How to heat a private house without gas: alternative options for heating a cottage

Published 26 Sep 2022
Updated 16 Mar 2023
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Content
  1. RELEVANCE OF HEATING WITHOUT THE USE OF GAS
  2. How to make heating in a private house without gas: main options
    1. SOLID FUEL BOILER
    2. ELECTRIC BOILER
    3. HEAT PUMP
  3. ADDITIONAL OPTIONS FOR EFFICIENT HEATING OF A HOUSE WITHOUT GAS
    1. SOLAR COLLECTOR
    2. UNDERFLOOR HEATING, ELECTRIC HEATERS
    3. FIREPLACE AND STOVE HEATING
    4. BIOFUEL HEATING
    5. LIQUID FUEL HEATING
  4. COMBINATION OF MULTIPLE HEAT SOURCES TO HEAT A HOUSE
    1. SOLID FUEL BOILER WITH VACUUM SOLAR COLLECTOR
    2. SOLID FUEL BOILER WITH HEAT PUMP
    3. COMBINATIONS IN CASE OF UNSTABLE POWER SUPPLY
    4. HEAT PUMP WITH ELECTRIC BOILER 
  5. THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE WAY OF AUTONOMOUS HEATING FOR A HOUSE WITHOUT GAS
  6. REDUCED GAS CONSUMPTION FOR HEATING
    1. INSTALLATION OF A CONDENSING BOILER
    2. USING A THERMOSTAT, BOILER PROGRAMMER
  7. FAQ
    1. What can replace gas heating in Ukraine?
    2. How is it better to heat a large house without gas and electricity?
    3. How much gas do you need to heat your house?
  8. Видеообзоры

RELEVANCE OF HEATING WITHOUT THE USE OF GAS

Natural gas is an expensive, nonrenewable energy resource, and the question of refusing from it for industrial and domestic needs arose a very long time ago. However, perhaps never before has the relevance of this idea been so acute. There are gas fields in Ukraine, but we do not produce the amount of gas that can ensure energy independence and security.

Whereas during the war, the enemy uses gas as a weapon and a way of putting pressure on the world community. We must neutralize this influence, at least in our country, by choosing other heating systems for a private house, without gas, for domestic use.

Private house heat without gas
Private house heat without gas

How to make heating in a private house without gas: main options

Heating a house without gas is a real prospect, but it is better to prepare for this in advance, even at the construction stage.

Thoughtful building design and insulation will help ensure maximum energy efficiency. High-quality wiring is a must, especially if you choose electric heating.

Consider the main alternatives to gas – a solid fuel boiler, electric boiler and a heat pump.

SOLID FUEL BOILER

Solid fuel boiler heating
Solid fuel boiler heating

A solid fuel boiler burns good noble wood species – oak, hornbeam, ash, etc.

To date, such heating without gas has few advantages. The cost of timber is equal to the price of gas, and it can be difficult to get it, since there is a moratorium on deforestation. In addition, the tree needs dry storage. Add to this the effort to maintain the boiler, and the use of a solid fuel boiler turns out to be an irrational move.

ELECTRIC BOILER

At first glance, there is enough electricity in Ukraine to heat it in the domestic segment - we have powerful nuclear and hydroelectric power plants, the electricity from which is even sent for export. The problem is different - there are no networks that will allow the consumer to take more electrics for domestic needs.

The substations that provide electricity to apartments and houses are weak, and for an ordinary household to switch to electric heating, you need at least three times more electricity. This resource is not always available. Most often, electric transformers are designed to distribute a small amount of energy, providing for either central city heating or gas heating in a settlement.

Before switching to heating with an electric boiler, experts will find out what the allocated electric power is and make a heat engineering calculation. This allows you to understand which boiler is needed to heat the house.

Frequently, private residential buildings already have a gas boiler, and the owners want to upgrade it with an electric boiler. In such cases, we advise you to calculate the electric boiler down to -7-8 °C from the outside. When this temperature is reached, the gas boiler turns on. This scheme allows you to reduce the electrical load on the house.

It should be noted that it is not often necessary to turn on gas in the Ukrainian climate. Temperature -10-12 °C in winter in Ukraine lasts no more than 30-40 hours.

HEAT PUMP

A heat pump is cost-effective autonomous equipment that works without gas and wood, which not only heats, but also cools the room, and provides water heating. This is perhaps the ideal home heating without gas in Ukraine.

In 80% of cases, a heat pump is installed as the main source of heat – it is inappropriate to install it as an auxiliary device to a gas boiler.

