Have you ever imagined how nice it would be to wake up every morning to a warm house? Wouldn’t it be difficult having to wait for your heaters to heat the home up?

There has never been a better time to invest in a central heating system than now. With the cold weather setting in and fossil fuel prices rising, choose the one that best suits your needs. You can save money by replacing old, inefficient boilers with new high-efficient ones. In addition, you can separate your heating zones to maximise energy efficiency.

However, if you already have a central heating system, you can surely make significant energy-saving changes. During the peak heating seasons, central source heating may cost half or more of the energy bills. Nevertheless, concerted effort can reduce the impact on the bills and thereby consume less energy. 

Let's look at what central heating systems are, and how they function. We shall also discuss optimising the central heating programmer with smart home integration.


What is Central Heating?

What is Central Heating?

A central heating system distributes heat throughout the home or a portion of a room from a single point.

Warm water circulates through the house via a network of pipes. This distributes the heat evenly and thoroughly. The pipe network can be connected to central heating radiators for every room. You can also glide it underneath the floor for underfloor heating. It releases gentle heat into your home with either system.

Most of the central heating systems come with a central heating boiler. It works as an energy-efficient heat source that helps keep energy bills low.

How to check if your house has central heating?

A central heating system has radiators and pipework connected to the boiler. First, the boiler serves the heat. From the boiler, the pump takes the hot water to the radiators through the pipework. It takes back the water to the boiler for reheating.  

Thus, central heating is a method of providing heat to your home from a single central source. A few different types of central heating systems include:

  • Conventional Central Heating: Also known as gravity-fed systems

  • Combination Boiler Systems: Heats both water and gas at the source

  • Pressure System Central Heating: Moves water using mains pressure

How Central Heating Works?

A primary heating appliance, such as a furnace, is located in an out-of-the-way location. This location can be a basement or a garage. It distributes heat in two ways:

  • pumping warmed air through a duct system

  • sending hot water or steam through pipes.

This heat then moves to central heating radiators or convectors in each room.

The central heating thermostat controls the heating or cooling unit. It carries it out in both forced-air and gravity systems as the room temperature changes. Homes without central heating use radiant heat. They are also seen using in-floor or in-wall gas heaters or electric baseboard heaters.

Here is how the forced-air system works:

  • A boiler heats the air or an air conditioner reduces the temperature of the air.

  • A heat pump either cools or warms the air.

  • A blower forces the cooled or heated air through the system.

  • The air goes out into the living spaces.

Gravity systems can only deliver warmed air. They have colossal air ducts, and lack blowers.

A forced-air system includes a heat pump or an air conditioner. It delivers cooled air through the same ductwork and registers as heated air. It can also sometimes provide electronically cleaned or humidified air. An air conditioner is powered by electricity. It uses basic refrigeration principles to remove heat from the air.

A heat pump can both heat and cool your home. A heat pump extracts heat from the outside air and transports it indoors during the winter. On hot summer days, it reverses the process. That is to say, it removes heat from the room and pumps it outside.

Heat pumps, like air conditioners, are almost entirely powered by electricity. They have an exterior compressor unit. It is connected to an indoor air handler via refrigerant-filled tubing. The refrigerant completes the basic refrigeration cycle as it moves through the system. Further, it warms or cools the coils inside the air handler.

The blower draws air from the room, circulates it across the coils, and then pushes it back into the room. This is done via ductwork. On snowy days, supplemental electric-resistance elements take the charge. They turn on inside the air handler to warm the air passing through all of it.

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Which Central Heating System is the Best?

There are three types of Central Heating Systems:

  • Oil Fired Central Heating

  • Electric Central Heating

  • Gas Central Heating

The choice of the heating system relies on:

  • the existing setup in your home

  • the maximum operating costs you can afford

  • the suitability of a particular system to your needs

It is essential to have a central heating system in your house. That is because it provides you with the heat and hot water that make life so much easier. But what are the options, and how do they work?

Upgrading your heating system or installing a Central Heating System has many advantages.

