Heating – a glossary of terms


Heat Pump

This is an alternative to a boiler. It sources low temperature heat from the air, the earth or ground water. Using electricity, it ‘pumps it up’ to a higher temperature for use in a heating system.

1. Air to Water Heat Pump


A heat pump which uses a fan to take in air from outside. It extracts low temperature heat from this air to generate heat for a heating system.

2. Ground Source Heat Pump



A heat pump which extracts low temperature heat from the earth. These images show how heat can be extracted through a system of pipes laid horizontally in the ground or from the earth through a bore hole or well. 

Heating Controls

Heating Controls

A modern version of the old ‘time clock’ – a sophisticated combination of devices which controls when the heating system switches on and off.


Thermostats are devices which determine air or water temperature within a heating system.

In a home they are located within hot water cylinders, boilers and rooms (room stat – see below).

Room Stat

‘Stat’ is an abbreviation of ‘thermostat’. These are small devices placed around your home which can detect the temperature in a room. They can be set to any temperature and can ‘switch off’ or ‘turn on’ the heating automatically to maintain rooms at a particular temperature. Thermostats feed information to heating controls systems. They ensure that your heating system is used as efficiently as possible.

Condensing Boiler

Condensing Boiler

These look and operate like conventional boilers but are more efficient because they extract heat from the exhaust fumes which ordinary boilers do not do. Condensing boilers are recognisable by plumes of condensation being emitted from the flue when operating.

Rads (Radiators)


A commonly used term for radiators.

Solar Panels

solar panel

A flat panel or group of tubes which are exposed to the sun’s energy, normally on a roof. They contain special fluid which heats up and circulates through the hot water cylinder in a house to heat water.

Solar panels can also be Photovoltaic meaning that they generate electricity for use in the home. Although less common they are becoming more popular in recent years.

Under Floor Heating

underfloor heating 070306001med

A system of pipes laid under a floor to heat a house. Hot water flows through these pipes to warm up the floor. The floor effectively becomes a giant radiator. The water in the pipes can be heated by a boiler or a heat pump.



‘Thermostatic Radiator Valves’. A relatively primitive form of thermostat fixed directly to the valves on a radiator. They automatically switch a radiator off when a predetermined temperature has been reached.

If you want to find out more about heating and for a free, no obligation consultation, call RENOVA today.

Click here to download our RENOVA brochure.

Tel: 01 2021122

Email: info@renova.ie

Web: www.renova.ie