Heat pumps
Heat pumps

If you decide to replace a boiler with a heat pump, when upgrading the boiler room, you need to take into account which heat carriers and in what quantity were provided in the house.

Typically, the temperature chart of housing with a gas boiler is calculated with a temperature of more than + 60 °C on radiators. Whereas, air-to-water heat pumps operate effectively at heat carrier temperatures up to +45 °C. If the temperature is higher, the heat pump will start to lose COP (coefficient of efficiency). Even then, less energy will be wasted, but this is not an ideal environment for a heat pump.

However, with underfloor heating and fan coil units in the form of radiators that generate cold and heat, resources with a heat pump are used efficiently.

The operating conditions for a ground source heat pump are similar to air-to-water equipment. It is also necessary to provide a low-temperature heating system using underfloor heating. The only difference is that the temperature of the soil, where the probe is lowered to install the geothermal pump, is approximately +14 °C. While the air temperature, from where the air source heat pump takes its energy, fluctuates from -22 to +5 °C in winter.

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS FOR EFFICIENT HEATING OF A HOUSE WITHOUT GAS

Among the alternative options for heating a house without gas, there are a variety of systems, devices and types of fuel. Let us consider the most popular methods.

SOLAR COLLECTOR

Solar collectors (solar units) collect thermal energy and heat a special liquid based on propylene glycol, which is a heat carrier.

Despite the relative popularity of these devices, we recommend using them only in one version.

Solar collector for house heating
Solar collector for house heating

Solid fuel, electric, gas boilers work for heating only during the cold period. Instead of using expensive fuel, gas or electricity to heat hot water during the warm season, you can get solar energy. This is especially true for regions with active sun in summer and off-season.

Note that solar collectors should not be included in one scheme with a technological heat pump – this is not energy efficient.

UNDERFLOOR HEATING, ELECTRIC HEATERS

Underfloor heating is usually used in combination with radiators или convectors. For water-based underfloor heating, water radiators and convectors are used, for electric heating, respectively, electric ones. The floor maintains thermal comfort, while the convector or radiator acts as an additional source of temperature calibration.

Note that the underfloor heating can be considered as the main source of heat in the apartment. Heat loss in apartments is uneven, we get part of the heat due to the general heat in the house.

Warm floor and radiators for house heating
Warm floor and radiators for house heating

However, in a private house, they can be the main heat carrier only if we are talking about a total area of up to 100 sq.m.

Do not forget about the disadvantages of this heating method. The heat source of the electric underfloor heating emits electromagnetic waves that can adversely affect human health. Therefore, it is more often recommended as an auxiliary source for ceramics, vinyl and other floor coverings that perfectly transmit heat. However, the water underfloor heating does not have this drawback, so if you seriously bet on this heating method, take note.

Heaters are traditionally used in housing with central heating - when the temperature on the radiators is low and the house is cold.

For very small spaces, a convector heater can be the main source of heat.

However, it has significant drawbacks – it is a hot, unsafe device, with a high risk of ignition, which also dries out the air. If you still plan to use it – initially take care of high-quality wiring.

FIREPLACE AND STOVE HEATING

Fireplaces and stoves are the very first heat sources created by man. How relevant are they now? Can we go back to basics, looking for a way to heat a house without gas in winter, or make heating in a country house without gas?

Fireplace in interior
Fireplace in interior

The fireplace stove was developed in the Scandinavian countries for cooking and full heating in the house. You should not forget what kind of houses these are: built of wood (for example, glued laminated timber or sip panels) with the most energy-efficient walls and wooden partitions. All this contributes to the rapid spread of heat in space.

The fireplace stove is built on the ground floor so that the central highway passes through all the rooms, including those on the upper floors, and gives off heat through the walls. By burning fuel in a brick and clay oven, you accumulate a large amount of energy. Heat is absorbed and given off for a very long time, continuing to heat the air in the house.

However, if the stove is not designed correctly, it can cause odors and CO2.

Unlike a functional fireplace stove, an ordinary fireplace performs a purely aesthetic function. It gives little energy: out of 100% of the burned fuel, no more than 30% is spent on heating. A fireplace stove takes 80% of kJ of energy to heat your home.

BIOFUEL HEATING

Bio fireplace is a type of fireplace that runs on biofuel. Its benefit is the absence of lampblack and odors. Like wood-burning fireplaces, bio-fireplaces are used to create coziness and as a design element.

