Heating systems, how to make a good choice

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To choose the right type of heating system which is best suited to your needs is not easy. You can only identify the best possible choice and make it your own.

Heating systems, how to make a good choice
Arch. Raffaella Pierri
Arch. Raffaella Pierri

Choosing which type of heating system is best suited to your needs is not easy, because there are disparate variables to consider. Every system, then, has its merits and weaknesses, there isn't any perfect solution, you only need to find the best possible choice.

Fireplace, classic and timeless choice for home heating



Classic Fireplace Choosing a  heating plant based on the fireplace is certainly an economical and environmentally friendly heating system , as well as aesthetically appealing, although quite challenging, considering this last point of view. The fireplace, in fact, is no doubt an important but centralizing presence in a  room. It is not always so easy to realize around it a decor that emphasizes its importance, but at the same time not overwhelming it or, in contrast,  not disappearing, crushed by its bulky presence.
Modern fireplace
From the point of view of thermal efficiency, however, this is one of the  less effective solutions, not counting the not always easy maintenance. I'm talking, of course, about the classic fireplace. The situation is different if you take into consideration the so called thermal fireplace, which uses the recovered thermal energy  to heat the feed water of the heating system for the whole house.

Underfloor heating system



The underfloor heating system is the currently must have in new buildings, especially the prefabricated wooden houses in green building. Not only. The focus on this type of heating plant is becoming more strong even in the events of restructuring.

I will not write about the alreUnderfloor heating systemady known very good    cost/benefit ratio of such a solution, since the subject has been widely discussed in many occasions. I just need to remember that, for such systems, the operating temperature is 30°C -35°C or so, with a great saving in terms of energy consumption, not to mention the additional benefits, in this sense, in the case of exploitation of renewable alternative energy to power these plants.

The other plus, in the case of underfloor heating plant, lies in the mode of heating propagation   by irradiation, which allows a constant temperature throughout the room, without the effect hot head-cold feet, which is often the case with the classic system with radiators on the wall.

The heating plant by radiators, in fact, is based on convection system,  which causes  continuous convective motions that bring the heated air upwards, gradually replaced by other heated air, in a constant way.
Heating system with radiators
 This way the operating temperature, in this case, can not fall below 70°C, to ensure at least 20°C in the central area of the room (in a line of vertical values) while there will be about 24°C in the area of the ceiling, with an evident, considerable waste of energy, in addition to a continuous movement of dust in the air.

To be also reckoned with the advantage of having the  walls free, so as you can set your pieces of furniture the  way you like best, without encumbrances, and the possibility, thanks to modern laying techniques and the new materials and systems adopted, to have minimum thickness, very useful in case of restructuring.


Wall or skirting board heating system



It represents a variant alternative to the underfloor system. The wall heating plant is based on the same principle of propagation by means of irradiation, as in the case of the floor system, but is a bit more binding as regards the location of any piece of furniture on the walls. Hekos. Skirting board heating system

The  skirtingboard system is cheaper than a floor system, and is a convenient choice especially in the case of a minimally invasive restructuring. Since the principle of propagation is always that by irradiation, the heat heats the wall to then be transferred to the entire room. Therefore also in this case there is some bond about the kind of furniture to be taken.

Heating, with which fuel?



Stove Even the type of power, in the case of choice of a heating system, implies a thorough reflection, if we want to consider the best cost/benefit ratio in the short and long term.

Whether we speak of boiler for power plant, as well as in case of fireplaces or stoves, it is obvious that, at times, an initial cost advantage, seemingly convenient, proves later on illusory  for the high costs of maintenance and operation, as well as the opposite is also true.

And no doubt about the economic disadvantage of heating plants with LPG or natural gas, compared to those based on pellets or wood (definitely the cheapest type of fuel). Without taking into account the aesthetic choice of a fireplace or a  stove, with all the warmth they generate.

It should be considered, however, the disadvantage of a quite challenging maintenance, due to the fact of having to think about a place where to keep the wood, about the continual action (physically speaking) of fuel supply and about the  work of cleaning that this type of system involves .

Certainly, with the same efficiency, a plant by pellets would be more convenient and Pellets certainly less challenging.

In the case of heating systems with radiant panels, the ideal would be to choose those that exploit alternative energy sources, to further lower the operating costs. Even the use of condensing boilers can save in a concrete way, thanks to the greater thermal efficiency given by the recovery of the heat of the fumes.

In short, there are many issues to consider, the important thing is not to stop at the first solution, maybe the one that seems the most obvious and convenient. Go further, perhaps there is another solution that you never considered because it seemed the most expensive.

Post: Heating systems, how to make a good choice
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