If you are looking for a new heating system for a new build or renovation project, there is plenty of variety to choose from. Make no mistake, this is a really important decision, which will affect your experience of living in the house plus it will determine the running costs.
The First Step of Heating Installation
Firstly, you will need to work with a qualified heating engineer, such as Ignite Facilities, to calculate how much heat is needed in the first instance then choose your emitter.
Here are the three main options for emitters –
- Underfloor heating tends to be the emitter of choice for many self-builders and extenders as it offers comfort, efficiency and extra wall space.
- Radiators are cheaper than underfloor heating, with the choice as much about aesthetics as it is by the amount of heat required.
- Skirting board hearts have a lot to offer, especially for retrofit projects and are considered a halfway-house between underfloor heaters and radiators.
Basic Heating System Guide
In simple terms, a heating system generates heat and distributes it around your home. It’s also important to understand that heat is required in two forms; for space, heating to keep you warm and for hot water such as baths and showers.
A basic heating system will consist of:
• A boiler that uses power to heat up water and incorporates a pump to move it around
• Piping that moves warm water around your house
• Emitters, which could be radiators or underfloor heating, as previously mentioned
• Hot water cylinder that stores hot water for use as required, although these aren’t required with a ‘combi’ boiler
Choosing a Heating Source
Another important decision is whether to go with just a boiler or choose a renewable energy system and whether this will be your sole heat source. Gas boilers supplemented by solar thermal panels or air source heat pump are becoming more popular due to the Renewable Heat Incentive, a Government initiative to encourage the take-up of renewable heat generating technology. For situations where there is a very high heat demand in older homes, wood pellet boilers are another option to consider.
Controlling Your New Heating System
The control system will be largely dictated by the heating system you are having installed. To make a substantial difference to your heating bill, the control system must allow you to set the temperature for each individual room. It’s quite uncommon that a home needs every room to be heated at the same temperature at the same time. For example, if you have guest bedrooms, they will only receive occasional use.
You will need to understand how your system works so you can control it effectively, especially if this is a more complex system. For example. if you have underfloor heating on the ground floor and radiators in the bedrooms, there could be more than one heat source with a boiler supplemented with solar panels.
Alternatively, there are ‘intelligent’ systems that can learn when we want our house heated and the desired temperature.
Your control system is just as important as the heating system itself and without the knowledge to operate the system you won’t gain the full benefit of this investment.
What Size of Boiler Do I Need?
Boilers are available in different sizes, which are measured in kW, so you will need to specify the right one as a boiler that’s too large will be more expensive and operate less efficiently than an adequately sized one.
Many boiler suppliers do offer online guides for choosing the right size for your home. Typically, boiler requirements for larger detached homes are in the region of 30kW.
If you aren’t sure which size of boiler will be best for your home, please talk to one of our Gas Engineers who can advise you on the correct size.
Need Heating Installed? Get in Touch
If you are considering getting a new heating system for your property, contact our team of Gas-Safe registered engineers to help you every step of the way. We don’t just cover domestic properties; we also regularly work on commercial buildings across Stoke on Trent and Newcastle under Lyme.