Your central heating system keeps you supplied with the heat that make life comfortable.
As well as taking care of your heating needs, combi boilers provide instant hot water. They have the advantage of freeing up space in a home, because there’s no need for a hot water cylinder (tank) like there is with a conventional boiler.
In most cases, heating water instantly is more energy-efficient than ‘stored’ hot water systems. However, the flow of hot water is slower than if it was coming from a cylinder, so a bath will take longer to run. Some combi boilers can in any case also heat water in a cylinder.
Modern boilers generally no longer have tanks in the loft to ‘pressurise’ the system through gravity. Instead they are sealed systems, and typically only require manual topping up from the mains water supply when the internal pressure has dropped (usually because of tiny leaks). This is a simple operation that takes a few seconds, and involves opening a valve on a pipe below the boiler.
I've heard that ground source heat pumps are environmentally friendly, but will they lower my energy bills?
Ground source heat pumps, fuelled by electricity, work by making the earth outside a home colder, by running a refrigerant fluid through pipes that are buried in a trench or a borehole, while delivering warmth at the heat exchanger indoors . That heat is transferred to the water running through the pipes inside a house to warm radiators and provide hot water.
Ground source heat pumps typically reach temperatures of around 50°C, which is significantly lower than with a boiler, which can reach a temperature as high 90°C. So, you will need to run a heat pump for longer to achieve the same level of comfort, and it tends to work better with underfloor heating, rather than radiators. Although much more expensive to install, they can be as cheap to run as gas central heating. they are a good option to consider if you live off the gas network.