2 June 2016

Everything you need to know about Heating Systems


The UK and Ireland consists of three main types of water heating systems. These include open vented, unvented and instantaneous.

Open Vented

This type of heating system combines a multitude of different parts to heat the water. Open vented systems are available as either a direct heating option or indirect. Direct heating uses an immersion heater or a boiler to supply hot water whilst an indirect heating system heats water by using a heat exchanger from a boiler.

The water is then heated inside the cylinder itself. Many modern heated cylinders are fitted with their own immersion heaters to act as a safeguard or “back up” in the event that the boiler breaks down. This is a huge advantage since homeowners can use hot water at any time of the day, even in emergencies. Open vented heating systems occupy an open vent pipe. This allows the system to cope with water expansion and great deals of pressure.

Unvented System

An unvented water heating system consists of numerous parts, making it the more complicated option out of the three. Unlike the open vented system, unvented systems are able to operate at higher pressures. Water pressure is reduced by the pressure reducing valve situated in the main pipe, which meets the cold water before entering into the hot water system.

Particles are filtered in the same pipe by the line strainer, ensuring that the water is consistently clean and fresh. To deal with water expansion, an unvented system uses an expansion vessel which expands with the water as temperature increases. It does this in order to store any extra water that has found its way into the tank.

Instantaneous Heating System

An instantaneous heating system uses electricity or gas to heat water, rather than storing the water in a cylinder. In the same way that a kettle uses a coiled heating element to heat water, an instantaneous heating system will use the same method to rapidly heat water and supply it when needed.

Stored Hot Water Vs Instantaneous Hot Water

Both stored hot water and instantaneous hot water comes with their own set of advantages, so it really comes down to personal choice when deciding which option is best suited for your particular lifestyle. Stored hot water systems can usually cope with high demand quite easily. However, instantaneous heating systems are often cheaper to run since the water only needs to be heated when in use.

Stored hot water systems and heating cylinders, such as those available at Copper Industries, can be heated by a number of green sources of energy such as solar. This makes them very environmentally friendly, perfect for reducing your carbon footprint on the planet. They also allow for the connection of various kinds of water heating methods, giving the user a complete range of options to choose from. They act fast in emergencies and you can even fit an emergency backup heat source to allow access to hot water in the unfortunate event that the boiler fails.