domestic Services

The Ultimate central heating guide

Our expert Home Advisor can will help you decide on the best central heating for your home. learn about the different options, how they work & how to maintain your new central heating

Ultimate Central Heating Guide

domestic services

The Ultimate central heating guide

Our expert Home Advisor can will help you decide on the best central heating for your home. learn about the different options, how they work & how to maintain your new central heating

A guide to help you find the best central heating system for your home.

Are you ready for winter? In the UK, we know the importance of making sure your home is ready for the extreme wind, snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures our winters can bring.

This central heating guide will help you stay comfortable during the cold months starts with having the right heating solution for your home that runs smoothly and efficiently all season long. Whether you are considering upgrading your heating equipment, need a repair, or are looking for ways to help save on energy this winter, this guide will help to answer your questions and provide you with the information needed to make smart and informed decisions about your central heating equipment.

ENERGY TIPS

Take the Guesswork out of Your Connected Home Setup with Pace A trusted leader in the home service industry, we make easy to keep your home comfortable, with the latest Smart Home systems. including the Google Nest Thermostat, Nest Hello and more.

 

ENERGY TIPS

Take the Guesswork out of Your Connected Home Setup with Pace A trusted leader in the home service industry, we make easy to keep your home comfortable, with the latest Smart Home systems. including the Google Nest Thermostat, Nest Hello and more.

10 things you need to know this central heating guide will answer

  1. What central heating options are available?
  2. How does a boiler work?
  3. What solution makes the most sense for my home?
  4. Should I repair or replace my central heating system?
  5. Do I need to have my boiler inspected?
  6. What do I do if my boiler stops working?
  7. How can I save on energy when heating my home?
  8. Should I purchase my boiler and radiator together?
  9. What should I know before having my boiler installed?
  10. What central heating thermostat should I use with my boiler?

Scheduling your Appointment

If you have any questions about heating your home or are looking to upgrade your boiler, Call Pace Heating & Plumbing 0207-183-2727 today to schedule time with one of our Home Advisors. The advisor will assess your home and discuss your needs to find the right solution for you and your family.

different central heating types

Buying a new central heating system — where to start?

The process of finding the right central heating equipment for your home can often feel like an overwhelming task. There are a variety of options to consider and, depending on the needs of your home, there are different features available to customize your equipment for optimal comfort.

To help you navigate through this complex buying decision, below are some details about the various options and answers to common questions about home heating. Combi boilers. System boilers. Conventional boilers or Warm-Air heating, Underfloor heating and Air & Ground Source heating With so many types of central heating, finding the right one for you can feel like a daunting task. But it needn’t. For starters, here’s the difference between the four main domestic central heating types:

boiler cutaway25578

Central Heating Boiler

carrier warm air 600x600 1

Warm Air Heating Systems

Underfloor board system 3d low 1

Underfloor Heating

Vaillant HP19 28644 1

Air & Ground Source heat pump

Different central heating Boiler Types

Our guide covers the three most common types of boiler and central heating options; system boilers, conventional boilers and combi boilers. The type of boiler you need will depend on the size and age of your property as well as your lifestyle.

Combination Boiler

boiler23 520x300 0099ffA combi boiler, also known as a combination boiler, is highly efficient and compact, making them ideal for smaller homes. The name combi refers to the fact that these boilers are able to act as both a water heater and also a central heating unit.

Thanks to their space saving features, combi boilers are one of the most popular choices in the UK – accounting for over half of domestic boiler installations each year.

Combi boilers work by heating water directly from the mains, so you don’t need a hot water storage cylinder or cold water tank. While combi boilers have some great advantages, there are also considerations you should make before going ahead with an installation.

Advantages of a Combi Boiler
  • Compact: Combi boilers are ideal for small homes as they require no bulky water storage tanks, they also require less pipework.
  • Energy and cost efficient: Since you only heat the water you need, when you need it, a combi boiler wastes very little energy (and therefore money).
  • Good water pressure: Providing you have an adequate level of mains pressure, you should experience a good level of pressure from your shower and taps with a combi boiler.
  • Hot water on demand: You don’t need to wait for a water tank to heat up as a combi boiler heats water on demand. This also means you can have an unlimited amount of hot water.
Disadvantages of a combi boiler
  • Requires a good level of mains pressure: It’s important to make sure that your mains supply can deliver an adequate flow rate and pressure before choosing a combi boiler. If not, it may not be the best type of boiler for your household.
  • Not compatible with all types of shower: You cannot use a power shower with a combi boiler, as the pressure is dictated by that of the mains supply.
  • Can’t run more than one shower or bath at a time: With a combi boiler you cannot run more than one shower or bath at a time (or run a hot tap at the same time). This makes it a less ideal option for larger households with multiple bathrooms.
  • No backup water heater: As there is no hot water cylinder with an immersion heater, if your combi boiler breaks down you will not have a backup supply of hot water.

