What is Central Heating?

Central heating is a method of whole-home heating in which warm water circulates through a closed network of pipes, carrying heat around the home. These pipes can lead to radiators or they can be laid in the floor for underfloor heating. It is not uncommon to have a combination of both radiators and underfloor heating.

Central heating systems have four major components:

Whole Home Central Heating

1. Heat Source

The heat source is the main component of a central heating system. Central Heating New Zealand offers a variety of options which can be split into two distinct types: Boilers and air-to-water heat pumps.

Boilers burn a fuel to create the high temperature water for circulation through the heating system. Diesel boilers are more common in the South Island while gas boilers are popular in the North Island where reticulated gas is available. Some homeowners also like the hands-on approach of biomass boilers.

Air-to-water heat pumps are electric appliances that heat the water that circulates through a central heating system. The air-to-water heat pump converts large amounts of low temperature heat in the air to small amounts of high temperature heat. Ground source heat pumps work in a similar way using geothermal energy to improve operational efficiency and reduce cost. You do not have to live in a geothermal area like Rotorua to benefit from a ground source heat pump system.

Like your vehicle, your heat source needs to be serviced annually to maintain optimal performance and efficiency. Central Heating New Zealand services systems in the greater Christchurch region. Should you request a service elsewhere in the country, we will happily direct you to a local installer.

2. Distribution

All underfloor heating systems use a manifold.  The manifold provides flow and return circulation of warm water at the correct temperature and flow rate to ensure an even, comfortable floor temperature throughout your home. 

The manifold is best positioned centrally within your home. This keeps underfloor pipe circuit lengths to a minimum, helping to balance the system and control the temperatures within the rooms.

The manifold, which is contained in its own cabinet, is ideally situated within an airing cupboard, utility or cloak room. They should be accessible for maintenance and servicing.

Central Heating / VarioComp

3. Emitters

Central Heating / Thermostat

4. Controls

Most systems have a wall-mounted thermostat. A thermostat monitors the room temperature and switches the heat source off when it’s hot enough, then turns it back on again if the room temperature drops.

Other central heating controls include timers that turn the boiler on or off at set times, programmers that allow you to adjust temperatures for different days of the week and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) that let you take control of different radiators.

Another popular option is a smart thermostat. These work remotely via your mobile or computer, so you can adjust the temperature in your home even when you’re not there.

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