How Does Central Heating Work?

how central heating works

How Does Central Heating Work? 

Just imagine a few hundred years ago what people would do to warm their home? central heating boiler

They had to give their arm and leg to have central heating in their homes. 

So, can you imagine how inconvenient and troubling it would be for them to make a wood and coal fire and keep all the home warm? 

Now, you have got that complete using a central heating system, right? conventional boiler

What is Central Heating? 

It is the absolute heating control solution to keep your house warm and provide heating as necessary. 

Years ago the central heating would probably be powered by back boiler fires but since the 20th Century, combi, system and regular boilers are the types of boiler more commonly installed.

We have a full guide on the best boilers to buy to help choose the right boiler.

The main idea of central heating is as simple as you have a combi boiler which heats your home and manages the hot water too. 

The central heating boiler will be placed in a handy place like a bathroom, loft or kitchen cupboard where it will use water moved by an electrically powered pump.

It will carry heat into the radiators in all other rooms.

So, it’s very efficient, simple, convenient, and on winter days it is brilliant to heat our house and hot water.

This is possible all year round if required, you simply set the temperature to suit your needs and you will be toasty as and when you would like. 

How Central Heating Works: central heating radiators

Central heating delivers heat either by pumping warmed air using a system of air ducts or kick out hot water or delivers it through the pipes to the rooms’ convectors or radiators. 

This is with the aim to get your room or home to the desired and optimum temperature for your home.

With both the gravity system and forced air, the thermostats control the temperature by turning the cooling or heating unit off and on as the room temperature drops and rises. 

In the homes where the house owners don’t use a central heating solution to warm their room, they either use underfloor heating, an electric heater or in some other cases in-floor or in-wall gas heaters or radiant heat.

In contemporary homes, the most common type of central heating cooling system is using a ducted air system.

Although, the two main types are gravity and forced-air system.

In the central heating system, the circuit moves continuously and kicks out hot water from the boiler.

It delivers hot water in turning all the radiators and then again goes back to pick more heat. The practice is more convoluted and complex than this.

The modern system is now likely to include parallel branches and trunks, thus several radiators fed out from a common trunk pipe.

For an easier explanation, I’ll keep everything simple: 

 Unless the water is drained for maintenance, it is kept permanently sealed inside the system. The water circulates the home every day and this is how everything works. 

  • You get and use natural gas in your home which is delivered through a pipe from the street. The heat that will work to warm up your home, will be stored inside the natural gas as a chemical compound.
  • The boiler burns gas and create hot jets that will play the role of a heat exchanger (most of the times, a copper pipe contains hot water bands back and forth several times with the gas jets and thus it picks up the maximum amount of heat). As a result, the heat energy transfers from the gas to the water.
  •  An electric pump in the system pushes the heated water thoroughly in the whole system.
  • Water flows like a closed-loop inside the radiator by entering on one side and leaving on another side. Because the water becomes cooler after leaving out from the radiator than it gives off heat while entering into the radiator.
  •  The pump of the system is powerful enough to push water upwards through the radiators. If it’s not then you might need to repressurise the boiler.
  •  The system requires mounting in a room to monitor the temperature and switch the boiler off and on when it is hot enough. Besides, switching on the boiler again it needs to be done when the rooms get too cold.
  • Wasted gas from the boiler leaves via a small smokestack which is called a boiler flue and later disperses in the air.

central heating smart thermostat

If your system is included with a heat pump or an air conditioner, then it will be considered as a forced-air system.

The cooled air from the heat pump or air conditioner usually delivers through the same register or ductwork registers operated by heated air.

The heat pump can provide both a cooling and heating facility.

In the winter season, heat pumps collect and extract air from outside and delivers it indoor in the room.

 For more information and advice on central heating, fill in our contact page and we will contact you as soon as possible to help with your query.

Alternatively if you are looking to get a new boiler, you can get a fixed price on a new boiler here in 20 seconds. 

recommended boilers to buy

Get a great price on a Which? Best Buy new boiler in minutes

Pick your install date | £0 Deposits | Pay Over 10 Years
Get a new boiler on finance with nothing (£0 deposit) to pay today 🤗Get this offer