Standard or Regular Boiler

boiler 400x400 0099ff1Also known as a regular boiler, a conventional boiler system comprises several parts, including a boiler, heating controls, a hot water cylinder, a cold water storage cistern, and a feed and expansion cistern. A conventional boiler system is fed by two tanks which are located in the loft. The boiler heats water which is circulated through pipes. This is used to heat water stored in a hot water cylinder until it is needed  or to heats the water, which is circulated through radiators to heat your home

Advantages of a conventional boiler
  • You can use multiple taps at once Since a high volume of hot water can be stored in the cylinder, you can use multiple sources such as taps and showers, without feeling a drop in water pressure or temperature.
  • It can work with a backup immersion heater An electrical immersion heater can be installed into the hot water cylinder, so if your boiler breaks down you have an alternative way to heat water.
  • Compatible with solar thermal A conventional boiler system is compatible with solar thermal panels, which harness the sun’s energy to create warm water which is then fed into your central heating system.
Disadvantages of a conventional boiler
  • Takes up a large amount of space A conventional boiler requires both a loft and an airing cupboard to house the tanks and cylinder which means it is often not ideal for smaller homes.
  • Hot water tank heat loss A conventional boiler system uses a hot water storage cylinder. Whilst hot water is stored in there it will lose heat over time, in order to prevent this you should insulate your tank well.
  • You can’t have instant hot water Once you’ve used all of the hot water in your storage cylinder, you will need to wait for the boiler to heat another tank full before you can use more. This means you should consider the amount you are likely to use when choosing a water cylinder.

System Boiler

heat only system 400x350 0099ffA system boiler works similarly to a conventional boiler, except that it does not require a feed tank or expansion vessel to be kept in the attic as this technology is built into the boiler unit itself. It takes its cold water supply directly from the mains, heats it up and sends it to a hot water cylinder to be stored until it is needed.

Advantages of a system boiler

You can use multiple taps at once The storage tank means that you can get hot water from multiple sources like taps and showers at the same time without losing water pressure or seeing a temperature drop.

Delivers stronger water pressure A system boiler takes cold water directly from the mains which means it usually delivers a stronger water pressure than a conventional boiler (assuming water pressure is adequate in your area).

Compatible with solar thermal System boilers can work with a solar thermal system, which uses the sun’s energy to heat water for your home. This can reduce your household’s carbon emissions and energy bills.

Disadvantages of a System Boiler

Not as compact as a combi boiler Unlike a combi boiler, a system boiler requires a hot water storage tank, making it far less compact.

Hot water tank heat loss Any hot water created will be kept in a hot water storage tank until it’s needed. During this time heat will be lost, so it’s important to try and prevent as much of this heat loss as possible by insulating it.

You are limited by the size of your hot water tank With a system boiler you can only use as much hot water as your storage tank can hold. If you require more you must then wait for your boiler to heat it again, and this is usually on a set timer.

£ MONEY SAVING TIPS

When you are selecting a new boiler check to see if it is ErP Rated to make sure you are getting an energy efficient option.

£ MONEY SAVING TIPS

When you are selecting a new boiler check to see if it is ErP Rated to make sure you are getting an energy efficient option.

Warm Air central Heating Systems:

 

A warm air heating system uses a vent to pull in heat from the outside air and heats it over a gas flame. This warm air circulates via ducts, vents or grills which are located throughout the home. These heating systems are often managed by a thermostat.

warm air 5328 200x300 0099ffAdvantages of warm air heating

There are many benefits that a warm air heating system can bring to your home:

  • A modern air system provides fast warm up times and will heat your home quickly.
  • The setup eliminates the need for radiators giving you more freedom in terms of room layout.
  • Warm air systems are renowned for their quiet operation so your home won’t be disturbed by unwelcome noises.
  • These systems are very energy efficient with running costs as much as 18% lower than some other types of heating system.
  • Some modern systems have electronic controls to deliver a stable temperature and give you even greater control of your energy use.
  • Warm air systems can include the option of electronic filtration which regularly removes 95% of all airborne particles such as pollen, human and pet hair and bacteria.
Disadvantages of warm air heating

It’s always worth thinking about the possible downsides before investing, here are a few things you might want to consider:

  • Many warm air systems do not heat water so you may need to keep a gas boiler or an electric immersion unvented hot water heater to compensate.
  • Retrofitting ducts or vents into a house can be difficult and will mean having visible ducts in throughout.
  • As there are relatively few manufacturers and installers the market for warm air systems is not as competitive as that of gas boilers so prices are high and options are limited.

Underfloor Heating Systems:

infloor heating 800x700 0099ffKeep your heating system out of sight with underfloor heating. More homeowners are moving towards ‘hidden’ heating systems. Not only to free up space – if replacing radiators – but to add a sense of luxury. Let’s find out if underfloor heating is right for your home.

You won’t be surprised to hear that underfloor heating systems are fitted under the floor. By heating every inch of the floor at a low temperature the heat is spread evenly around the room. And don’t worry, it’s more than comfortable to walk on.

Advantage of underfloor heating

Underfloor heating can offer many benefits over other heating systems. Let’s take a look at a few.

