How to Install Central Heating


Installing central heating is a difficult job and one that requires careful planning and a sound understanding of the necessary materials. Though it's possible to perform a large part of installing central heating yourself such as selecting the boiler and radiators, laying the pipes, and even installing the control system, you'll need a certified contractor to connect the boiler to the gas supply and check the entire system to see if it's safe to use and if it will effectively heat your home. The following steps will show you how to install central heating based on a gas boiler.

1. Research the equipment you want to use to install central heating in your home.

  • Choose a gas boiler that is large enough to heat your home and supply hot water to the sinks and bathtub, yet isn't too large. Choosing a boiler that is too large will result in higher monthly expenses due to loss of heat from the boiler. If you feel this is an issue, then consider purchasing a new energy efficient boiler.

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  • Select radiators that offer adequate heating capacity while complementing the interior of your home. The most effective types of radiators use fins to radiate heat into the air.

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  • Choose a control system that comes with clear instructions for installation. If you're not sure it's clear enough, call the manufacturer and ask for a detailed description of the installation process.

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  • Gas boilers and radiators include specifications about their heating capacity. Make sure you choose parts that add to a total heating capacity that is adequate for your home.

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  • When assessing the necessary heating capacity, remember to take into account that windows, doors and exterior walls all loose heat in the colder seasons.

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    2. Create a map of the central heating system you want to install.

    This will serve as a blueprint for installing all of the separate parts.

  • Plan to install your boiler at a spot in your home that allows for easy connection to the water pipes, as well as the gas main, and offers a ventilation shaft to the roof.

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  • When choosing where to install radiators, it's important to note that most radiators are installed beneath windows to combat heat loss through the window. However, if your windows reach to the floor, place the radiators adjacent to the window for the most effective heat control.

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  • Plan to lay the pipes either along the walls or under the floor. If you're going to lay them under the floor, make sure to clearly mark where they will be so you don't hammer nails through them when laying the flooring.

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    3. Buy all necessary parts to install central heating.
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    4. Install the radiators.

    They'll need to be about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) from the floor to leave room for the valves to the pipes and allow for cleaning. Install a wheel valve on the flow connection and a lock shield valve on the return connection. This allows you to regulate the water flow.

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    5. Lay the pipes from the radiators and faucets to the boiler.

    You'll need copper pipes with either compression or capillary joints. Make sure the pipes vent to the radiators in order to avoid air locks and malfunctioning of the system.
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    6. Install the control system.

    Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
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    7. Shut off the water and gas supply and install the boiler.

    Again, follow all of the manufacturer's instructions. Remember to have a certified contractor perform the connection to the gas main.
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    8. Commission the central heating system by closing all of the vents on the radiators, filling the system with water and allowing each radiator to vent through.

    Activate the heating pump and re-vent the system. Then switch on the boiler and balance the flow of heated water to each radiator by using the lock shield valves.

    How can I adjust the heat on my radiators?

    Thermostatic valves, while a bit more pricey, allow fine temperature control in each room. Thermostatic valves, while a bit more pricey, allow fine temperature control in each room.

    How do I protect children from touching pipes from central heating?

    Get a new boiler or exchange it for a higher boiler or put a protection cover on all the pipes. It is also important to tell them not to touch it or they will hurt themselves.

    Do you need to shut off the electric to do this?

    You need to isolate the mains to which the boiler will be connecting. Boilers typically need hard wiring instead of a plug.

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