Comparative test of heating systems by Volos and Thessaly Consumers Association
Heating the home is the predominant problem of the time, after the excessive rise in oil prices.
But what consumers need to know about alternative ways of heating, so that they make the right decisions and do not fall victim to misleading advertising.
Comparison of annual heating costs
For ease of comprehension, we compare the heating costs of the various systems, for a typical home, heated to date with oil from a central system with 80% energy efficiency (BEA), and spends 1,500 liters of oil a year or 15,000 Kwh and will pay 1500 liters X 0.84 euro / liter = 1.260 euros (base price).
For the calculation we took into account the calorific value of the fuel, its purchase price and the energy efficiency of the heating systems.
ELECTRICITY Electric boilers, electric panels, infrared panels,
halogen stoves, thermocouples. Price 0.180 EUR / Kwh
(Energy Efficiency Rating = 1.00 or 100%) 2.160 EUR (+ 71%)
PETROLEUM Thermogenic Power ΔΔ = 10kWh / lt,
Price 0.84 euro / lt, Energy price = 0.84 / 10 = 0.084 euro / kWh
Central Heating (BER = 80%) € 1,260 (base price)
Stove or local oil boiler (BER = 90%) 1.121 euros (-11%)
NATURAL GAS Energy price 0,070 euro / kWh
Central Boiler (BEA = 80%) 1,050 EUR (-17%)
Individual boiler common (BEA = 90%) 933 euros (-26%)
Individual condensate boiler (BPA = 97%) 865 euros (-31%)
PELET (with humidity <10%) ΔΔ = 5kWh / Kg, price 0,30 EUR / Kg,
Energy price 0.3 / 5 = 0.060 euro / kWh
Central Heating (BEA = 80%) 900 EUR (-28%)
Stoves (CBA = 90%) EUR 800 (-36%)
HEAT PUMP – AIR CONDITIONER
Price € 0.180 / Kwh (average BRE = 3.0 or 300%) € 720 (-43%)
WOOD (dry humidity <20%) TH = 4 kWh / kg and price 0,14 EUR / Kg
Energy price 0,14 / 4 = 0,035 euro / kWh
Classic stove (BEA = 0.6) 700 EUR (-44%)
Energy fireplace, air-heater (EBA = 70%) 600 EUR (-52%)
Classic fireplace (BEP = 25%) 1.680 euros (+ 34%)
The prices are for heating the entire house and not individual rooms. We choose a heating system, taking into account the initial cost of buying and installing, the cost of fuel, the likelihood of growth, and the environmental impact.
Qualitative comparison of different heating sources
Electricity is an expensive form of energy and it is considered environmentally unacceptable to use it for heating. 67% of the energy consumed for its production is lost along the way and only 33% reaches the consumer.
Infrared panels, radiators, etc. provide direct surface and radiant heating with radiation. They give a direct sense of warmth like the sun in the winter. When the function stops, the cold feeling returns.
If used for space heating they have the same performance (up to 100%), hence the same cost as electric heaters.
They are suitable for holiday homes and generally for temporary stays or as a supplement to the main source of heating. To cover the entire house will require a high electrical power, three-phase supply and high cost.
Oil. To operate efficiently and economically and not pollute, the oil boiler needs maintenance at least once a year.
Natural gas. Natural gas is a cleaner source of energy. It is paid after use and is always available from the network. The new generation of condensing boilers, which exhibit excellent thermal efficiency and economy, are now in the market, since they fully exploit the heat of combustion and do not require practical maintenance.
Pellet. The pellet is produced from vegetable matter residues and is considered a renewable energy source. The downside is that it needs continuous feed.
Wood. The woods must be dry, (moisture up to 20%), ie they have been cut before 12 -18 months. It is forbidden to burn processed wood (old frames, furniture, etc.). Heating by simple fire in urban centers must be the ultimate solution because it creates smog with painful consequences for our health. A simple fireplace emits 30 times more suspended particles than a flat-block oil boiler.
Heat pump – air conditioner
The air conditioner draws heat from the outside and brings it into the home. It delivers 3 times more energy than it consumes. Inverter type air conditioners have self-adjusting cold-air supply and more accurately approach the thermostat setting. When we check on-off, then this guy does not offer us anything extra and we can choose the cheapest classic models.
Misleading advertising for devices
Electric appliances that promise 300% or more of efficiency are on the market. They promise little cost per hour without any documentation.
These devices use electricity to convert it to heat. Therefore, they can not have more than 100% efficiency, just as a simple electric radiator body. Whether it is ion technology or so-called “thermomagnetic technology” or any other technology that consumes electricity, the basic principle is that so much energy is consumed. The only exception is the heat pump, such as the air conditioner, which does not convert electricity into heat but draws it from the environment.
Fuel consumption is not only determined by the size of the home, but also by the insulation of the home. Heating not only works to heat the house but to replenish the heat lost. An ordinary house is like a hole bucket that must constantly feed it to stay full! If it was possible to zero the losses, with perfect insulation, then this house would not even need heating!
Consumers should be very cautious about what the various companies promise and consult specialists before proceeding to a high-cost purchase or replacement of heating systems.
The subject was edited by the associate of Volos Consumer Association Yannis Manopoulos Mechanical Engineer – Electrical Engineer