  • Evenly heat the whole room Systems of a certain size can even heat a larger area than radiators.
  • Free up some space you’ll be able to push sofas, drawers or bookshelves right up against the wall.
  • A wet system could reduce your heating bills by running at a lower temperature, you could see a saving on your heating bills.
  • Maintenance free underfloor heating is virtually maintenance free.
  • Increase the value of your home underfloor heating is seen as a modern way of heating a home. This can give your home a sense of luxury to potential buyers.
Disadvantages of Underfloor heating

There’s no doubt that underfloor heating has its benefits. However, it’s always worth considering the potential downsides.

  • Cost to install unless you’re having work done on your floors at the time of installation then it could prove costly.
  • Longer time to heat a room it will take longer to heat the room from the bottom to the top.

Air Source Heat Pumps Systems

air source heat pump 700x500 0099ffAir source heat pumps are a renewable technology that can make your home more efficient and help to reduce your energy bills. Because air source heat pumps do not produce carbon emissions when operating, they are a much greener heating system than gas and oil boilers with the additional attraction of cheaper running costs.

Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside your home. In the case of an air to water heat pump, a large fan is placed outside the home where it can draw in air. The natural heat in the air is compressed to increase its temperature, and the resulting heat is transferred to a cylinder of water. The heated water is then ready to supply your taps and for use in a wet central heating system. Air source heat pumps can still extract heat in temperatures as low as -25°C in some cases.

Air source heat pump advantages
  • Reduced energy bills Air source heat pumps are highly efficient heating systems that have the potential to lower your energy bills depending on your current heating system.
  • Green heating solution unlike gas boilers, an air source heat pump does not produce carbon when operating.
  • Operates all year You can make use of your air source heat pump all year round many models being able to operate in very low temperatures.
  • Easily maintained heat pumps are often referred to as ‘fit and forget’ technology as they require very little maintenance.
  • Lengthy lifetime many can last for up to 20 years, with some even stretching as far as 25 years.
Disadvantages of Air source heat pump

While an air source heat pump could be saving you a large amount of money each year through reduced energy bills, there are air source heat pump disadvantages to consider.

  • Retrofit installation can be difficult Depending on the type of property you have, it may be difficult to install an air source heat pump system without significant changes which could be costly
  • Some operating noise Air source heat pumps can make some noise while operating,
  • Cost more to run than A rated boilers Air source heat pumps use a small amount of electricity to run, electricity is 3-4 times more expensive than gas per unit.
  • Reduced efficiency in winter The colder the air outside, the harder the heat pump has to work to extract heat. For this reason, heat pumps will use more electricity during the winter making them less efficient.
  • Home needs to be well insulated As air source heat pumps produce hot water at a lower temperature than boilers, the property needs to be well-insulated to make it an efficient system.
  • May need new radiators or underfloor heating The lower temperature of the water also means that many homes will need to install larger radiators or underfloor heating
  • Requires outside space you need to have outside space for the heat pump itself, including a good amount of space around the unit to ensure it has an adequate supply of air.

ENERGY TIPS

Having an efficient heating system running on a low carbon fuel is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your fuel bills and your carbon dioxide emissions.

ENERGY TIPS

Having an efficient heating system running on a low carbon fuel is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your fuel bills and your carbon dioxide emissions.

Back to top

Different fueling options

If you live within the M25, the type of fuel your central heating will use will be restricted to gas or, electricity but some homeowners may find they have a choice.

  • Most UK homes are connected to the gas grid, which means they can have a natural gas central heating that is automatically supplied fuel.
  • More and more homeowners (even those who have access to gas) choose to install a boiler or heating system that uses renewable fuel such as a biomass boiler or a heat pump to lower their carbon emissions.
  • Natural Gas
  • Electric

 

Natural Gas Boiler

Gas is the most common heating fuel type in the UK and the majority of homeowners who are connected to the gas grid opt for a gas boiler.

Advantages of a gas boiler

Cheaper to run than electric boilers: Gas is around 3-4 times cheaper than electricity per kWh making it a much more economical option when it comes to heating your home. Whilst a gas boiler is not 100% efficient (and an electric radiator is), you can still get more heat for your money from gas.

Gas is the cleanest fossil fuel: Whilst gas is a fossil fuel and therefore not environmentally friendly, it is the cleanest fossil fuel of those available. In fact, gas creates less than half of the CO2 emissions of oil, and a third of those produced by coal.

Disadvantages of a gas boiler

You must be connected to the gas grid: In order to power a boiler with natural gas you must be connected to the gas network. It can be extremely costly to have your property connected to the grid if it is not already, so if this is the case you may want to opt for a different fuel type.

 

Electric Boiler

An electric central heating boiler is a great option for anyone looking for a compact boiler for a smaller household. They are also a good alternative for homes that cannot install a gas boiler since they are not connected to a gas line.

A typical electric boiler will work by heating the water that runs through it with a heating element and this hot water is then pumped to where it is needed. Thanks to the way they heat water, electric boilers are considered one of the least wasteful options as there is extremely minimal heat loss like there is with a gas boiler.

Advantages of an electric boiler

High efficiency: An electric boiler can run at around 99% efficiency as it doesn't lose heat in the same way as a gas boiler would. Whilst this does mean that the boiler itself is more efficient, it doesn't necessarily make an electric boiler eco-friendly.