LIQUID FUEL HEATING

Fuel oil, diesel fuel, gasoline can become a raw material for heating, but for the domestic segment this is a very problematic way. The reason is burning and smells. You also need to have special containers for the safe storage of these flammable liquids.

For industrial premises – service stations, warehouses, etc. — use of liquid fuel is admissible.

COMBINATION OF MULTIPLE HEAT SOURCES TO HEAT A HOUSE

SOLID FUEL BOILER WITH VACUUM SOLAR COLLECTOR

This is a working option for a private house.

A solid fuel boiler generates heat and hot water. When it stops, the function of heating hot water is performed by solar collectors, that is, the hot water tanks are heated by the sun.

Note that in combination with collectors, an electric or gas boiler can also work.

SOLID FUEL BOILER WITH HEAT PUMP

It is an appropriate option only if you are installing an air source heat pump and need an additional source of heat.

However, for a geothermal pump, it is inappropriate to put another source of energy.

Combined heat sources
Combined heat sources

COMBINATIONS IN CASE OF UNSTABLE POWER SUPPLY

A solid fuel boiler or a heat pump in combination with a fireplace stove can be designed if you require independence from electricity.

However, a more modern solution is a diesel generator, which will back you up if the electricity is lost.

HEAT PUMP WITH ELECTRIC BOILER 

It is possible to install heating of a cottage with an air-to-water heat pump in combination with an electric boiler in a large house. The boiler is switched on at low temperatures when the efficiency of the heat pump drops

THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE WAY OF AUTONOMOUS HEATING FOR A HOUSE WITHOUT GAS

Equipment that is cheap at the start is unlikely to meet your expectations in the future. We always recommend the most promising option.

Depending on the area of ​​the house and financial possibilities, the most profitable way of heating will be an air or ground source heat pump.

The larger the house, the more likely you need to choose geothermal heating for your home.

REDUCED GAS CONSUMPTION FOR HEATING

If heating your home without gas is not yet your option, you can try to reduce gas costs.

Here are some ways.

INSTALLATION OF A CONDENSING BOILER

To date, in private homes in 99% of cases, only a condensing boiler is installed, which ensures minimal gas consumption. In Europe, such boilers are often replaced with air source heat pumps.

In a condensing boiler, the heat carrier is calculated for a temperature of no more than 50 ° C, the radiators are selected appropriately. After installing a heat pump, the heating efficiency increases by about 40%.

USING A THERMOSTAT, BOILER PROGRAMMER

The thermostat reads the information and instructs the servo to open the water flow to the underfloor heating or radiators.

The programmer, in turn, manages the operation of the thermostat by the day or by time at a certain temperature. For example, at night, the temperature according to the program may decrease and rise in the morning when a person wakes up and gets out of bed.

A mandatory element for any modern boiler is the weather compensated heating module. Thanks to him, the boiler provides a temperature depending on the temperature outside.

Another important option is temperature micro calibration by zone. It allows one sensor to control the temperature of the floor and air in the rooms, creating the most comfortable environment.

FAQ

What can replace gas heating in Ukraine?

Presently, the most technologically advanced and cost-effective heating of a house without gas is a system based on a heat pump.

How to make the right choice of such equipment? We recommend involving specialists, but we note that for a large house, a geothermal heat pump is usually chosen, for smaller areas – “air-to-water”.

It should be remembered that the lion's share of thermal comfort in winter is provided by the design of the house. It is better to think it over in advance.

How is it better to heat a large house without gas and electricity?

A fireplace stove or solid fuel boiler can replace units that run on electricity or natural gas.

How much gas do you need to heat your house?

The amount of gas depends on the heat loss of the building.

Alter Air will help you carry out a professional calculation and select the best equipment option to suit your needs and budget.

If you still have questions about how to heat a house without gas, call: 0 800 33 08 28

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  • 5 / 5

    Игорь

    Думал, что твердотопливные котлы уже редко используются. Но теперь вижу, что с комплексным подходом других систем - очень даже ничего получается. В планах строительство дома, пересмотрю варианты для отопления.

  • 5 / 5

    Виталий

    Спасибо за такую информацию. Очень интересна и познавательна, особенно для тех, у кого нет подключения к центральному газоснабжению.

  • 5 / 5

    Михаил

    Достаточно познавательно, особенно что касается геотермальных систем, о которых большинство людей знает очень мало. В вопросе отопления традиционными методами также интересно и доступно рассказали, спасибо)

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