February 24, 2022


Everything About Central Heating Systems Explained

Wondering how most homes in the United Kingdom stay warm during the winter months? With around 87% of voters prioritising affordable heating, knowing central heating systems is essential. So, how exactly do they work? In this article, we will provide all the necessary information to get a better understanding about the whole process and options you might have while coosing the right one for you.

Get a new boiler system

Contact us

In short, heating systems are complex set machinery working continuously in silence to serve your hot water and home heating requirements.

It is good to understand your central heating system to keep it working correctly and know when it needs to be fixed.

How Central Heating Systems Work

In general, heating system involves more than one component: a boiler, the heating element, and interconnecting pipes. All these work in harmony to ensure you get clean and hot water while your home temperature is perfectly cozy.

The system is always in a constant circle of pushing hot water from the boiler unit to your heating elements and back. Unless you flash your heating systems, the water will remain locked in the heating system and loop around over and over in the same cycle.

basic steps involved in every central heating system functioning:

heating functioning
  1. Fuel Supply – fuel gets into your home from an external storage unit or source precisely for powering your central heating system.
  2. Flame Generation by Boiler – the boiler creates flaming jets by burning the fuel available. These flames heat copper pipes containing the water, and the configuration facilitates heat exchange since the lines run around these burning jets. Water gets heated by absorbing the high temperatures from the system’s pipes.
  3.  Copper Pipe Heat Exchange – an electric pump in the setup pushes water across the entire configuration. If you have a storey building property, you may need a more robust pump unit to create the desired pressure for water to reach the upper floors.
  4. Electric Pump Circulation – the system ensures hot water gets delivered to every radiator connected to the system. The water continues to flow in a closed circuit within the featured pipework; water enters from one side and leaves through the other cooler.
  5. Multi-Story Pressure Considerations – a thermostat placed at an accessible house location monitors the boiler activity. It facilitates switching the system on when water is below your specified temperature and vice versa if too hot. A flue is available to allow the disposal of waste gas from the boiler.

Types of Central Heating Systems

Primarily central heating systems are of two types:

  • Wet Systems — use hot water to heat the building

  • Electric Systems — use electricity to generate heat

Electric systems are pretty much straightforward, but the ‘wet’ central heating systems tend to cause the most confusion.

The two main types of boilers found in a wet central heating system are Combi Boilers and Regular/Conventional Boilers.


Let’s discuss them in detail:


Boilers are central heating systems made explicitly for providing hot water across your entire house and heating the rooms with connected radiators. Most residential boiler units operate using natural gas or oil and prove effective in ensuring your home gets ideal hot water provision and a comfortable living environment.

For instance, let us take a gas boiler. It has a continuous supply of natural gas streaming into it from a pipe. To heat your home, switch on the boiler with an electric switch. A valve opens, gas enters a sealed combustion chamber in the boiler through small jets and an electric ignition system alights it.

The heat exchanger takes the heat energy from the gas jets and heats the water. The hot water then runs along the copper pipes and, with radiators connected to them, radiates heat in the rooms to keep them warm and cozy.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a conventional central heating system that functions as a two-way air conditioner. This unit operates by harvesting the excess heat from your environment and heating your water and home interior. In the summer, it will remove heat from the indoors and release it to the cool outdoors, and in winter, it harvests heat from the cold outside through an electrical system.

Two common heat pumps include air source and ground source heat pumps. The former uses outside air as a heat source in the winter and a heat sink in the summer, while the latter focuses on sourcing its heat underground. An electrical connection is necessary to move the heat from one point to another and not generate the heat from scratch.

What is the Best Central Heating System Type?

Gas and Oil boilers are the best types of central heating systems for homes in the UK. They guarantee more than 85-90% efficiency with proper installation by a specialist. It is ideal for your central heating requirements as it provides the most cost-effective and clean heating option.

Every homeowner knows the significance of central heating systems but knowing their functioning will make you confident while handling it too.

If you are looking for an expert to install a new boiler or replace your old one, reach out to The Boiler Installation Specialists. We’ll help you with more details about central heating systems and provide you with a free quote. If you want to finance your new boiler, we do it as well. Check out our boiler finance options today!


In this article, we’ve explored the key components and processes involved in keeping your home warm and comfortable. By presenting each step of the system, we aim to provide you with an in-depth understanding of how central heating works. With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions about your heating system, maintaining the efficiency, comfort, and affordability of your home.

Share This Article