Simple, compact and often cheaper to install: Electric boilers use fairly simple technology when compared to a gas boiler. For this reason they are usually compact and in many cases cheaper to install than other boiler types, especially as there is no flue to be fitted. Since they don't use gas, there isn't the same risk present from carbon monoxide and you don't need to use a Gas Safe Registered installer.

Disadvantages of an electric boiler

High cost of electricity: Despite being so efficient, electric boilers can be expensive to run due to the high cost of electricity. With gas costing less than half of the price of electricity, you should consider this factor before opting for an electric boiler.

Not always ideal for large properties: An electric boiler can only heat small amounts of water at a time, and usually they cannot store it for later use. This means a larger property which uses a lot of hot water, or has multiple bathrooms being used at once may not find an electric boiler adequate.

Reliance on electricity: Since this style of boiler runs on electricity, it might not be the best option for a property that is affected by power cuts or outages on a regular basis.

GAS ENG TIPS

Pace Heating & Plumbing is home to central heating experts who have helped thousands of London homeowners searching for advice and guidance. If you’ve got heating questions, we’ll have the answers.

GAS ENG TIPS

Pace Heating & Plumbing is home to heating experts who have helped thousands of London homeowners searching for advice and guidance. If you’ve got heating questions, we’ll have the answers.

Back to top

Modern central heating boiler

Central Heating accounts for about 53% of what you spend in a year on energy bills, so an efficient central heating boiler makes a big difference. All well-maintained boiler burn their fuel very efficiently, but they inevitably lose some heat in the hot gases that escape up the flue (a pipe for extracting fumes and supplying fresh air to the boiler).

Modern boilers are more efficient for several reasons, but their main advantage is that they are all condensing boilers. A condensing boiler has a larger heat exchanger, so it recovers more heat, sends cooler gases up the flue and is more efficient. Sometimes the flue gases get so cool that the water vapour in the gas condenses out, and even more energy is recovered from the condensing vapour.

How does a gas boiler work?

In a typical gas central heating boiler there are pipes entering the boiler underneath. One is the pipe which feeds gas from the mains gas supply (which is outside your home in the street) into the boiler. Another pipe enables cold water to enter the boiler so it can be heated and another enables hot water to exit the boiler so it can be pumped around your home.

  1. Inside the boiler are the fuel jets and heat exchangers. When you turn on your heating, a valve opens which enables gas from the mains supply to enter a sealed combustion chamber inside the boiler. The gas enters via lots of small valves and is ignited by an electric ignition switch creating blue flames*. These jets heat a metal component in the boiler called a heat exchanger which transfers the heat to the cold water pipe. This transfers heat from the gas jets to the water and heats it up to around 60°C (140°F).
  2. Once the water has been heated to temperature, an electric pump which is either inside the boiler or very near to it will pump it around a continuous circuit of pipe which runs all around your home and passes through all of your radiators both upstairs and downstairs.
  3. The hot water enters each radiator, flows around a closed loop, i.e. it enters at one side and leaves at the other, radiating heat into the room.
  4. When the water has travelled through all of your radiators it returns to the boiler. By this time it has cooled down quite a lot so the boiler will re-fire the gas jets to reheat the water before sending it around again. The same water will be circulated around your home every day until the system is drained by a professional Gas Safe engineer.
  5. While the boiler is burning gas it produces waste gases which need to be released outside of the home. This is done via a tube called a flue.

Heat pumps and boilers

Depending on your home, budget and desired level of efficiency, a boiler may not always be the right option for heating your home. There are many great alternative options available.

Air-source heat pump splits Geothermal heat pump Boiler
Fuel efficiency
320%
400%
95%
Operating cost*
£520
£540 - £720
£782
Cost to install
£4,000 – £11,000
£8,000 – £12,000
£500 - £2,750

* Based on London averages

ENERGY TIPS

All heat pumps move heat rather than create it, making them one of the most energy efficient heating systems

ENERGY TIPS

All heat pumps move heat rather than create it, making them one of the most energy efficient heating systems

Back to top

  • Air-source heat pump splits
  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Boilers

An air source heat pump split is a compact, modern, refrigerant-based heating and cooling system. It consists of an outdoor unit and one or more indoor units, The outdoor unit sits outside on a pad or mounted on stands. The indoor units are mounted in the ceiling, on the wall, or near the floor like radiators.

Benefits of an air source heat pump split:

  • Installation can be done by most well-trained heating engineers
  • Provides all-season comfort as a highly efficient, clean energy option
  • Often less expensive to operate than gas based or electrical appliances
  • Depending on the area that you live in, you could be eligible to apply for government incentives

Considerations of an air source heat pump split:

  • Up-front installation costs for heat pumps can be high
  • Older models may be limited in their heating capability in cold climates
  • Some models are unable to manage humidity as well as other options
  • A backup heat source is often required

Geothermal systems are top of the line heating equipment. These systems are also often referred to as ground source heat pumps. Geothermal heat pumps change the temperature in your home by transferring heat between the home and the ground.

