Home heating systems and their efficiency have never been so prevalent in Irish households as they are now. Thanks to rapid technological developments, the typical Irish household is spoiled for choice when it comes to home heating systems. You may ask which one is best, which is why we have created this handy guide to steer you through the process of picking the correct and most economical home heating system.


Home Heating Systems – which one is best?

There are many kinds of home heating systems including centralised, direct, and more advanced state-of-the-art home heating systems. Let’s have a look at these systems in more detail.


Central Heat home heating system

Furnace: A furnace is a structure which is powered by oil, gas or electricity. Gas and oil are converted to heat in a centralised container when it is combined with air and combusted. The heat goes through a metal heat exchanger and is forced through the home heating system piping to the heat ‘distributor’ which can take the form of a radiator or vent, and from a centralised control, the user can choose what their preferred temperature is, and the length of time they want their home heating system to be on for.

Modern furnaces are very energy efficient thanks to new distributive infrastructure, valves, piping, and combustion techniques.


Boilers: A water boiler is a purpose-built heater that contains an element, similarly designed to the one that is found in a kettle. The water is heated via the element and because heat rises, the pressure from the high-temperature water causes the hot water to turn into steam, which then transforms into condensation as it fills the radiator. Once the water cools, it is then transported back to the boiler, ready to be reheated. The element is heated via the combustion of oil or gas, but traditional water heaters are fuelled by electricity.


Heat Pumps: Heat pumps work similarly to air conditioners, in that it has a cooling and heating function. In the summer months, the warm air inside is exchanged with the cooler air outside, and in the winter months, the cool air inside is exchanged with warm air outside. Ground source heat pumps are highly energy efficient as they project more energy than they consume, in comparison the latter air-sourced heat pump which works by creating a vacuum through elements which heat up.


Direct Heat

Gas-fired ‘super-ser’: a gas cylinder is placed in the back of the heater and a valve is placed on top. When the valve is open, it releases a steady stream of natural gas via a duct which is then ignited by a flint sparker. The ignited gas is attracted by fireproof porous cement which lies on the back of the heater.

Electric space heaters: they are cheap to purchase but very expensive to run. The heater conducts electricity straight from the electricity source and acts as a ‘toaster’ to heat the surrounding fluid.

Wood burning or pellet stoves: These work by lighting a traditional fire in the front, water circulates between the cast iron layers, and once it reaches a certain temperature, the heated water then distributes itself via a centralised heating system.

Fireplaces: the most traditional home heating system. A traditional fire is lit and depending on its location, downpipe and air distribution, it can provide much or little heat.


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