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The most cost-effective heating of a private house

The most cost-effective heating of a private house
BALANCE OF HUMIDITY AND HEAT
UNIFORM HEAT DISTRIBUTION
COMPACT PLACEMENT OF SYSTEMS
INTUITIVE CONTROLS

What kind of heating is cost-effective?

Today, every owner of a private house is thinking about how to make his or her home cost-effective. First, it is necessary to fulfill the requirements regarding the energy efficiency of the building.

Now, 80% of residential buildings have a heat source – a gas boiler and, when they come to an engineering company, they ask themselves what changes are required to switch to cost-effective heating.

The first step is to analyze the structures of the house, taking into account the materials that are used as insulation. Thus, if the walls, foundation, roof are sufficiently thermally insulated, then the heat generated in the house simply will not be removed through the building structure. Another important factor is the presence of high-quality double-glazed windows and a ventilation system, since heat loss will be minimal.

What kind of heating is cost-effective Gas boiler for home heating
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Heating options by heat source

Solid fuel

A solid fuel boiler is a unit that generates thermal energy by burning solid fuel. Wood, coal, pellets and briquettes can be used as solid fuel. A solid fuel boiler, like other heating devices, can perform 2 functions:

  • heating of the room to the optimal temperature;

  • heating of water for hot water supply (DHW).

As a heat source, 2 types of solid fuel boilers can be considered, the difference of which is based on the principle of operation of the devices:

  1. Conventional combustion boiler. The principle of operation of the boiler is to burn wood, while the heat is released, which is subsequently used to heat the heat carrier.

  2. Pyrolysis boiler. First, firewood is laid in the upper chamber and the combustion process takes place. Thereafter, the air supply is suspended and the wood begins to burn with a small amount of oxygen. In this case, pyrolysis gases are released, which are sent to the lower chamber. In the chamber, gases mix with air and burn out. At the final stage, the generated heat is transferred to the heat carrier through the heat exchanger.

The advantage of implementing a heating system based on a solid fuel boiler is its independence from gas.

However, the disadvantages of a solid fuel boiler are much greater:

  • solid fuel has a rather high cost, since to ensure optimal heat transfer from wood, it is necessary to purchase raw materials with a high density;

  • additional costs for the delivery and storage of wood, since it is necessary to provide a separate warehouse for raw materials so that the raw materials do not gain moisture, since a large amount of moisture will lead to low-heat transfer from wood;

  • it is necessary to put wood into the boiler by yourself, as well as to constantly clean it to avoid the accumulation of dirt, which will lead to a decrease in the productivity of the device;

  • low efficiency (coefficient of performance);

  • high risk of fire;

  • the need to place the boiler in a separate room.

Given the above, installing a solid fuel boiler is not an appropriate solution.

Gas

Gas heating is a system where gas is used as fuel, and the heat source is a gas boiler that works for heating and hot water.

There are several types of gas boilers, which differ in the principle of operation. Accordingly, gas boilers are divided into three types:

  1. Atmospheric boiler is a device that has an open combustion chamber, respectively, the principle of operation is based on natural draft. This means that oxygen, which is used to enhance the burning of the flame, is taken from the room. Therefore, it is important to equip a separate boiler room for the installation of the boiler. The advantage of the boiler is the low cost of equipment. The main disadvantages include: low efficiency, the inability to install in the apartment, as well as regulate the power of the unit.
  2. A turbocharged boiler is a unit that has a closed combustion chamber. The boiler has a fan for forced air intake, as well as for smoke removal. For operation, a coaxial chimney (“pipe in pipe”) is used, where combustion air enters through the outer diameter of the pipe, and exhaust gases are removed through the inner diameter. The advantage of the boiler is its price category, but it should be noted that a significant drawback is the low efficiency. Since during the combustion of gas and the transfer of heat to the heat carrier, part of the heat is emitted through the chimney.
  3. Condensing boiler is modern equipment for space heating and hot water heating, which is suitable for both apartments and houses. The device has a heat exchanger, which consists of 2 chambers. In the primary chamber, where the burner is installed, the combustion of the previously received mixture of gas and air occurs. This produces carbon dioxide and water in the form of steam. Flue gases, passing through the first heat exchanger, give off most of their heat to the heat carrier. Then the flue gases pass into the secondary (cold) chamber, where the water has just been in a state of steam and begins to condense. In this case, additional heat is released. As a result of such work, the boiler has an increased efficiency (may exceed 100%). 