How it works

Geothermal takes advantage of a fundamental of basic physics: during cool seasons the temperature underground is warmer that the temperature of the outside air; and during warmer months it is cooler than the outside air. Ground source temperature differentials are smaller than the air sourced differentials, allowing the heat pump to remain in a more efficient range. Geothermal systems move heat using liquid.

Benefits of a geothermal heat pump:

  • Clean energy option
  • One of the lowest operating costs of any heating system
  • Works well with central heating radiator systems
  • Has excellent cold climate performance
  • Tends to last longer with less ongoing maintenance than other systems
  • Relatively quiet
  • You could be eligible to apply for government grants to assist with the cost of installation

Considerations of a geothermal heat pump:

  • Installation requires specialized skills and cannot be performed by every heating engineer
  • Tend to be the most expensive to install
  • May require a large land area
  • Not all soil types allow for installation

A boiler, or central heating system, provides heating by using a fuel source gas or electric to heat a fluid (such as water or glycol) that is pumped through your central heating pipes system to various devices such as radiators or in-floor heating loops.

Combi-units

A combi-unit is a heating source that can also provide hot water on demand through your home.

Benefits of a Boiler:

  • Because of the reduced size combi boilers can be hidden is a kitchen cupboard
  • Underfloor tubing can be laid under most flooring material to give you the luxury of heated floors
  • Combi-unit options can accomplish both your home heating and water heater needs
  • Operational noise is confined to the system and normally cannot be heard throughout the home

Considerations of a Boiler:

  • Often come at a higher upfront cost than a traditional heat only boiler
  • Replacement parts can be expensive

ENERGY TIPS

A central heating system that has been professionally sized and installed by a Gas Safe Registered engineer will run more efficiently than an incorrectly sized one

ENERGY TIPS

A central heating system that has been professionally sized and installed by a Gas Safe Registered engineer will run more efficiently than an incorrectly sized one

Selecting the right Radiators

How Do Radiator Heaters Work?

Radiators draw heat from water heat to warm up surrounding air. By doing this they can effectively be used to heat up a room.

Radiators are made from metal because it’s an excellent conductor of heat. Hot water travels through the radiator and the exterior fins naturally heat up over time. As those fins heat up, the surrounding air heats up as well.

Radiators are one of the oldest and most effective ways of heating a home. Radiators are still desirable because of their simplicity and their ability to heat a space evenly and comfortably. In order to get the most out of your radiator heating system, or decide if radiators are the right option for you, it’s important to understand how they work.

Natural Air Circulation

It’s uncommon for a home heating radiator to have any sort of blower because it simply isn’t needed. As the air surrounding the radiator heats up it rises up and out of the way and new cooler air comes in to take its place. A rotational current of air forms around the radiator causing all the air of the room to slowly heat up.

repair or replace

Getting your new central heating appliance

Beyond selecting the right central heating type for you and your family, there are several other things to consider to ensure you have made the right choice for your home and budget. Here is some information about central heating options, installation and accessories.

ENERGY TIPS

Make sure to have your new boiler professionally sized by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. A properly sized system will run more efficiently than an incorrectly sized unit.

ENERGY TIPS

Make sure to have your new boiler professionally sized by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. A properly sized system will run more efficiently than an incorrectly sized unit.

Back to top

Should I buy my boiler, central heating radiator and hot-water tank together?

Your boiler plays and essential role in keeping your home warm as well as running your hotwater and central heating radiator in the winter. When it comes time to replace your boiler, consider upgrading your radiator and hotwater tank at the same time to help ensure you are getting the most out of your investment.

Benefits of replacing your hotwater tank, central heating radiators and boiler at the same time:

Energy Efficiency

Anytime you upgrade outdated equipment you could be investing in a more efficient system. Replacing your boiler, hotwater tank and central heating radiators at the same time will help you maximize your energy savings.

Equipment performance

Since your boiler, hotwater tank and central heating radiators work together, replacing just one piece could prevent the newer piece of equipment from reaching its potential performance.

Potential savings

Boiler, hotwater tank and central heating radiators are often sold together as packages, so if you decide to upgrade at the same time there may be deals or discounts available. Having all pieces of equipment installed at the same time may also result in cheaper labour and installation costs.

GAS ENG TIPS

A like-for-like boiler replacement is the most straightforward boiler installation and can be completed within one day.

GAS ENG TIP

A like-for-like boiler replacement is the most straightforward boiler installation and can be completed within one day.

Back to top

Installing a new Central Heating FAQ

Even if you are a handy person, installing something as complex as a new home heating is not a good idea. A gas safe registered professional engineer brings experience and updated knowledge of gas code requirements, modern electronics and new technologies. Unless you are a certified gas safe registered engineer, a self-installed central heating appliance could lead to a poorly operating, unsafe system.

