Central Heating

Central Heating

A central heating system provides warmth to the whole interior of a building (or portion of a building) from one point to multiple rooms. When combined with other systems in order to control the building climate, the whole system may be an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system.

Central heating differs from local heating in that the heat generation occurs in one place, such as a furnace room in a house or a mechanical room in a large building (though not necessarily at the "central" geometric point). The most common method of heat generation involves the combustion of fossil fuel in a furnace or boiler. The resultant heat then gets distributed: typically by forced-air through ductwork, by water circulating through pipes, or by steam fed through pipes. Increasingly, buildings utilize solar-powered heat sources, in which case the distribution system normally uses water circulation.

In much of the temperate climate zone, most new housing has come with central heating installed since the Second World War, at least. Such areas normally use gas heaters, district heating, or oil-fired system, often using forced-air systems. Steam-heating systems, fired by coal, oil or gas, are also used, primarily for larger buildings. Electrical heating systems occur less commonly and are practical only with low-cost electricity or when ground source heat pumps are used. Considering the combined system of central generating plant and electric resistance heating, the overall efficiency will be less than for direct use of fossil fuel for space heating.

Read more about Central HeatingHistory, Water Heating, Electric and Gas-fired Heaters, Hydronic and Steam Systems, Heat Pumps, Environmental Aspects

Other articles related to "central heating, heating, central":

Central Heating - Environmental Aspects
... heat gets lost or goes to waste if only a single room needs heating, since central heating has distribution losses and (in the case of forced-air systems particularly) may heat some unoccupied rooms without need ... In such buildings which require isolated heating, one may wish to consider non-central systems such as individual room heaters, fireplaces or other devices ... buildings which can virtually eliminate the need for heating, such as those built to the Passive House standard ...

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