Central heating – Gas, oil & electric – Advice from Gas Safe registered engineers

By Katie Anderson on November 12th, 2010

Radiator Valve Central Heating - Gas, Oil & ElectricCentral heating means heating a whole property or parts of a home from a central source.

Most modern central heating systems use water as the medium to transfer heat from the central source – usually a boiler – to all the areas to be heated. However, some systems use forced-air through duct-work or steam fed through pipes.

There is no such thing as a standard central heating system – a system can be tailored to suit your needs, can be set to work automatically and should use no more fuel than what is needed to keep a home at a desired temperature. It should also provide all the hot water you need, when you need it.

Builder Guide offers a number of energy supplier deals, nationwide central heating specialist firm options and local and regional companies who focus on central heating sales and installation. All the firms we list have Gas Safe Registered heating engineers to  carry out the work to the highest level.

Gas is the most common central heating fuel

Natural gas is very convenient, once you’re hooked-up to the gas supply, and out of all of the different fuel types a gas boiler has the best mix and choice of heating systems, which includes combi boilers, back boilers and wall heaters. Because the supply is fed directly to the system you will never have to worry about running out and topping up. Gas is the most commonly used central heating fuel. Other types of central heating include:

  • Oil central heating – oil tends to be looked upon as a more efficient fuel source than gas but it is restricted to just boilers meaning less choice for consumers. If you do opt for oil you will need to have an oil tank installed outside your home that will need topping up. The negatives are that if you do run the system dry you will need a heating engineer to re-prime the system before it can be up and running again, and the oil tanks tend to be large and very difficult to disguise. Builder Guide has Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) registered installers [for oil devices] registered who will be able to assist with all your oil central heating needs.
  • Electric central heating – electric central heating boilers are a relatively new form of electric powered heating and can now directly replace other boilers in a conventional heating system. An electric boiler is a very compact unit, it’s lightweight, quiet and can run off cheap electricity. If you’re looking for a firm that can both supply a electric central heating boiler and fit it for you then we have a number of firms listed here.

Need a service, repair or a powerflush?

Ensuring your central heating is kept in top working order is essential to prevent any problems when you need your boiler most, during the winter. It is generally expected that you should have a boiler serviced once annually at a very minimum.

A Powerflush (or power flush) is the method used to remove the dirt and residuals that build-up in your central heating system over time. Running your central heating system without having a Powerflush done will reduce the efficiency of your system as the layer of dirt and muck coats the internal piping and hampers the circulation of your system.

A Powerflush is recommended to anyone having issues with their central heating before thinking about a replacement boiler or system and one can be carried out by any certified central heating technician.

Add an extra radiator for more heat

Adding an extra radiator to your existing central heating system will provide extra heat to your home. An accredited plumbing and heating engineer will be able to teed a radiator into any part of the central heating flow-and-return pipes so you can choose where you want the extra radiator located. However, this must be done without robbing existing radiators of their share of the gas boiler output, hence why it should be carried out by a professional.

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