Many Coventry homes have central heating as a central heating system provides warmth to the whole interior of a building (or portion of a building) from one point to multiple rooms. When combined with other systems in order to control the building climate, the whole system may be a HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system.
Central heating differs from local heating in that the heat generation occurs in one place, such as a furnace room in a house or a mechanical room in a large building (though not necessarily at the "central" geometric point). The most common method of heat generation involves the combustion of fossil fuel in a furnace or boiler. The resultant heat then gets distributed: typically by forced-air through ductwork, by water circulating through pipes, or by steam fed through pipes. Increasingly, some Coventry buildings utilize solar-powered heat sources, in which case the distribution system normally uses water circulation.
In much of northern Europe and in urban portions of Russia, where people seldom require air conditioning in homes due to the temperate climate, most new housing comes with central heating installed. Such areas normally use gas heaters, district heating, or oil-fired systems. In the western and southern United States natural-gas-fired central forced-air systems occur most commonly; these systems and central-boiler systems both occur in the far northern regions of the USA. Steam-heating systems, fired by coal, oil or gas, feature in the USA, Russia and Europe: primarily for larger buildings. Electrical heating systems occur less commonly and are only practical with low cost electricity or when geothermal heat pumps are used. Considering the combined system of central generating plant and electric resistance heating, the overall efficiency will be less than for direct use of fossil fuel for space heating.
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