How does the central heating system work and what does it consist of?

The central heating system supplies heat to all rooms with radiators. It all starts in a heat generator that heats the system medium, most commonly water. Heated water is distributed through a system of pipes to the radiators. The thermal energy of water is transferred through the surface of the radiators to the air. The air heats up and rises from the radiator to the ceiling. Over time, the heated air cools and falls. In this way, air circulation is achieved, which ensures a comfortable temperature and an even distribution of heat in the room.

Parts of the system

  1. Heat generator (boiler, heat pump, solar energy conversion device)
  2. Flue system
  3. Heat distribution
  4. Circulation pump
  5. Regulation system
  6. Expansion vessel
  7. Heating bodies

Heat generator

In a heat generator, the energy of the energy used is converted into heat. The central heating boiler can be designed to heat water and produce low or high pressure steam. Boilers for water heating and low pressure steam production are generally of the same construction, and are made as fire-tube or water-tube, are made of sheet steel or are composed of parts made of cast iron. They can be burned with coal, wood, heating oil or natural gas.

Circulation pump

A pump is a device that allows the transfer of heat energy from a lower temperature level system to a higher heat level system using additional operating energy (compressor current) using a circular process of a suitable working medium. Thus, the pump ensures the circulation of hot water in the central heating system. Electronically controlled pumps save energy. They automatically adapt to the selected operating point.

Expansion vessel

The device is used to maintain the pressure in the heating system. Connects to the system return line. The pressure is maintained by a built-in pressure pump. When filling the system and heating the water, after reaching the operating pressure, the pressure switch switches off the pump that pushes the water into the system. When the water is heated, it expands and excess water is discharged from the system into the expansion vessel. When the pressure in the system, due to cooling or leakage, begins to drop, the pressure switch turns on the pump that replenishes the system with water and achieves the operating pressure.

Heating bodies

Central heating heaters should transfer heat, which is supplied by water or steam, convection and thermal radiation, air and surfaces that cover the room. According to the design, there are tubular, plate and articulated heaters (radiators) and convectors. Depending on the material, the heaters can be made of steel, aluminum or cast iron.