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What Is Central Heating? Comprehensive Guide

What Is Central Heating Blog Image
Written By: | Interiors Specialist
Last Updated Apr 24,2024

Have you ever wondered what central heating is and how it operates in your home? Or even questioned how to use central heating controls including the set timer function? Well you have certainly arrived at the right place. In this blog we will give you a full in depth easy guide so you can stay fully equipped with the most up to date knowledge in the world of central heating. So let's get started.

How Does A Central Heating System Work

What is central heating? How does central heating work? A central heating system is a method used to effectively distribute warmth throughout the house or a certain section of the building, whether it be through radiators or showers and even baths central heatings systems are essential in every home,especially in the chilly UK weather. They can be also integrated with other systems to help control a specific temperature in a building or home.

Modern Homeowners Boiler With Timer Change Opitons

Types Of Central Heating Systems

In the UK we have the pleasure of having a wide variation of different central heating systems, all providing different styles of heating your much loved home? Are you unsure which one you have or which one you want? Take a look below at each style of central heating system and what they do to see if it suits you!

Combination Boilers

A Combi Boiler, short for combination boiler, offers excellent water heating efficiency while also being a single, compact unit. Combination boilers aim to heat water directly from your home's mains eliminating the need for hot water storages or a cold water tank, allowing more space to be used elsewhere. So what are the key benefits of combination boilers?

  • Compact Design
  • No Need For Water Cylinder
  • No Risk Of Pipework Freezing
  • Typically Cheaper To Stall

System Boilers

System boilers operate a cylinder for storing hot water. All key elements are built into the system boiler itself, making installation quicker and easier. With system boilers luckily there is no need for a tank in the loft allowing it to be a perfect option for homes with no loft space. So what are the key benefits of system boilers?

  • Ideal For Multiple Bathrooms In One Home
  • Constant Supply Of Hot Water
  • Economical To Run
  • No Need For Loft Tank (Freeing Up Space)
  • Easy Installation

Regular Boilers

Regular boilers are suitable for homes that already have a traditional style of hot water system. Which is usually linked to a separate hot water cylinder. The boilers need to come with a cold water storage tank which can be placed in the loft to feed your hot water cylinder. Regular boilers are mainly the best options for replacing existing boilers if you have an older system.Only problem is it may not be able to keep up with the high water pressure that is delivered with your more modern system and combi boilers. So what are the key benefits of regular boilers?

  • Perfect For Homes With Hot Water Is Needed At The Same Time
  • Ideal For Home With Multiple Bathrooms
  • Good Option Where Water Pressure Is Lower
  • Compatible With Solar Heating Systems For Lower Carbon Footprint

Electric Boilers

Electric Boilers function by simply turning electricity into heat. Not only is it a more eco-friendly method of healing instead of burning fossil fuels, but it also delivers a fantastic level of hot water in your home. Electric Boilers are more commonly found in smaller homes and apartments with lower heating and hot water demands. So what are the key benefits of electric boilers?

  • Better For Environment
  • Quieter When On
  • No Carbon Monoxide Risks
  • Easy Installation
  • Dont Require Chimney

Gas Boilers

A gas boiler burns natural gas to generate heating and hot water in your home. The gas is delivered to a homeowner typically through the mains gas supply. As well as needing a supply of gas, modern boilers also require electricity to ignite the boiler to keep it running throughout the day So what are the key benefits of gas boilers?

  • Cheaper To Run
  • Variety Of Choices
  • Can Meet Heating Demands Of All Property Types
  • Replacement And Installation Is Simple
Homeowner Checking Central Heating Temperature In Home

There we have a descriptive in depth guide of what central heating is, and the wide variation of central heating types you can have in your home. Of course there are slightly different variants of each one. But the above central heating systems are the core of what most UK homeowners will have. Do you still have questions on your mind? Check out our FAQ’ section below to give you total peace of mind.


What Type Of Central Heating Do I Have?

If your system is located in a closet, basement, attic, or crawl space, it's most likely a natural gas, oil, propane, or electric heating system. If your system has a series of pipes that run outside your home and into the ground, it's likely a geothermal system.

What Temperature Should My Central Heating Boiler Be Set At?

If you have a conventional boiler system, your water cylinder will have its own thermostat. This is usually fitted on the side of the tank. You should set the temperature between 60 and 65 °C but for maximum efficiency,

Is Oil Filled Or Gas Central Heating Better?

Oil Filled Radiators Vs Gas Central Heating, Who is better ? Check out our blog to find out!

Can Boilers Go In Bathrooms?

Are you wondering whether you can have a boiler in a bathroom. Check out our comprehensive guide for more information.

How Much Does It Cost To Install Central Heating?

The installation expenses for central heating can vary from £2,000 to £8,000, depending on the size of your residence. The average costs are determined by the size of your home. If you are struggling to get an accurate price, then why not calculate your heat costs yourself?

Does Central Heating Need To Be On For Hot Water ?

If you are unsure whether you can use central heating with hot water then check out our blog below for more information

Can You Use Plastic Push Fit On Central Heating?

The plastic push-fit fittings are capable of withstanding temperatures of 114 °C intermittently for brief durations. Given that the typical operating temperature of central heating systems is 82 °C, peaking at 105 °C, these fittings are deemed appropriate for central heating systems.

What Do They Check On Boiler Services?

Are you unsure what gets checked on a service of your boiler check out our blog with a rundown what gets checked and why.

Is Central Heating Gas Or Electric?

It totally depends on the boiler you have whether you have gas or electricity based central heating.


Interiors Specialist

Ollie is your guru for all housing interior inspiration, top tips, and new trends. The born & raised northerner has a keen eye for modern and stylish-looking interiors and is constantly on the lookout for the newest and best looks to suit your style.