Central heating in Athens, AL falls under the largest components of utility systems which are responsible for majority of home energy consumption. Where these central heating systems keep our indoors warm and ensure a hot supply of water during winters, they also have significant impact on our utility bills and in terms of environmental rigors. As such, it is important to know which types of central heating systems are available in the market and how do they work, to make an educated decision when purchasing a new one in this winter season.
Consulting a Heating and Air-condition Service in Athens, AL: Types of Central Heating System
Central heating systems usually have a central room from where the heat is distributed to the entire residential building. Ask any heating and air-condition service in Athens, AL and they will tell you that there are three types of central heating systems available in the market. These are:
- Wet System
- Warm Air Systems
- Storage Heaters
What Are Wet Systems and How Do They Work
Wet Systems are a combination of a heating unit (which is a boiler in this case), circulating pipes and heat distributing radiators. Water is heated in the boiler – with natural gas, LPG, heating oil, coal pellets, biomass and sometimes electricity being used as the source of energy. The heated water is then circulated throughout the residential building with the help of pipes. Each of these pipes is connected with radiators which act as the terminal points for these central heating systems. When hot water reaches a radiator, the surrounding air is warmed through radiation. The warm air rises while the cold air settles down, giving rise to a convectional current. Meanwhile, the warm water which has now been cooled after thermal exchanges with the surrounding air, continues its circulation and is guided by the network of pipes back to the boiler. The boiler again heats the water and the cycle continues. Some of the hot water supply is also directed towards a storage tank, where the stored water can be used for bathing and household chores.
Advancements in Centralized Wet Heating Systems
With recent advances in technology, new-age boilers are being designed to work at 90 percent efficiency, which is achieved through condensing technology. Moreover, the modern wet systems differ from the conventional ones in the aspect that they are not equipped with a hot water storage tank. They are rather designed to provide instantaneous hot water supply in bathrooms and kitchen. This makes them more energy efficient but maintaining a constant supply of hot water is often an issue with these modern wet systems.
What are Warm Air Systems and How Do They Work
Warm air systems utilize furnace as the central heating unit which blows heated air through the ducts rather than hot water. The heated air then enters the residential space through air registers or grills. The most common source of energy used in these types of central heating system is the natural gas. However, fuel oil and electricity powered furnaces are also readily available in the market. The combustion products produced in the furnace are vented out through an exhaust pipe.
Advancements in Centralized Warm Air Heating Systems
The standards used to construct a furnace have only recently been updated last year, where improved efficiency and limiting atmospheric waste have become the primary focus of design considerations.
What are Storage Heaters and How Do They Work
Storage heaters basically work on the principle of consuming off-peak electricity, converting it to heat energy and then storing the heat energy until required. By using off peak electricity, storage heaters provide greater savings on electricity bills in comparison to electricity powered boilers and furnaces.
The off peak electricity is automatically channeled through a secondary circuit (depending on the off-peak hours), where it is used for heating elements inside the storage heater. If you are unsure about the off peak electricity hours and how to synchronize the circuit accordingly; you can always consult a heating and air condition service in Athens, AL to help you out. The heated elements then transfer the energy to a highly dense material (some storage heaters use line of bricks) which stores the energy. This is called the charging phase. The stored heat energy is then used to keep the homes warm efficiently and effectively. This same off peak electricity circuit is also used for heating hot water storage tanks. Storage heaters are designed in a way to give off some heat during the charging period to ensure that the house remains warm at all times.
Can You Regulate Storage Heaters?
Yes, homeowners can control the consumption of off peak electricity and regulate the rate at which heat is released from the storage heaters.
A Brief Comparison Of Different Types of Central Heating Systems
- Since electricity unit prices are higher in comparison to natural gas and other energy alternatives, storage heaters are more costly than traditional wet and warm air systems.
- In comparison to warm air systems and wet systems, storage heaters are more environment-friendly.
- Storage heaters are easier to install, since you don’t have to connect pipes and duct system to circulate water or air.
- Storage heaters also require less maintenance in comparison to warm air systems and wet systems. For more guidance on installing and maintaining a storage heater, consult a local heating and air condition service in Athens, AL.
Central heating systems are a great way of keeping your homes warm and comfortable during harsh weather conditions characterized by frost, heavy snow and low temperatures. Their installation is complex as it requires planning, site survey and assessing the needs of a residential space, which varies from customer to customer. Therefore, it is important that you consult a professional to get the maximum out of your investment. If you are in the process of buying a new one or want to repair an existing central heating system, feel free to contact us.