In Britain, we are fortunate to have central heating in our homes to help us to combat those chilly winter temperatures. As temperatures fall in the winter months, it is vital to keep warm for our health and wellbeing, especially for older people, young babies and children and people who have other health conditions which makes them vulnerable to the very cold temperatures.
Central heating is something that used a gas powered boiler and a network of copper pipe like this watkinspowis.co.uk/products/copper-pipe-fittings-and-press-systems/ to heat water and transport it around the home to the radiators which then heat up the rooms. Before the 1970s, it was not common to have central heating in the home and most houses before this relied on coal fires to keep them warm, so the heat was not able to be distributed evenly around the house. This means that going up to bed during a cold snap could be very chilly indeed!
The technology that is used to power a gas boiler has actually been in existence since the Victorian era, however it was certainly not commonly used in the home at this stage, with people relying on the fireplace for warmth.
This also meant that the room with the fireplace, usually the living room, was the heart of the home and the place where the whole family would gather on a chilly night to keep warm and spend time together. Central heating therefore could arguably be a factor in the close relationships being lost over time in families, as there is now no longer a need to stay in the room with the fire to keep warm – something that George Orwell noticed himself and wrote an article about.
Although central heating has now been around for a few decades, it comes with its own problems which are now being addressed – environmental issues. With gas being a non-renewable form of energy and contributing to the climate change problems, there is now a desire to move away from the gas powered central heating systems in favour of renewable forms of energy.
Solar panels, biomass boilers and air source heat pumps are all heating systems that are looking likely to replace the gas-powered boiler in the future, as we seek more environmentally friendly ways to keep our homes warm.