 

  • Good installers properly assess your needs: A reputable installer does not just take out the old central heating system and put in a new, same size system without confirming if it is the right fit for you and your home. A professional gas team will take time with you and discuss your changing needs and preferences, advances in efficiencies, the size of your home, insulation and windows, sunlight exposure and other home systems.
  • Good installers recommend the right configuration, size and model for your situation: An incorrectly sized central heating system may wear out more quickly and could be less efficient. Oversized central heating system turn off and on frequently, which may lead to higher operating cost and shorter  life. On the other hand, if the central heating system is too small, it may not properly heat your home.
  • Good installers know what to ask about your comfort preferences: A professional team will know how to conduct a heat-loss calculation that results in accurate sizing of your system. They are also familiar with new technologies, leading brands, models and add-ons. Some brands or models offer features that are just right for your home and changing needs.

Depending on the system that you are having installed, a central heating system installation can take anywhere from a one-day to five day to be properly installed. This includes the installation, testing and clean up.

Most central heating installations will be done by a team professionally trained gas safe registered engineers. A good installation team will come on time and prepared with all the parts necessary to get the job done. The engineers should also be wearing booties over their shoes to protect your home, rolling out additional carpet and floor protection where needed.

The central heating installation itself can take a few days and once it has been installed, the team will fire it up and conduct tests to make sure it is working properly and in sync with your other systems. Then they clean up completely, removing all the old parts and packaging.

Before the installation, you should ensure the rooms where old central heating is installed and any other work areas are clean, clutter-free and well lit. For everyone’s safety, keep children and pets away from the work area.

After your Central Heating appliance has been installed...

Once your new central heating has been installed, the heating engineer will take you through how to use the controls. Taking the time to hear about the features of the central heating will help you to use your new heating system efficiently. Before leaving the heating engineer will provide you with a Building Regulations Compliance certificate which confirms the unit has been installed safely.

With the installation complete, it’s time to register the installation with the manufacturer to validate the warranty. Most manufacturers request that this happens within 30 days of installation.

GAS ENG TIPS

There’s no right or wrong time to have your boiler serviced – as long as it’s being serviced once every 12 months. While you can have your boiler serviced at any time of year, we highly recommend arranging one during the summer.

GAS ENG TIP

There’s no right or wrong time to have your boiler serviced – as long as it’s being serviced once every 12 months. While you can have your boiler serviced at any time of year, we highly recommend arranging one during the summer.

Back to top

To keep your warranty valid you will need to have your central heating appliance  serviced annually. A central heating service involves a heating engineer inspecting the central heating system inside and out, checking the flue pipe is applicable, ensuring that the system performs during operation.

Not only will an annual central heating service keep your warranty valid, they will also ensure that your central heating is performing safely and to its full potential in terms of efficiency and reliability. Plus, it could bring a potential issue to the attention of a heating engineer before it turns into a fault and you need to pay for a repair.

Annual central heating services ensure that your central heating is able to heat your home for as many years as possible. As central heating technology has developed, the warranty length offered by some manufacturers have extended. In some cases, you can get a warranty of up to 12 years so you wouldn’t need to consider a central heating replacement until after that warranty has come to an end.

central heating accessories

Thermostats

Manual

Manual thermostats are economical and simple to control but the temperature in your home will only be adjusted when you manually change the settings of the thermostat.

Pros:

  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Temperature must be changed manually

Programmable

Programmable thermostats can help save on heating costs by adjusting the temperature inside of your home automatically throughout the day. These thermostats are very easy to operate and can be set to meet your changing needs – such for a work week vs. weekend.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Most models allow for multiple settings

Cons:

  • Not suitable for all systems

Smart Wi-Fi thermostats

One of the newer trends in smart home technology are smart thermostats that you can control from your computer or smartphone. These thermostats learn, remember and adjust to how, when and where you use your system. They can help you to save on your energy consumption by adjusting the temperature only when it knows you need it.

Pros

  • Energy-efficient and convenient
  • Remote access to change temperature via your smartphone
  • Greater control of your heating and cooling could mean lower energy usage and money saved

Cons:

  • More expensive than traditional thermostats
  • Not every smart Wi-Fi thermostat works with every heating system

Communicating Wi-Fi thermostats

Beyond being able to control your home’s heating from your smartphone, communicating Wi-Fi thermostats can also communicate directly with your boiler. This feature means your thermostat can receive warnings and error codes from your boiler and ensure everything stays running smoothly. They also allow the equipment to operate at its peak efficiency and to modulate its output.

Pros:

  • Energy efficient
  • Allows your equipment to operate at its peak efficiency
  • Remote access to change temperature via your smartphone

Cons:

  • More expensive than traditional thermostats

£ SAVING TIPS

Heating accounts for about 53% of what you spend in a year on energy bills, so an energy efficient boiler makes a big difference. reduce your fuel bills and cut your household carbon footprint

£ SAVING TIPS

There’s no right or wrong time to have your boiler serviced – as long as it’s being serviced once every 12 months. While you can have your boiler serviced at any time of year, we highly recommend arranging one during the summer.

Back to top

Boiler magnetic filters

Over time, debris and rust can build up in the pipes of your central heating system. This can lead to a range of issues, from making your heating system less efficient to causing boiler breakdowns. To help prevent these problems from arising, you might be considering using magnetic filters in your central heating system. 