Based on this, after comparing all types of gas boilers, Alter Air gives its preference to a condensing type boiler.

Electricity

​Inexpensive home heating based on an electric boiler that provides heating and hot water for residents. In this case, the boiler converts electrical energy into heat.

Modern electric boilers are equipped with a device that allows you to maintain a certain temperature - a thermostat. Thanks to the thermostat, you can program the power of the device, respectively, and the degree of heating of the heat carrier. In turn, this will provide residents with the opportunity to use only the amount of electricity they need without additional expenses.

The most profitable heating of a private house based on an electric boiler is equipped with weather compensated heating automation. This function will allow you to control the temperature in the room, thanks to a sensor that provides readings of the outdoor temperature.

Advantages of an electric boiler are as follows:

  1. affordable cost of equipment;

  2. eco-friendly device;

  3. the presence of automation, which makes the device easy to maintain, and, if it fails, the owners of the unit will be able to remotely turn it off.

Disadvantages of an electric boiler:

  • low efficiency (when electrical energy is converted into thermal energy, part of the thermal energy is lost). Based on this, with 1 kW of electricity, the boiler converts 0.9 kW of heat;

  • supplying the required amount of kW to the house because if the amount is insufficient, the boiler will turn off, which will disrupt the operation of the heating system. Thus, it is necessary to perform a heat engineering calculation, which will indicate the amount of kW of electricity consumed during the operation of an electric boiler. If there is a discrepancy between the consumed kW and the heat calculation, the electric boiler and electrical appliances will work intermittently.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT
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Radiators
Radiators

HEAT PUMPS

A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from the environment (water, air or soil) and transfers it to the consumer. The main tasks of a heat pump are the following points:

  • heating;

  • cooling;

  • hot water supply (DHW).​

​To date, the most cost-effective heating of a private house is based on a heat pump. For example, consider heating with an electric boiler, which has a low efficiency (as we said earlier, with 1 kW of electricity, the boiler gives off only 0.9 kW of heat), and a heat pump that can provide 3-6 kW of heat energy. Accordingly, the residents of the house will be able to save annually on getting cooling, heating and hot water. In addition, cost-effective heating of houses based on a heat pump allows the owner to become completely or partially independent of state services and receive not only heating and hot water supply, but also a cooling function. Therefore, the heat pump becomes more and more demanded and more popular among buyers.

There are several types of heat pumps:

The air-to-air heat pump is a conventional split system that can operate at low temperatures.

Heat pump advantages:

  1. low price, in comparison with other types of heat pumps;

  2. ease of installation;

  3. no harmful emissions into the environment.​

Heat pump air-air in interior Heat pump air-air
Drawbacks of heat pump

Disadvantages:

  • air supply from the upper point of the room. Since warm air always rises, accordingly, a sharp temperature difference can occur in the lower and upper parts of the room.

  • when the system stops, the room cools down quickly because the air has a low thermal conductivity;

  • at low outside temperatures (-20 °C) the device will not be able to efficiently heat the house;

  • not able to perform the function of heating water for domestic needs, in contrast to  “air-to-water” and geothermal heat pumps.

The air-to-water heat pump is a universal device that serves to organize heating, cooling and water heating. The recommended area for the installation of air-to-water heat pumps should not exceed 200 m2.

An important indicator of a heat pump is COP (Coefficient of performance), which shows the ratio of energy produced to consume.

For an air-to-water heat pump, the COP value is 3. This means that the heat pump consumes 3 times less energy than it generates.

Thus, the higher the COP, the faster the system will pay off. Based on this, the most profitable heating of a private house is based on a heat pump.

The air-to-water heat pump Air-to-water
A geothermal heat pump

A geothermal heat pump is a unit that uses the heat of the earth and then transfers it to the house. Most often, this unit is used in houses whose area exceeds 200 m2.

The most cost-effective way of heating is to install a geothermal heat pump, since the average temperature of the earth is +12 °C, accordingly, the unit has a more stable operation compared to an air source heat pump.

