What kind of heating and hot water system do I have?

In order to troubleshoot and maintain your heating system, you need to know exactly what kind of system you have.

Air source heat pump

Air source heat pumps (ASHP) extract thermal energy from the outside air and convert this into heating and hot water for your home.

To get the best from your new heat pump heating system, the controls and settings are really important. Your installer will have already set up the detailed control setting for your home, it’s important that you do not change these settings as they will impact the operation of your heat pump and heating system.

When it comes to time and temperature control, this is something you can control yourself (please refer to the manufacturer’s operating manual) we recommend that heat pump systems are not turned off completely, this is because they operate more efficiently over long periods. Constantly turning it on and off can lead to increased energy costs and reduced lifespan.

Please refer to the handover guide and manufacturers operating manual for further information and support with regards to your ASHP.

Air source heat pump

Conventional boiler system

If you have a boiler and an airing cupboard containing a hot water cylinder that looks a bit like the one to the left, then you have a conventional boiler.

This type of boiler heats water and stores it in the cylinder in your airing cupboard, ready for when you need it. This means that it is possible to run out of hot water (for instance if the shower is being used a lot). It also means that you have an immersion heater.

This is an electric heater built into the cylinder that can give you a boost of hot water if you run out, or if your boiler is not working. This should only be used as a back-up system and run for short periods.

Conventional boiler

Combi boiler system

If you have a boiler but no airing cupboard, you have what is known as a combi boiler. This type of system produces hot water on demand, directly heating mains cold water and piping it to your bath or shower when you need it. With this system if your boiler stops working you’ll lose both heating and hot water.


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