But what exactly are these filters, how do they work and could they be a good choice for you? Keep reading to discover the answers to these questions and more.

What is a magnetic filter?

As water passes through the metal pipes and radiators in your central heating system, rust can form. This rust can then break off and, when combined with other debris and dirt, it can create a mud-like substance often referred to as sludge. This sludge travels through your central heating system and can start to settle in certain places, leading to a range of potential problems. 

For example, when it builds up at the bottom of radiators, it can cause cold spots, meaning your heating won’t function as efficiently as it should. The substance can also start to clog up components within your boiler, such as the pump or heat exchanger. This could result in breakdowns and mean you need to have parts of the appliance replaced.

Magnetic filters are designed to catch this sludge and therefore prevent these problems. The fact that they are magnetic means they effectively attract and remove the corroded iron and steel material within the sludge.

Do I need a magnetic filter for central heating?

For example, if your radiators tend to stay cool at the bottom but get hot at the top, this could be a warning sign of a sludge build-up. 

Having to bleed your radiators regularly to ensure they get hot at the top is another giveaway. Your boiler making strange gurgling or banging noises can also point to a sludge problem, as can pump leaks or failures. When parts are removed from your boiler, check them to see if they are full of dirt. If they are, this shows that there is sludge in the system.

If you don’t tackle this problem, your heating system will become less and less efficient, meaning you end up paying more in energy bills. You also run the risk of needing potentially expensive boiler repairs, and the lifespan of this appliance may be reduced. Your boiler warranty could be affected too.

How to clean a magnetic filter on a boiler

Just like other parts of your heating setup, a magnetic filter must be maintained in order to carry on working properly. Pace heating engineer will remove and clean this filter during our annul boiler service.  Keeping up with this maintenance will mean your magnetic filter continues to help protect your boiler and central heating system from a build-up of sludge well into the future.

If you’d like further information or advice on this topic, or on any other issue relating to a your boiler, don’t hesitate to contact the Pace Home Advisor.

Taking care of your central heating

Are you ready for the heating season? A UK winter can come in a flash, and you want to make sure that you and your home are ready for the cold before the temperature drops. Just like you don’t wait for your car to stop running before you change the oil, you should not wait for your central heating to break down before you have it inspected. Especially as your central heating ages, some parts become worn or dirty over time such as radiator, valves, fans, pumps, and controls. You want to make sure that your central heating is maintained regularly to help avoid a costly breakdown during the winter.

Why should I have my central heating maintained?

  1. In the middle of a cold winter day is the worst time for your central heating to stop working, you want to make sure any issues are identified earlier
  2. Even if your central heating does not stop working, it might be performing poorly resulting in more strain on your equipment
  3. A poorly performing central heating could cost you more to operate
  4. Replacing a central heating parts is expensive compared with the cost of a few periodic checkups

Can I inspect the central heating myself?

By all means, check and change your boiler pressure, but unless you are a qualified Gas Safe Registered engineer, it is not safe to attempt to fully inspect your own boiler.

What should I do before the central heating inspection?

Before the engineer arrives, help ensure safety for everyone by clearing the area your central heating appliance is in and the path to the equipment of any clutter or other items. Replace bulbs to ensure adequate lighting. For everyone’s safety, separate and keep your children and pets away from the work area.

SAFETY TIPS

When you are doing maintenance around your home, be sure to replace the batteries and test both your fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector. This should be done at least twice a year.

SAFETY TIPS

When you are doing maintenance around your home, be sure to replace the batteries and test both your fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector. This should be done at least twice a year.

Back to top

Preparing your central heating for winter

  • Book an annual central heating maintenance; Try not to leave it until the last minute when snow is piling up outside. But life happens, and We at Pace will be happy to undertake a service even well into winter. Try to book central heating service for September and October before the rush. For more information on booking service and maintenance click here.
  • Consider a Pace Protection Plan; Put your central heating inspections and regular service on autopilot, by signing up for a compressive protection plan to make sure you are always covered. Learn more here.
  • Make sure the central heating appliance is turned on; It seems obvious, but it does happen that the central heating appliance gets turned off and not turned back on.
  • Check the batteries & test the thermostat; If your thermostat has batteries, check the batteries. Now might be a good time to also check the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Some people choose to check their batteries twice a year while adjusting their clocks for daylight savings time. It’s easy to test a thermostat. Just check the temperature level and turn it up about 5 degrees higher. Your central heating appliance should come on within a few minutes. If it does not come on, there is a problem with either the thermostat or the central heating appliance. Change the batteries if applicable, and if that does not help, call a Pace, and we can have one of our local heating engineers inspect your central heating and thermostat
  • Clean boiler magnetic filters; Boiler filters, ventilator filters all require checking and regular cleaning or replacement. The best way is by changing or cleaning your boiler filter and any other equipment filters in your home. For more information on boiler magnetic filters see the filter section above or click here.
  • Change the air filters. Change your electrostatic filter, you can wash and reuse it. Cleaning or replacing your filters regularly keeps particles out of your warm-air system duct work and can prolong its life. While you’re at it, change your humidifier filter and set the humidistat, if your heating system includes a humidifier.

