Four rules of economic heating
The main requirements that cottage owners have for heating equipment sometimes seem mutually exclusive: productivity, economy, reliability and, at the same time, ease of maintenance. How to find a compromise?
From the point of view of the installation, the cheapest option is direct electric heating: cable-heated floors and electric convectors. Such a heating system has an efficiency close to 100% and is easily automated. This is a good option for a country house, which is visited from time to time in the winter. In this case, the task of the heating elements of the control automation is reduced to preventing the pipes from defrosting and maintaining a positive temperature on the premises. In the winter period, such a house is brought into a comfortable mode of operation due to stove heating (what a cottage without a fireplace or stove!).
With a spacious cottage for permanent residence, it is more difficult. To heat it only at the expense of electricity is destructive, besides, many areas of private development suffer from a serious lack of energy capacities. The cheapest energy carrier in our region is natural gas.
What to do if you have to wait for planned gasification for years? First of all, to prepare the sled in the summer: that is, to design a universal and economical heating system capable of working on different types of energy carriers. And, of course, it is necessary to provide in advance in the project a room for heating equipment that controls automation and water treatment systems.
The first rule: design taking into account normal energy saving
So that the cottage does not heat the street, it must be built in compliance with SNiP 23-02-2003 “Thermal protection of buildings”, which provides for insulation of all enclosing structures. Modern energy-efficient houses are often built using frame technologies. But common in our region is ceramic brick (more precisely, its modern variety – porous large-format blocks), as well as porous concrete, although they are friendly with energy saving, almost always require additional insulation.
When designing a residential building taking into account modern energy conservation standards, it is also important to exclude excess heat loss through ventilation and translucent structures. With ventilation, everything is more or less clear, but the calculations of cross-sections of ventilation ducts, recuperation systems and control automation require a separate publication, and a rather large one.
Now about the windows. When designing independently, it is often forgotten that even the highest-quality double-glazed windows retain heat much worse than the most democratic sandwich panel. Therefore, we leave large glazing surfaces not for living rooms, but for verandas and summer living rooms, whose main function is not heat preservation, but protection from wind and precipitation.
The second rule: exclude Peretoplyat and forgetfulness
An important savings reserve is the possibility of separate temperature regulations on the premises. In a spacious cottage, it should be possible to exclude flooding of rooms that are not in use at one time or another (for example, when everyone has gone to work).
Multi-circuit wiring comes to the rescue here, allowing you to heat individual rooms (living room, winter garden, etc.) separately. Home automation systems will help eliminate forgetfulness: for example, you left the workshop, but the water floors and batteries continue to fry at full capacity.
Precise adjustment of home climate control systems can save up to 30-40% of energy carriers.
Rule three: provide backup opportunities
If the massif’s electricity supply is interrupted, gasification is far away, and we have to live today, the heating system must be designed in such a way as to minimize the consumer’s dependence on energy suppliers.
Some of today’s homeowners, who live in anticipation of gasification, install an electric boiler in the system to switch to gas equipment in the future. In this case, when designing the heating system, it is important not to forget to provide a place for the gas boiler. The room in which it is installed must be at least 2.5 m high, and have a window and the possibility of an extractor device.
Almost any sacramento water heaters can work on both natural and liquefied (cylinder) gas. But this is also a temporary measure. If the above rules are not observed during the design, on cold days the 50-liter cylinders will have to be changed almost every day. In addition, the operation of gas cylinders requires strict compliance with fire safety rules: they cannot be placed indoors – only outside the house, in a metal cabinet near the outer wall.
A much more reasonable solution for saving and reserving heat resources is the installation of alternative heat sources and accumulators in the system, for example, a solar collector (some engineering companies offer a similar option). Such an addition will allow you to save gas or electricity in the off-season, and not waste resources on water heating in the summer.
The fourth rule: provide a place for the boiler room
In the past, the design of almost any house designed for permanent residence included a boiler room. With the advent of modern compact gas boilers, such a room became increasingly rare in the projects of compact cottages.
Indeed, if your house is slightly larger than a city apartment (up to 120 m²), an electric boiler or a wall-mounted gas boiler with a capacity of up to 30 kW can be installed in the kitchen (of course, if there is ventilation, a chimney and a sufficient volume of the given room). But, as practice shows, this is far from always convenient.
In a private house with local sources of water supply and sewage, the boiler room has to play the role of a multifunctional technical room: automation control units, pumping equipment, water treatment filters can be located here.
Thus, the room under the boiler room in a modern cottage will be redundant, and when designing it is desirable to provide a separate entrance to it – at least so that representatives of the service or emergency service can deal with a freelance situation or perform system maintenance during your absence.