, oil is delivered, making it a great option for rural areas.
Electronic heating systems have, until recently, been relatively limited to space heater air-blown systems. These were useful for heating specific rooms of the house, however, could be expensive and potentially hazardous.
However, as time has gone on, a new method of electronic heating has hit the market in the form of electric boilers. These new systems are extremely compact and can run off your cheap electricity rate. In comparison to other electronic heating products, electronic boilers run completely silently.
Your Local Plumbing Network – Experts in boiler solutions
Having an understanding of what kind of boiler you need is essential in finding the perfect product for your home. However, it’s only half the battle as picking a quality heating engineer to carry out the job is equally vital.
Here at Your Local Plumbing Network, our team of expert heating engineers have been offering industry-leading boiler solutions to countless happy customers throughout the North West of England. From water heater repairs to major installations, you can rest assured that you’ll be sitting cosily during the colder months.
For more information on our range of services including plumbing, drainage work, and commercial jobs, visit our website or get in touch with our team on 03303320630.