Thanks to the heat source such as the ground, a ground source heat pump has a higher COP than an air-to-water heat pump. Regardless of the time of year, COP = 1:6. The only and significant disadvantage of the unit is that for the operation of the heat pump it is necessary to carry out earthworks and install probes, which makes the cost of geothermal heating seem quite high.

​The heat pump is energy-efficient equipment, however, for the quality operation of air-to-water and geothermal equipment, the following requirements must be met:

  1. ​high-energy efficiency. This implies compliance with all norms regarding the thermal protection of all enclosing structures;​

  2. ​installation of high-quality double-glazed windows;​

  3. installation of a ventilation system with heat recovery;

  4. the presence of an underfloor heating system that occupies the maximum floor surface area;

  5. installation of fan coil units, since the devices can work not only for space heating as radiators, but also for cooling in the summer

The heat pump for house heating
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Air-to-water heat pumps
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A geothermal heat pump
A geothermal heat pump

Underfloor heating
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Fan coil units
Fan coil units

Underfloor convectors
Underfloor convectors

Radiators
Radiators

Order the selection of the heat source

Leave a request and Alter Air employees will select the best heat carrier for your home

Order the selection of the heat source for a house

Additional ways to save on heating

Proper piping

For efficient heating of the cottage, it is important to provide for the correct piping. The Alter company gives its preference to the radial distribution of pipes, since a servomotor is installed on each pipeline, which is controlled by a thermostat.

Using a heat accumulator

The heat accumulator is an important device of the heating system based on the heat pump. The main task of this device is to accumulate thermal energy to further use excess heat in the heating system. In addition, if you have an air-to-water heat pump installed, the system will be able to transfer heat from the buffer tank to the outdoor unit to perform the defrost function (in case of severe frosts).

Precise control of the heating system

To achieve a reduction in the cost of electricity or gas consumption, it is necessary to make sure that the heating units are equipped with precise control.

Precise control allows residents to have full access to the system, respectively, you can view the set parameters. This function is one of the most important because in the case, when you are not at home and remotely tracked (an application on your phone) that there is a malfunction in the system, you can quickly respond and turn off the heating device.

As we mentioned earlier, there is a weather compensated heating that will improve the operation of the boiler and the heating system as a whole, as well as the owners of the heating device will reduce their heating costs.

There is also a micro calibration function. Its job is to program a certain temperature at the right time. For example, you are not at home during the time range from 09:00 to 19:00. Based on this, the owners of the device can program the room temperature to +18 °C when you leave for work, and set the temperature to +23 °C before you arrive. Thus, when you arrive home, you will not feel the discomfort of the cold, as your house will warm up before you arrive. In addition, you will increase the level of energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.

Using of the underfloor heating

Foremost, the underfloor heating system is a constant for human comfort during the cold season. This system can provide uniform heating of the air over the entire area of the room and provide additional comfort to residents.

Many people believe that by installing an underfloor heating system, you can do without a full-fledged heating system. Actually, it does not work that way. The main function of an underfloor heating is to warm the floor surface and increase the comfort of residents. Here is an example: the outside temperature is -5 °C, and the next day the temperature has risen sharply and is +7 °C. Since an underfloor heating is an inert system, when the floor surface is heated at sub-zero temperatures to a comfortable temperature, the floor will not be able to cool down quickly when the outside temperature becomes positive. The next disadvantage is that at low temperatures, an underfloor heating gets very hot, which will bring discomfort to the human foot.

Therefore, it is necessary to install additional devices to create an optimal microclimate in the room:

  • radiator – a device that can heat the room;

  • fan coil unit – a device which main functions are cooling and heating of a country house, regardless of the season;

  • n-floor convector – a device that heats the building. However, in case you purchase the Kampmann HK model, you can also get the cooling function in summer.

​Thanks to the above devices, the temperature of the floor surface will be in the range of + 24-26 °C, which is the optimal and comfortable temperature for the human foot. It is important to note that having installed cost-effective heating of houses based on a heat pump, it is necessary to replace the radiators with fan coil units. As we said earlier, radiators simply cannot work to cool the house, and to achieve the maximum efficiency of a heat pump, you need to use the unit, taking into account all its functions. Fan coil units can generate heat and cold, so if you have heat pump-based heating, it is more profitable to install this particular unit.

