Closed vs Open Heating Systems

Whether or not you are familiar with your heating system, all homes have one, so you can benefit from on-demand heating in the cold weather, hot water, and warm radiators to keep you cozy.

Efficiency is key when it comes to your heating system, so you get the most from your boiler and radiators.

No matter whether you live in a traditional home with heavy column radiators, or a modern home with a sleek vertical radiator, you’ll need to ensure good quality heating throughout the year.

Read on to find out more about closed and open systems and which is best.

What is a closed system?

A closed heating system is a system that is closed to the atmosphere.

They use a pressurization unit that works automatically to replace any water loss and make sure that requirements within the heating system are maintained.

Along with this unit, an expansion vessel will also be installed so that the expansion and contraction that happens when heating water can be dealt with effectively.

They work in a different way to open heating systems which we will look at in more detail below.

What are the benefits?

So, why should you choose a closed system over an open system? There are a few benefits that come along with it, such as the fact that they take up less space.

As well as this, you can benefit from high-quality cleanliness and reduce the possibility of oxygen entering the system.

Closed systems are also all located in the same place, which makes it easier to maintain and service when the time comes, or repair if necessary.

The pressurization units that are included in the system can help to monitor your heating too, some can even identify leaks, and let you know whether the pressure is too low or too high.

There are also a few disadvantages that come with closed heating systems – If your pressure drops, your boiler will stop working altogether, and will require repairs or servicing. Outside pipes must also be used with a sealed system to relieve pressure, which could become frozen in the winter.

What is an open system?

opened heating system

In comparison, an open heating system is exposed to the atmosphere and is often referred to as a conventional heating system.

They are found in older properties and are usually located in the loft or attic. This type of system provides both heating and hot water and is usually made up of two tanks – a water cylinder tank, a pump, and a boiler.

These systems are not compact as you would usually find with a combi boiler.

These systems can allow you to heat multiple rooms at once because they can provide heat through a hot water cylinder.

An open heating system can provide a lot of water and heat when the system’s tank is full, which means it can work well for homes that use a lot of hot water.

What are the benefits?

As we mentioned above, if you have an open heating system, you can provide a lot of in-demand heat and hot water, so they work well if you have a large family, with a house with a lot of bathrooms and bedrooms.

With this heating system, even if it is old, or has leaks, you will still be able to benefit from a working boiler, as this will not stop it from delivering heat and water. There is also little chance of too much pressure on the pipes that could result in leaking.

However, there are also a few cons that come with this type of heating system. They tend to be less efficient, and they take up more space – so if you have a smaller home, you should probably rethink your decision, or get a closed heating system installed. You may also notice more rust in the system.

Which is best?

When deciding which system is best, you’re going to need to think about which is most efficient, and which you will be able to fit into your space.

As we mentioned, an open heating system is best for heating a larger home, but you might find that rust gets into the system which could prevent it from working as it should and may cause issues.

Choosing a closed system means rust is less likely to get into the system, and they are more efficient. You should weigh up your needs when making your final decision.

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