  • Keep intake and exhaust vents & grilles clear and clean; Clutter, dust and dirt are the enemies of your home’s heating and ventilation system. Clean and unblock areas in front of boiler flue pipe, ventilation grills, radiators, intake vents and outside exhaust vents.

  • De-clutter around your central heating appliance; Keep all areas around your central heating appliance clean and clutter-free. If your central heating appliance is also your airing cupboard, do not hang wet items on he equipment as it can create a serious fire risk. Store all items away from your heating equipment and provide clear access  at all times.

fixing your central heating

Central Heating Repair Advice

There’s never a good time to need a central heating repair. Whether it’s a one-off central heating repair or emergency central heating repair, it is important not to leave it if your central heating requires repair. Depending on the problem you are facing, ignoring the issue will leave you cold this winter and further damage the central heating system component. For most problems, it is best to call a gas safe registered engineer to come and inspect and repair the system to ensure it is fixed properly.

For more information about having your central heating fixed, here are a few frequently asked questions for the most common central heating issues:

Emergency central heating appliance repair

Not all central heating faults are considered an emergency. If your central heating repair falls into any of the following categories then it’s considered an emergency repair:

  • No heating or hot water in winter
  • If there are children or vulnerable people living in the property
  • A gas leak

The Pace gas safe registered heating engineers can respond to emergency central heating repairs within 24 hours.

NEVER attempt to carry out an emergency central heating repair yourself – ALWAYS contact a professional heating engineer.

SAFETY TIPS

Do not try to open or repair a boiler. Unless you are a qualified heating engineer, never attempt to remove the door or open the boiler in any way. Electronics and anything inside your boiler are for professionals only.

SAFETY TIPS

Do not try to open or repair a boiler. Unless you are a qualified heating engineer, never attempt to remove the door or open the boiler in any way. Electronics and anything inside your boiler are for professionals only.

Back to top

One off central heating repair

If your central heating develops a fault but it’s not classed as an emergency you will need what’s known as a one off repair.

The cost of one off central heating repairs can vary considerably. It could be based on the time the engineer takes to repair your broken central heating. In this case an engineer will usually estimate the time that will be needed and the cost of the job, but this could increase if unexpected complications arise.

Alternatively, Pace Heating & Plumbing offer a fixed price central heating repair. This is also known as fixed fee central heating repair and means the price you’re quoted won’t change, even if the job takes longer than initially planned. Parts and labour are included in this price so there are no surprises down the road.

Common central heating repairs

Some central heating repairs are much more common than others. And a couple of them are safe enough for you to resolve yourself. However, this only includes repairs such as increasing boiler pressure and bleeding radiators. A heating engineer should always be hired to carry out more serious repairs.

Keeping Your Home Energy Efficient

Home energy tips

No one wants to break the bank trying to keep their home warm and comfortable during the cold winter months. Do you know how to heat your home to a comfortable temperature and keep bills low

Heating controls are there to make sure you stay in control of your heating and what you pay. It’s very tempting to turn the dial to 27°C and hope for the best at this time of year, but this will also trigger a massive energy bill.

Take a look at our tips below to find out how you can take control of your heating.

£ SAVING TIPS

Smart thermostats could be your next green choice to help reduce your carbon footprint and energy bill

£ SAVING TIPS

Smart thermostats could be your next green choice to help reduce your carbon footprint and energy bill

Back to top

Room thermostat; This type of thermostat prevents your heating system from using more fuel than it needs to. It will turn the heating on until the room reaches the temperature you have set and then off until the temperature drops below your programmed temperature.

Thermostatic radiator valves; These allow you to control the temperature of your individual radiators, allowing you to turn down the heat in rooms you are not using. Set them to the level you want for the room; a lower setting uses less energy and so will save you money.

Boiler thermostat; Your boiler should have a dial or a digital temperature setting. This sets the temperature of the water that is pumped from the boiler through the radiators to heat your home. Turn it up during cold winter spells to make sure you don’t get cold.

Programmer or time control; Once you have set a programmer or time control based on your regular daily routine, it will automatically switch your heating off when you’re not at home, or when you can do without the heating being on.

Setting your time control; You should set the central heating programme to come on around half an hour before you get up, and go off around half an hour before you go to bed. And if the house is empty during the day, or you can manage without heating during the day, make sure you’ve set the programmer to go off for this period too.

Central heating service; This is recommended every year and will help maintain the performance of the heating system. If the heating system isn’t performing effectively then it would be worth remembering about the central heating appliance inspection as part of the annual safety check. If your central heating appliance needs replacing, we will advice you on buying a new, energy-efficient model.

Smart heating controls; Smart thermostats are the newest type of heating control that connect to the internet, allowing them to be accessed and adjusted remotely. They can give you much greater control over your heating, from wherever you are, at any time of day.

cmacc logo
gas water heater2584355 e1629991705158

Keep the heat on – for less

Boiler repairs could cost over £600. You could avoid most unexpected repair costs like these with our Pace boiler Protection Plans.