What is Central Heating & How does it work?

Central Heating is the even distribution of heat to every room in your home from a central point or heat source.

The warm water distributes heat evenly and thoroughly to every area of your home via a network of pipes. The pipe network can be connected to radiators in each room or can be looped under the floor for underfloor heating, both systems releasing a gentle heat into your home.

Radiators: Usually require high temperatures that can only currently be achieved with combusting boilers.

Under Floor Heating: Uses lower temperature water and can be heated by any heat source.

PLEASE NOTE: Solar is generally only considered for heating a domestic hot water cylinder. Heating your house with solar is possible however it requires extensive set-up costs.

Heat Sources are many and varied including Wood Boiler, Wood Pellet Boiler, Gas Boiler, Diesel Boiler, Air to water heat pump, Geothermal heat pump.


  • The boiler pumps heated water through the underfloor pipes or into the radiators, which then release their heat gently into the home.

  • Because there is no forced air movement, there are no draughts, hot and cold spots or noisy fans to contend with. The heat is passive and unobtrusive. It warms objects and fabric within the room.

  • The process is superbly efficient. No water is actually consumed, and once the water is up to temperature the boiler modulates or switches off – while heat continues to be emitted from the pipes or radiators.

  • In New Zealand, gas and diesel-fired boilers are most common. Most models can also produce hot water for domestic tap use. Some will even heat a spa or swimming pool as well as supplying the central heating and domestic hot water. (See All You Need To Know About Boilers)

  • All systems are fitted with a thermostat and time controller, allowing warmth to be delivered only when it is needed. In addition, individual radiators are fitted with thermostats, allowing precise control over the heating supplied to different parts of the house. The more sophisticated underfloor systems can also be programmed to control the duration and level of heat supplied to individual rooms or zones. (See Controlling the heat)

  • A central heating system utilising underfloor pipes to deliver heat can only be installed in a new home or renovation, before the floor slab is laid. A system utilising wall-mounted radiators can be installed in new or existing homes.

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