House insulation

Firstly, to have budget heating at home, it is necessary to fulfill the requirements for high-quality insulation. Therefore, even at the construction stage, you need to understand that all building envelopes must be selected with the right insulation. Since with the wrong selection of insulation, the building will lose heat through the building envelope. Thus, when the heating system is operating, the heat will simply go out into the street, and accordingly, the residents of the house will spend much more money.

Heating cost for each heat source

The cost of a heating system in Ukraine depends on many factors, therefore, to find out how to make a system, you need to contact Alter Air.

Factors that affect the cost of heating a private house:

  • complexity of installation of the heating system;

  • selected heat source and additional devices: fan coil units, radiators, in-floor convectors;

  • manufacturer of selected equipment, etc.

In our office, experts will offer several options regarding the implementation of the heating system project. Subsequently, the engineers, together with the client, will finally choose the heating system that is suitable for a private house, taking into account the wishes and budget of the customer.

Let us consider the cost of operating systems based on a geothermal heat pump and a gas boiler. To achieve this, we will use the technical and economic analysis of Alter Air engineers for one of the houses with an area of 550 m².

Parameter
Value

​Heating area of the house

550 m2

Thermal power of the heating system

26,00 kW

Cooling capacity of the cooling system Qсх

27,00 kW

Estimated temperature of the coldest five-day period,   texternal5

-22°С

Estimated internal air temperature t internal

22°С

The average temperature of the heating period, t heating period

–0,1°С

The duration of the heating period Z heating period

176 суток

Number of degree-days  S heating period = Z heating period ∙ ( ti nternal - t middle of heating period)

3890 deg.-day

Daily water consumption for domestic hot water

0,65 m3

Hot water temperature

45°С

Calorific value of natural gas

8 kW m3

Day-time tariff “Kyivoblenergo"

1,68 or 0,9 UAH kW/h

Gas tariff for the population from 10.01.2020 

6,91 UAH/m3

Parameter
  • ​Heating area of the house

    ​Heating area of the house

  • Thermal power of the heating system

    Thermal power of the heating system

  • Cooling capacity of the cooling system Qсх

    Cooling capacity of the cooling system Qсх

  • Estimated temperature of the coldest five-day period,   texternal5

    Estimated temperature of the coldest five-day period,   texternal5

  • Estimated internal air temperature t internal

    Estimated internal air temperature t internal

  • The average temperature of the heating period, t heating period

    The average temperature of the heating period, t heating period

  • The duration of the heating period Z heating period

    The duration of the heating period Z heating period

  • Number of degree-days  S heating period = Z heating period ∙ ( ti nternal - t middle of heating period)

    Number of degree-days  S heating period = Z heating period ∙ ( ti nternal - t middle of heating period)

  • Daily water consumption for domestic hot water

    Daily water consumption for domestic hot water

  • Hot water temperature

    Hot water temperature

  • Calorific value of natural gas

    Calorific value of natural gas

  • Day-time tariff “Kyivoblenergo"

    Day-time tariff “Kyivoblenergo"

  • Gas tariff for the population from 10.01.2020 

    Gas tariff for the population from 10.01.2020 

Value
  • ​Heating area of the house

    550 m2

  • Thermal power of the heating system

    26,00 kW

  • Cooling capacity of the cooling system Qсх

    27,00 kW

  • Estimated temperature of the coldest five-day period,   texternal5

    -22°С

  • Estimated internal air temperature t internal

    22°С

  • The average temperature of the heating period, t heating period

    –0,1°С

  • The duration of the heating period Z heating period

    176 суток

  • Number of degree-days  S heating period = Z heating period ∙ ( ti nternal - t middle of heating period)

    3890 deg.-day

  • Daily water consumption for domestic hot water

    0,65 m3

  • Hot water temperature

    45°С

  • Calorific value of natural gas

    8 kW m3

  • Day-time tariff “Kyivoblenergo"

    1,68 or 0,9 UAH kW/h

  • Gas tariff for the population from 10.01.2020 

    6,91 UAH/m3

Расчет для ТН "грунт-вода"

HP ground-water

Газовый котел + мультисплит система

Gas boiler + multisplit system water

Cost-effective heating from alter air

Option 1

The heating system with a heat pump is the most cost-effective heating system in comparison with other heat sources: solid fuel, gas and electric boilers. Since the cost of energy resources is becoming more and more every year, it is better to think about alternative heating using a heat pump. The fact is that when choosing a heating unit, first, customers think about saving money. Therefore, as we mentioned earlier, the main indicator of a heat pump is the COP, which will show how many times more heat is produced than electricity is consumed. COP for air-to-water heat pump is 3, for geothermal – up to 6.

