What are the different types of central heating systems?
For the most part, central heating comes in several different varieties. Of these, the most common in British homes is the classic wet system, where water is heated in a central boiler before being piped around a series of radiators.
Besides this, you might find electric storage heaters, which work by heating a kind of specialised brick which gradually releases heat over the course of the day, having been heated up at night, when electricity is cheaper.
Warm air systems were popular back in the seventies, and are still present in a minority of buildings. These work by drawing in air from outside and circulating it in a loop. Rather than radiating the heat, it is being transmitted through convection.
Most large public buildings use some form of air conditioning, which has the advantage of being able to cool the space in the summer as well as warm it during winter. In a hospital or school, the cost of a hundred separate radiators might become prohibitive relative to a single system that spreads across the whole building.
What is the best type of central heating system?
The type of central heating you opt for will depend on your circumstances, and the existing makeup of the building. If you already have pipes running through the building, it may make more sense to add in a new boiler than it does to rip everything out and install an air-based system.
What is the cheapest form of central heating?
Certain systems tend to impose a significant up-front cost, but in many cases this ends up justifying itself in the long-term. It is worth bearing in mind that electric heating tends to cost several times more than mains gas does. There are also differences in efficiency worth bearing in mind.
What is the most efficient heating system for a house?
Electric radiators have a significant virtue, in that 100% of the energy they produce is transferred into heat. If they are supplemented with energy that is generated on the premises, like heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels, then they can make an extremely attractive option.
If you are using the ‘economy 7’ tariff, then you might save significantly by using electricity during the night. This will however only suit a minority of households.
How much does a full central heating system cost?
In the UK, the average cost of central heating, including labour and materials, is between £3,000 and £4,000 . This can vary according to the type of boiler that you are installing, the size of the property, and even the time of year. During winter, you might find that demand on gas safe engineers is slightly higher, because boilers are under greater strain. Get the work done during the summer, and you will be prepared for when the weather outside becomes frightful.
Where to find central heating equipment?
You can find many different suppliers of central heating with the Yell.com listings. Make sure that you consider the star ratings of each business, and shop around for the cheapest quote possible.