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CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS

Everyone wants to make sure that they get the most out of their central heating system, and there are so many options available that it's sometimes hard to know which is the best option. So here is a quick guide to Central Heating Systems.

There are three main types of central heating in most countries: Wet Systems, Warm Air systems, and Electric storage systems. By far the most common are the wet systems, they are called wet systems because heat is delivered through water which has been heated and flows from the boiler, through the house to the radiators, or any under floor heating that you may have.

Wet central heating is divided into two categories, open vented systems and sealed systems. Open vented systems incorporate a hot water cylinder and include a separate vent pipe which is left open to the atmosphere. There is usually a cistern involved and this is kept at the highest point in the central heating system, most usually in the loft.

Sealed wet central heating systems replace the cistern with something called an 'expansion vessel' this has a diaphragm within it to accommodate the system expansion which occurs as the water temperature rises. They have certain advantages in that as a closed system, there is less possibility of Oxygen being absorbed into the water, and therefore a lower risk of corrosion. There is also less piping in the roof space so the risk of freezing is far lower. On the other hand sealed systems do require extra safety controls, which are often incorporated into the boiler.

Electrical central heating has efficiency benefits because all the energy is delivered into the room as heat. Unfortunately the electricity is not efficiently produced at source and so there are often energy saving devices fitted to them such as thermostats and additional programming options. It is the cheapest to install, but tends to cost more to run day to day. It comes in three main varieties: panel heaters, storage heaters, and fan heaters.

Panel heaters are available to suit any room, usually include a built in timer and thermostat, are quick and easy to install, quiet, and because of the additional controls they are very responsive. Storage heaters operate using off-peak electricity when it is cheaper, they use a core of high density bricks to store heat and then release it when required. Due to this there is always a little bit of heat lost continuously to the room, but this is not necessarily a bad thing as it provides a very warm, dry, airing cupboard. Fan heaters provide rapid warm up, and are very compact, and can be used to air circulation in the summer as the fan can be disconnected from the heat source.

Whichever heating system you operate you can always save money by having a regular boiler service, this makes sure that your boiler is functioning at optimal efficiency. Make sure that you have a service about once a year, and use a reputable company who are certain to do a reliably good job. A boiler service need not be expensive, as you can get prolonged service contracts for several years that reduce that can reduce the costs.



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