Basically, boilers are a furnace that are fitted in an accessible place in a property and are fuelled by gas. They heat water, which they then pump to various outlets around the property whether they be showers, taps or radiators (boilers which supply both radiators and taps are known as combination boilers).
Boilers are the most important part of any central heating system. If there was no boiler – no heat would be produced. Most central heating boilers are connected to a mains gas supply, meaning that there is a continuous supply of fuel to burn. When you need to heat your property, the boiler is turned on – usually with an electric switch – which opens a valve that allows the fuel (gas) to enter a chamber where it is ignited. This ignited gas then heats pipes that run through boilers containing water, heating it in the process.
These pipes that run through central heating boilers are all part of a continuous loop of pipe work that is fitted throughout the property and is connected to each radiator in the system. An electric pump fitted inside the boiler forces the heater water produced by boilers throughout the system which in turn heats the radiators which heat the rooms in which they are fitted. By the time that this water returns to the boiler it has cooled considerably, so it is heated again and the whole process begins again.
Radiators are effectively made up of copper pipe that is coiled together so there is more surface area which means the room in which the radiator is fitted gets heated quicker. Standard radiators fed from boilers can either be turned on or off and keep a constant temperature, thermostatic radiators have individual heating controls on them and boilers operate when required to keep them at the desired temperature. Thermostatic radiators allow you to control the temperature closely and only warm the areas of the property you wish meaning that they can save you money.
Basic central heating boilers Cv storing are manually controlled and are simply turned on and off when required. These days though in modern properties, boilers are controlled by electronic programmers which allow you set the heating system to come on and off when required, these electronic timers allow the user to heat their property only when required – you obviously don’t need to heat a property while no-one is in.
Boilers come in three main types – open vent, combination and system – all of these work on the basic principles explained above. The main differences come when the boilers are used to heat water for taps – some of them use tanks to store hot water (system and open vented), and others produce hot water on demand direct from the mains supply (combination).