When talking about central heating you are referring to a network of vents and ductwork plus the furnace that lets heat circulate all the way through the entire interior of a building or home at one time. Normally heat is generated from a central location and then distributed through the building, whether it is a building or home. Even though it is called central heating it does not have to be in a central location. It can be located within the building or home anywhere.
If you live in an area that becomes hot during the summer and you need air conditioning it will normally routed like your central heating. Often they are a combination of one unit, using the same vents and ducts to distribute the air to the rooms. The units that pump cold or hot air can be run by electricity or gas. In order to get the air into each room the blowers will require electricity. Generally when you have a heating system installed it is done by a HVAC professional. Although it is easier to install the ductwork for a heating unit in a newly constructed home it can be installed in older homes.
There is very little maintenance required by the business or home owner once you have the central heating unit in place. The main thing that is required is for the business or home owner is to change the filters on a regular base. Any other issues of repair and maintenance should be taken care of by a HVAC professional.
In residential homes only one central heating unit is required but in large buildings you may need one or more central heating units in order to create the heat that is needed to keep the building warm. To save money and energy individual space heaters may be used with central heating units. Generally a thermostat controls a the entire heating or cooling system. The thermostat is generally located near or at the middle of the building or home. You can set a thermostat to a certain temperature and the central heating unit will continue to put out heat until the set temperature is reached. It can take the central heating unit longer to reach the temperature set if it is very cold outside. In order to save money and decrease energy consumption the thermostat in a home should be set as low as you can and still be warm and comfortable. It should also be set lower at night than it is during the day.
In climates that are extremely cold a building or home may use a combination of one or more systems. Living in this area the people may also use fossil-fuel based systems. The reason is that they are cost efficient.