How does central heating work?

Central Heating refers to any system for heating the home with its power source located in a single central place. The central power source is often a system of radiators and pipes that are powered by oil or a gas burning boiler. Alternatively, this central power source can be an electric radiator or boiler. In this case, the system is referred to as electric central heating. Overall, these systems are common with homesteads. However, very few people understand how they actually work to provide the much-needed heat in the rooms. Let’s have a look at what goes into the working of these systems in order to understand what really takes place.

The Development of Heat in the System

The very first component that one should know to be available in these systems is what is responsible for heat creation. As mentioned earlier, this can either be an electric radiator or a boiler. However, there are other components and techniques that may also be suited for this feature. Irrespective of the method used in a system, all the various components heat what’s called a heat-carrier. In the case of the central heating system, it’s water. Once heated, the water is transferred or spread to other rooms in a house via a system of pipes from the source of heat. Cooled water along with heated water is spread via a system of pipes. One of the tubes feeds water that has been heated into the radiator. The water that’s been heated is supplied to the surface of heating with underfloor heating on the other side. The cooled water is carried by the other tube. This is what’s referred to as the return to the central heating boiler.

Transfer of water in the central heating

The central heating ensures the heat is transferred to another heating surface or radiator through the central heating system distributor. This is often done through a system of pipes. Heating surfaces such as the radiator get heated with the hot water. These surfaces then bring to the ambient air warmth via their surfaces.

The design of the radiators ensures that they’re able to bring about light circulation around themselves more easily. This causes the air to circulate faster and rise to the ceiling far above the radiator. The risen air then cools down and then falls to the ground on the floor. With this happening, the result is a cycle whereby air in the room circulates in the room and hence creating a warm condition in the room which is pleasant.

Reduction of Temperature in the Central Heating

Whenever you’re asleep or not at home, it’s highly advisable that you turn off or reduce the temperature of your central heating. It’s easier to do than most people would imagine. By use of a clock thermostat, you can do this in a reliable and simple way with your own adjustable time programs. During the period of temperature reduction, ensure you set the central heating’s temperature at 50 C lower than the normal temperature. If you set the temperature at more than the 50 C, you’re not really saving much because more heating will be required in order to bring back the house to the required temperatures. However, if you’re going to be absent for long; like when you’re going for holidays, you’ll need to make an adjustment to the temperature of lowering.


Basically, this piece summarises the working of an average central heating. It’s still advisable to seek the help of a professional to explain for you the working of the system if you’re unable to draw it from this article.

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