Are you in the market for a new central heating system? You might have just built a new home and need to fit out a heating system. Or perhaps you have just moved and want a system that better fits your heating needs. You might even just want an upgrade to a more efficient model to unlock the energy savings. There are many reasons why you could be in need of new central heating.
However, no matter the situation, your decision to purchase a central heating system should not be taken lightly. There are several things you should think carefully about in order to make a smart and sound choice. After all, there is a great deal of money at stake here. Before you choose the model for you, take the following aspects into account.
- Your Current Heating Situation
The first thing you should think about when examining your central heating options is to look at your current situation. How do you warm up your home? Do you primarily use radiators throughout your house to provide space heating? You might even have an HVAC system? Also, if you have a boiler, what kind is it and how is it powered?
You should ask yourself these questions because your current heating set-up in your home will greatly influence the cost and feasibility of installing a new system. For example, if you already have a combi boiler installed in your kitchen or airing cupboard and you simply want to upgrade to a more efficient model, then doing so is incredibly simple. However, if you’re making the switch to another boiler type, then installation is much more complex and expensive, since water tanks, expansion vessels, and new controls will be installed.
- Heating Type
For boilers, there are three types to choose from. These are combi, conventional, and system boilers. Each provide space and water heating differently, and have their own advantages and disadvantages. What’s the best boiler type for you? There is no straightforward answer since it depends on your home and your heating preferences.
Combi boilers are compact and easy to install, perfect for smaller homes. They provide heating on demand, so they are very convenient. However, they don’t work well in larger homes with high water demand. For this, a conventional or system boiler is more suitable. These boilers heat water and store it for later use in a water tank, usually in your loft space. However, system boilers have some components built in, saving you space.
For any central heating system, the boiler or furnace is the most important part. It is the source of heating, whether that is through hot air or water. In both instances, the capacity is crucial to efficient heating. If the boiler or furnace is too big, then a lot of energy is wasted when it is fired up—it generates too much heat that cannot be spread properly.
If the boiler or furnace is too small, then you’ll have a poorly heated home. An insufficiently sized boiler or furnace won’t be able to meet your heating needs, leaving you with a few cold rooms and not enough hot water. Generally, the bigger your home, the larger the boiler or furnace you’ll need. That’s why you need to size your central heating properly so that your house is heated as efficiently as possible.
- Fuel Type
How your central heating is powered is incredibly important. Most systems burn gas supplied from your home’s mains connection. However, for some, there is no gas connection and an oil or electric system is preferred. With an oil-fired boiler, you’ll need to install an external oil tank that will be replenished regularly. Alternatively, electric boilers and radiators just need to be plugged into an outlet.
You need to consider the costs and efficiencies of each fuel as well. For example, gas tends to be the cheapest fuel out there but compared to oil and electricity, it is not the most efficient. On the other hand, electricity is very expensive but you’ll get the same amount of heating from each unit of energy you put in. The running costs of your central heating will play a significant role in your purchase decision.
- Energy Efficiency
When looking to heat your home, you should always check the energy efficiency of each part of the system. By ensuring your home’s heating is efficient, you’ll lower your impact on the environment as well as lower your energy bills. Luckily, gone are the days where boilers and furnaces lose significant amounts of heat. Now, there are models that reach energy efficiency ratings of over 90%.
The ECO Grant is offered by the big six energy companies and can offer financial support to those who meet certain eligibility criteria wanting to get a new boiler installed. This scheme was started to help promote the use of energy efficient boilers, so you can rest assured that if you do qualify the boiler you get will be over 90% efficient.
The energy rating of your boiler or furnace won’t matter if hot air easily escapes your home. When getting a new heating system fitted, there are many factors that affect its actual efficiency. Help your heating system out by making sure your house is properly insulated. Doing so will ensure that the high energy efficiency of your boiler won’t be going to waste.