How does a central heating system work?

Central heating is something we take for granted. At least until the boiler gives way and we’re left in a freezing room, unable to even take a warm shower to heat ourselves up.

Ever wondered how they actually work? Well, we’re about to solve that question for you.

Fundamentally, your central heating system works by your boiler heating up water, which is then moved around your home until it heats the entire building.

The whole thing works in 7 steps:

1. A natural gas pipe is connected to your boiler, which carries gas into your home.
2. The gas is burned by the boiler, which then heats the water inside the boiler.
3. The hot water is then circulated around the home through an electric pump.
4. While being circulated around the house, the water enters each radiator.
5. As the hot water enters each radiator, they disperse the heat through the room through radiation and convection.
6. The water then returns back to the boiler, where it’s heated up again.
7. The waste gases are disposed of through the flue.


How do thermostats control the temperature?

Thermostats are temperature dials that control the heating.

As soon as you set a temperature, your heating system will do what it can to bring your home to that temperature. Let’s say that you set the thermostat at 20°C. Firstly, your heating system will use its internal temperature senses to assess what temperature your home currently is. If it’s less than 20°C, it turns your boiler on and begins the process of heating water.

As soon as your house hits 20°C, it will signal your boiler to turn the water off, stopping any more heat being made and saving your home money on its energy bills.

Electronic thermostats can also be set to certain temperatures at different times of the day. For example, you can set it to come on at 6 am so the house is nice and toasty for when you wake up in the morning.

how central heating works


What’s a Combi-boiler?

Most boilers don’t just heat up your home. They also heat up the water that comes out of your taps or showers.

However, as soon as you want hot water, this meant that your boiler had to pause from heating up your central heating system, and instead heat up the hot water.

However, the boilers that can heat up water on demand, on the same system, are called combi boilers. These are what are commonly found in most homes. They work because they have two independent heat exchangers (what heats up your water), which go into two separate pipes. One of the pipes sends water around your home, while the other is your hot water supply.


What’s the best system for my home?

Need a new boiler or heating system?

A replacement combi boiler might be the best option for your home. That’s because they only heat water as and when you need it, allowing you to save money on your energy bills.

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