Hot water heating is one of the most popular and commonly used methods for heating nowadays, and finds applications both in domestic and industrial use. At home, the heated water can be provided either in a constant stream directly from the water supply, or boiled by the users themselves in boilers or smaller-scale devices for immediate use. When the hot water is used for heating the household itself though, it most commonly comes from a separate source, designed specifically for providing water to the radiators.
In a traditional hot water heating system for home-based use, water is fed through a dedicated plumbing system to a series of pipes connected to radiators located around the house. Typically, the water supply will be shut off during the hot seasons, to minimize the waste of water and other resources related to providing the service. As the cold seasons approach, the radiators will be filled with water a few weeks in advance, in order to be ready to provide heating when the colder days arrive.
There are numerous advantages associated with the use of a hot water heating system (when the hot water is provided from a continuous source and not being boiled by the user) - the primary one being the cost versus efficiency ratio, which tends to be relatively high for such systems, making them an attractive choice for budget-conscious consumers. Additionally, these systems are very efficient in terms of the space they take up, as after they've been installed, they are very convenient and rarely interfere with the other appliances in the house. Getting access to a constant supply of hot water usually means that it's supplied to the other parts of the household as well, not just the heating system - providing a constant supply of hot water for domestic needs and freeing users of the tedious process of having to boil it beforehand.
Of course, there are some disadvantages to this type of systems as well - some radiators, especially older models, are very prone to leaks, which can be very troublesome for some households full of water-sensitive furniture. Additionally, the system may sometimes take a while before it reaches the desirable temperature for the entire household. Last but not least, water heating systems lack the finer degree of temperature control that is common with some more modern systems, and thus users may find themselves frequently turning the dial on the radiator to adjust the temperature.
More and more people living in larger households are turning to self-heated water as an alternative for supplying their water heating systems, and this isn't that surprising, considering the combined costs of this method can be lower than buying pre-heated water. It has the disadvantage of requiring lots of space though, which still makes it a somewhat unattractive choice for the majority of users - but those living in houses, for example, commonly install large boilers in their basements to provide a constant supply of hot water.