Central heating systems have shown to prevent some common health problems. A few to note include Strokes, Heart Attacks, Bronchitis, Asthma and Hypothermia. Central heating also protects your possessions. It safeguards your home and your health by reducing mould growth and condensation. These are common problems with storage heaters and other types of heaters.

Thermostatic radiator valves, room thermostat and timer can help to control the systems. So, you can set each room to a different temperature or set the timer to a specific time. With this, you can enjoy waking up at a relaxed temperature instead of waiting for the heaters to warm up.

Here are some of the best Central Heating Systems to consider:

Oil Fired Central Heating

Oil central heating, like a gas boiler, is a 'wet' system. That means an oil-fired boiler warms the water. Through the system, it then forces the water to travel via hot water taps or radiators. You can try either a combination boiler or an oil-fired heat-only system. Unlike a gas combination boiler, the former stores domestic hot water. So, it does not heat it on demand.

Oil is a very efficient fuel. So, you save on every energy unit. On the other hand, modern condensing boilers are now more efficient. They use hot flue gases that would get wasted in a standard boiler. As a result, it is easy to have a modern and highly-efficient condensing boiler. 

Tip: Keep an eye on oil prices and then stock up as soon as they are low. 

In oil-fired heating systems either of the three happens -

  • Warm air distributed through vents

  • Hot water circulated through baseboard

  • Steam distributed through radiators in oil-fired heating systems

Your thermostat detects that the room temperature has dropped below the set temperature. Then, it sends a signal to your heating system to turn on the heat.

When your oil burner is turned on, heating oil is pumped from the tank to the burner. Here, it is turned into a fine mist mixed with air. After that, the fuel/air mixture is injected into the burner. It is then ignited in the combustion chamber.

Electric Central Heating

Electric central heating can refer to one of two things:

  • substituting your old gas-powered boiler with an electric boiler

  • substituting your old radiators with smart electric radiators.

These plug into outlets throughout your home and provide heat without the use of a boiler.

You probably picture a gas-fired boiler or water-filled radiators as central heating systems. However, this type of heating is inefficient, and difficult to programme. It can leave your home cold when you least expect it. Electric central heating offers itself as a more modern alternative. Specifically, it best suits modern homes and modern life.

One of the most appealing features of an electric heating system is the level of control it provides. Traditional heaters would have to fire up the entire system to provide less warm air. This happens if you have raised the thermostat a few degrees in a single room. However, this is a costly method.

On the other hand, electric heating systems may only need to turn on a single heater in that room. This type of localized heating creates a far more cost-effective home environment.

Gas Central Heating

Gas Central Heating systems are regarded as among the quickest central heating systems. Indeed, they are referred to as the most energy-efficient heating systems. These have a faster response time than electric systems. So, you feel the results in much less time. They can also heat water in a fraction of the time than what electric systems can.

However, central gas heating systems may expose your home to toxic byproducts. With gas appliances, you are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Install carbon monoxide detectors if you have this type of central heating system.

You must also arrange for a gas supply to your home, which will add to the initial cost of the heating system. Whether it's propane or natural gas, you'll need to plan for fuel supply. Gas line installation in an existing home can be a time-consuming and costly process.

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Controls for Efficient Central Heating

The boilers have controls that allow you to set the temperature you want. You can do it while also keeping track of your energy usage. Learning to use these can help you maintain a more comfortable home. You can lower the operating costs and increase the energy efficiency of your system. A single wired thermostat per room controls the underfloor heating systems. However, replacing these existing room thermostats is possible.

Pipework and radiators connect to a boiler in a central heating system. The boiler generates heat. The pump transports it from the boiler to the radiators via pipework. It then pushes it back to the boiler for reheating. It also provides hot water to your home's hot taps.

Here's a complete list of the various types of controls.

Central Heating Pump

A central heating pump is a small mechanical device in your central heating system. It speeds up the process of transmitting hot water from boilers to radiators and vice versa. A pump is a valuable tool for moving water around your house before it cools down. Central heating pumps are the heart of your central heating system. Specifically, it takes water into the pump. Then, it pressurizes it with impellers. At last, it pumps the water around your heating system at a higher speed.