You can find more information about the use of a heat pump in a heating system in the “Heat pumps” section.

Option 2

Heating a home with an electric boiler is a common method because the unit is affordable, easy to use and maintain, and is an environmentally friendly and safe device.

More details about the advantages and disadvantages of an electric boiler, you can find in the section “Electricity”.

Option 3

Previously, condensing-type gas boilers were often used to heat a private house. To date, this solution is cost-effectively unprofitable for a number of reasons:

1. the cost of gas does not have a fixed price;

2. it is imperative to have gas pipelines nearby in order to ensure gas supply to the house.

You can find out more information about the types of gas boilers in the "Gas" section.

Our projects

COMPLEX OF ENGINEERING SYSTEMS IN A THREE-STOREY BUILDING (380 m2) KG RIVIERA VILLAS

  • BEDROOM
  • Utility room
Duct air conditioner Daikin FBA 60

Кондиционеры Daikin FBA 60 – мощные сплит-системы канального типа, предназначенные для скрытого монтажа практически любого помещения.

HVU with heat recovery JABLOTRON FUTURA L

Highly efficient air handling unit for general ventilation in houses and apartments. Reuses the heat and moisture that are present in the room. Has a "native" VAV-system (variable air supply).

COMPLEX OF ENGINEERING SYSTEMS IN A THREE-STOREY BUILDING (380 m2) KG RIVIERA VILLAS

A complex of engineering systems in an apartment, Lipskaya street, Kyiv

  • Living room
  • Bathroom
  • Mini-boiler room - 1
  • Mini-boiler room - 2
TROX double slot inline diffuser

Double-slot diffusers from the TROX brand are designed for high-quality air distribution throughout the room. They combine visual aesthetics and high technical potential. Air currents are given in different directions, evenly scattering and avoiding any drafts. Outwardly, only laconic lines on the ceiling remain visible.

Duct air conditioner Daikin FDXM 35F

A low-pressure internal duct unit Daikin FDXM 35F is installed in the ceiling space of the bathroom - it works to cool the bedroom. It is accessed through hatches. The capacity of the air conditioner is enough to service rooms up to 35 m2, which is optimal for a given room. The lowering of the ceiling in a technical room was 300 mm.

Indirect heating boiler Drazice

Vertical indirect heating boiler Drazice OKSE 200 l is designed to provide apartment residents with hot water. The inner surface of the tank is covered with high-quality enamel without nickel, which ensures a long operation of the water heater, and there is also an anti-corrosion coating. The temperature inside can be kept between 7 and 77 ℃. The water heating indicator always shows the current temperature on the front of the tank. There is a fast heating function. This is an excellent solution for an apartment, allowing you not to depend on seasonal blackouts and other inconveniences.

Electric boiler Vaillant Ecoblock

Electric boiler Vaillant Ecoblock An electric boiler Vaillant Ecoblock with a capacity of 6 kW and efficiency of up to 99% works for heating and hot water supply of the entire apartment. It has a wide range of temperature settings for both heating and hot water supply. There are frost protection and 2-level overheating protection. Equipped with eBus data transmission technology. With the help of a capillary thermostat, residents can smoothly regulate the heating temperature in the range from 25 to 85 ℃

Expansion tank Zilmet

The Zilmet expansion tank is designed to compensate extra pressure in the heating system. Works in conjunction with the Vaillant electric boiler above. The special inner lining of the tank prevents the growth of any bacteria, that is, the water does not acquire a metallic taste, does not stagnate or change its properties.

Refiner Ecowater - water softening and filtration system

A modern system for filtering and softening water: cleans water from all kinds of impurities and odors, neutralizes iron, making it soft, pleasant and safe for household appliances, water pipes and human use. The purified water is also suitable for drinking directly from the tap. The refiner does not require changing the carbon filters, and is controlled via WiFi - maximum automation and comfort!

