Central Heating Instalation

By , March 31, 2011 2:07 am

Central Heating Installation Boiler Repairs Product list


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Types of Central Heating Systems  

There are three main types of central heating systems in the UK.

  • Wet systems (including Electric Combi Boilers)
  • Warm air
  • Electric storage
  • Electric radiators / panel heaters
  • Electric Combi Boilers (NEW)

Wet Central Heating Systems

   Regular System System Boiler

Central heating systems with radiators are termed ‘wet systems’ because the heat is delivered from water which flows from the boiler to the radiators.

Wet central heating systems may be fuelled by

  • Natural gas
  • LPG – liquefied petroleum gas
  • Oil
  • Solid fuel
  • Electricity

There are two main categories

  • Open vented systems [link to ‘Open Vented Central Heating System' below]
  • Sealed system [link to ‘Sealed Central Heating System' below]

Open Vented Central Heating Systems

Open vented central heating systems are the mos t common type. They incorporate an indirect hot water cylinder and include a separate vent pipe which is open to the atmosphere; hence the name.

They also include a feed expansion cistern to allow for expansions in the system hot water volume as the temperature rises.

The cistern is situated at the highest point of the central heating system, usually the loft. Hence it must be protected from freezing.

Open vented systems may be

Fully pumped: Both the primary pipework to the cylinder and the heating pipe work to the radiators are pumped

Gravity primaries / pumped heating : The primary pipework relies on gravity and only the heating pipework to the radiators is pumped.

Sealed Central Heating Systems

Sealed central heating systems replace the feed and expansion cistern with an ‘expansion vessel’. This has a diaphragm within it to accommodate the system expansion which occurs as the water temperature rises. The advantages of a sealed central heating are

They are not open to the atmosphere so there is little possibility of Oxygen being absorbed into the water. Hence there is a reduced risk of corrosion within the system.

There is no need for extra pipework in the roof space so the risk of freezing is minimized.

As sealed systems have neither an open vent nor a permanent connection to a water supply they do require additional safety controls. These are often incorporated into the boiler.

Sealed systems are always fully pumped [see above]


Electric Central Heating Systems

Electrical heating is 100% efficient as all the electrical energy is delivered into the room as useful heat.

Electric heating offers a wide range of options.

  • Panel heaters
  • Storage heaters
  • Fan heaters

Panel Heaters

Panel heaters are available to suit any room – even bathrooms.

Features may include

  • Built in control thermostat
  • Economy setback (background temperature control)
  • Built in timer

Advantages are

  • Quick and easy to install
  • Quiet in operation
  • Responsive

They are available as

  • Convector heaters
  • Radiant panel heaters

Storage Heaters

These operate using low cost off-peak electricity such as Economy 7 and White Meter.

Storage heaters all operate on the same principle. A core of very high density bricks store heat during the hours that the cheaper rate electricity is available then release it as and when required.

The bricks are very well insulated so that heat is retained until it’s needed. Even so, as the temperature within the core is very high there will always be a small proportion of heat continuously given up to the room.

Fan Heaters


  • Provide rapid warm up
  • Aid air circulation
  • Compact

There are three types

Wall Mounted Fan Heaters are ideal for bathrooms and kitchen. They incorporate a simple pull cord, built in thermostat and timer.

Wall Mounted Fan Convector Heaters operate by drawing air into a front grille and delivering warm air into the room through a base grille. They are suitable for low level fitting and have a ‘fan only’ facility for air circulation in the summer.

Plinth Fan Heaters are designed to fit into the ‘kicking board’ of kitchen units, the base units of bedroom furniture and false walls. The may be fitted with a thermostat, remote control panel and a ‘fan only’ option for cool air circulation in the summer.

Gravity Primaries / Pumped Heating System

Gravity primaries / pumped heating systems have an ‘indirect’ hot water cylinder which is heated as a result of gravity circulation from the boiler to the coil or annular heat exchanger within the cylinder.

Indirect means that the water in the coil or annular does not mix with the water for the taps.

There are several disadvantages of this system

  • A much longer heat up time for the cylinder
  • No hot water control so tap water may be dangerously hot
  • Not energy efficient

The timer clock triggers both the boiler and pump into operation BUT the pump will only operate if the room thermostat demands it. Hence there are times when the boiler ‘cycles’; it turns on and off under the control of its own thermostat. This lack of efficiency adds to running costs.

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