Central Heating Boilers

Boilers are the most crucial component of your central heating system. They provide space heating and hot water. It's essential to understand how they work and the type and size.

Boilers work in the same way whether they're powered by electricity, oil or gas:

  • The fuel is injected into a combustion chamber, where it is ignited.

  • This heat gets transferred to a heat exchanger. It runs alongside a pipe or chamber containing cold water due to the ignition.

  • The water is heated from the energy released by the ignited fuel.

Three Types of Central Heating Boilers To Choose From

When it comes to your home, you can choose from three types of Central Heating Boilers:

  • Conventional

  • System

  • Combi Boilers

Most of the central heating boilers meet effectiveness, utility, affordability and efficiency.


Traditional heating systems use conventional boilers. These boilers either use gas or oil, or electric resistance coils to heat the water. You pump the hot water to a cylinder and store it for later use. This type also necessitates a cold water storage tank and an additional tank. This maintains consistent water levels throughout the system.


System boilers use a hot water storage tank. So, they function similarly to traditional boilers. However, they use water from your mains connection. This way, you do not need cold water storage. Moreover, the boiler already has several components, saving space and simplifying installation.

Combi boilers

The newest type of boiler to hit the market, the combi boilers heat water that comes directly from the mains. This means they begin heating water as soon as you turn on the tap. As a result, you do not need storage tanks for hot or cold water.

Central Heating Thermostat

The thermostat controls the home's heating via the central heating system. You can set your thermostat to the desired temperature. Be confident that it will work to maintain that temperature, depending on your needs.

If the temperature falls below the chosen temperature, the thermostat will turn on the heat to warm it up. It will turn off the heating when the temperature has reached the desired level. Thus, it prevents overheating and energy waste.

Central Heating Radiators

Radiators connect to a central heating system via pipes. Hot water flows through the pipes and the radiators. As previously stated, the hot water heats the room through convection. The hot water does not stay in the radiator. Instead, it flows through the radiator and out to the next radiator in the chain.

The radiators in the central heating system link in a chain. So, the radiator closest to the boiler comes close to the hottest water. In contrast, the radiator at the other end of the chain stays close to the coolest water. This is the place where just before the hot water returns to the boiler. It is preferable to have all of the radiators produce the same amount of heat. 

Hence, balancing works to ensure that they all operate simultaneously. It restricts water flow into a radiator. For the balancing process, you can adjust the valve. This way, you can either constrain or open the water flow into the radiator.

How To Optimize Your Central Heating System With Smart Home Integration?

Smart Home Integration lets you change the temperature settings, remotely from anywhere. Apart from maintaining the optimal room temperature, smart heating offers numerous benefits. You can monitor the temperature using the touchscreen thermostat or a smartphone app.

Central Heating Programmer

You can programme the temperature using a programmable thermostat. A central heating programmer can also best help you. The programmer has a clock. It adjusts the heating daily (daily programming) or weekday (weekly programming).

A programmable thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature in your home. Thus, you can change it according to the amount of heating you need, depending on whether you're at home or away. The programming can also be influenced by what you're doing. Further, it considers your sleeping hours too.

Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats control the home's air conditioning, ventilation and heating. They can be used with home automation. In addition, they allow you to control their heating from other internet-connected devices. So, you can manage the temperature with laptops or smartphones.

Some of the Smart Thermostats are:

  • Smart AC Control V3+ controls IR remote-controlled air conditioning units. It connects directly to your Wi-Fi.

  • The Smart Thermostat takes the place of your old thermostat. It regulates the temperature of the room.

  • Smart Radiator Thermostat controls the temperature of your radiator directly.

The Wireless Smart Thermostat and the Wireless Receiver communicate with your boiler wirelessly.


The Central Heating System is the best investment you can make for your home and family. Central heating saves money on bills. Moreover, it also reduces carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, it allows you to do your part to help the environment. In addition, it is the only heating procedure that uniformly heats your entire home. Control the room temperature and make your home comfy in just a few taps with tado°.