A complex of engineering systems in an apartment, Lipskaya street, Kyiv

Ventilation, air conditioning and heating in the apartment, residential complex "Novopecherskie Lipki"

  • KITCHEN
  • DINNER ZONE
  • WARDROBE
  • LIVING ROOM
SUPPLY AND EXHAUST GENERAL VENTILATION SYSTEM MAICO Ws 320 KB

Air handling unit Malco WS 320 kV with heat recovery, designed to ensure proper air exchange in a residential or commercial space. In this device, the KB index indicates the presence of a built-in heater and a bypass.

KITCHEN MIXER MOONY

Single lever sink mixer with 28 mm swivel spout, double flow for clean water. The water is turned on and off by means of one chrome-plated lever. Refined design and durable materials will ensure the reliability of the mixer for many years.

DRIVE FOR AIR DAMPER BELIMO

Designed to control air dampers. It can be used in both ventilation and air conditioning systems. The drive has a protective function against frost or smoke.

SALDA SILENCERS SALDA

Silencers are used to reduce sound pressure in circular ventilation ducts. They provide quiet operation of the ventilation unit, they are mounted on each of the air inlets to the ventilation unit. In this case, 4 silencers are provided.

IN-FLOOR CONVECTOR KAMPMANN KATHERM QK

Heat convector Katrtan Katherm QK-high-quality equipment for space heating. It has a function of forced convection (built-in fan), which combines EC-technology of fans together with smooth regulation of its speed (KaControl control system). This solution allows you to increase energy efficiency to the maximum level. It also guarantees a quieter operation without discomfort for the occupants.

TROX CONCEALED LINEAR DIFFUSERS

Trox slot diffusers are used in residential and administrative premises, and are installed in suspended ceilings. The design includes guide vanes (by default - black, on order the color can be different), a plenum box with a branch pipe. These devices are used in supply and EXHAUST ventilation systems. Their advantage is the ability to accurately direct the air flow. Trox slot diffusers are made of high quality aluminum.

DUCT AIR CONDITIONER DAIKIN FDXM25 Daikin

FDXM25-duct-type indoor unit, designed for rooms up to 25 m2 The unit was placed in the ceiling space, making the room visually freer without unnecessary details and equipment. It can work for cooling, heating or dehumidification.

DESIGN RADIATOR ЈAGA STRADA

The Jaga Strada radiators are distinguished by their high thermal performance and stylish design: the heat exchanger maximizes heat production with minimal energy consumption, and the panels, in combination with the stylish grille, give the appliance an elegant look. They can be combined with condensing boilers, react quickly to changes in room temperature.

TROX CONCEALED LINEAR DIFFUSERS

Trox slot diffusers are used in residential and administrative premises, and are installed in suspended ceilings. The design includes guide vanes (by default - black, on order the color can be different), a plenum box with a branch pipe. These devices are used in supply and EXHAUST ventilation systems. Their advantage is the ability to accurately direct the air flow. Trox slot diffusers are made of high quality aluminum.

Ventilation, air conditioning and heating in the apartment, residential complex "Novopecherskie Lipki"

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FAQ

What is the cheapest heating for a private house?

The cheapest way to heat a house is to implement a project based on an electric boiler. More information can be found in the «Electricity» section.

What is the most cost-effective way to heat a house?

The most cost-effective heating of a private house is based on a heat pump. Since heat pumps have a high COP value, they can also work not only for heating and hot water supply, but also for cooling in the summer, unlike other heating devices.

In the section “Heat pumps” you can study in more detail information about the units.

Gas or electricity, which is more cost-effective for heating in a private house?

Today, if we compare electricity and gas, we can safely say that electricity is more cost-effective to operate. Since there is no fixed cost for the purchase of gas, it is more rational to choose an alternative heating option, for example, a heat pump.

You can read more information about the implementation of a heating system based on a heat pump in the «Heat Pumps» section.

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Testimonials and questions
  • 5 / 5

    Александр

    Наконец-то нашел вменяемую статью по вопросу. Пытались понять, как лучше сделать в новом доме отопление, вроде и газ есть возможность подвести, а вроде электричеством сейчас подешевле. Теперь будем смотреть в сторону теплового насоса, заодно жене будут теплые полы, давно про них говорит