4 Tips When Designing a Central Heating System

A central heating system, important as it is in keeping heating costs under control, can be difficult to design. Although there are not many factors involved in designing a system like this, the few that are involved require application of heating principles that, unless you are a HVAC engineer, may not be known to the average homeowner. For useful information about designing your heating system, refer to the tips you'll find below.

Tip 1 – Equipment Location

To provide space for future maintenance or repairs on your furnace, you should plan to place the boiler and basic heating equipment in a furnace room, utility room, or unfinished basement space large enough for you or a heating system service person to perform any needed repairs. Arrange to have gas furnaces installed in locations that are not near natural gas pipes or materials that may be flammable.

Tip 2 – Designing Duct Layout   

When engineering your system's duct layout, your design should be planned to convey heat to all key areas of the building that will need to be heated. This means, hot air ducts to these areas much include simple angles that will allow heat to move through the ducts freely. Eliminate designs that will allow obstructions, openings or connections in these ducts that will result in trapped or lost air that will not reach the area it is intended to heat.

Design the duct system to be constructed of galvanized steel ducts. Crimping of these ducts on one side should allow for a trouble-free insertion into other ducts. Plan to have your ducts insulated to reduce the heat that would otherwise escape from the ducts. Ducts will need to be at least 6 inches in diameter.

Tip 3 – Room Space and Heat Output Ratios

Before designing you system, be sure you have information about output capacity of your system's furnace and the overall space you will be heating. If your furnace output is insufficient to heat your space, it will need to work harder and will need to be replaced earlier than one that has a greater heat output.

If you plan for your usable water to be heated by the boiler or furnace, you will need to add 3 kW (kilowatts) of heat production because hot water will need to be cycled through a different pipe if you add a hot water cylinder. To maintain a comfortable heat level during colder winters you must add ten percent to the total area to be heated.

Tip 4 – Programming Modules

When designing for the system thermostat, plan to include installation of the type of thermostat that includes a twin switch, if you plan to include a water heater. This switch signals to the boiler or furnace that it should turn on and create hot air, and it also initiates a similar signal to the water heater to turn on and heat water.