PolREFF GUIDE


HOUSHOLD HEATING SYSTEM MODERNIZATION

Factors influencing the choice of heating source for home heating

 

Space and water heating uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home – typically making up to 70% of your utility bill.

The choice of heating source and heating installation is   one of the key decisions that will have a long-term impact on your house maintenance costs.

 

Heating costs are influenced by many factors. The most important ones are: the quality of the wall and roof insulation of the building, the type of heating source,
the fuel used and the type and efficiency of the heating and ventilation systems.

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Energy rating

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The energy rating refers to the insulation of a building. The better the insulation, the lower the energy consumption. The table below shows the energy consumption levels and the corresponding energy rating.    

How can you determine the energy rating of a building? We recommend using the Energy Saving Calculator available on the www.polreff.org.

In order to complete the assessment you need some basic information about the building (year of construction, usable surface, the type of the heating system, the size and type of windows, type of water heating system) and an approximate  number of inhabitants and their energy consumption habits etc.

Most buildings in Poland have an energy rating D or E.. However newly built buildings receive ratings C and B.

 

Three examples of energy ratings and their impact on the heating capacity
required are presented below::

 

E    - representing buildings with poor insulation and high heating energy
        consumption

C    - representing buildings with good insulation and average heating energy  
        consumption

A    - representing buildings with very good insulation and low heating energy
        consumption


Below, estimated heating capacity values are presented for heating sources in buildings of different sizes with different energy ratings.. 

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How to determine the heating capacity needed?

Heating capacity (nominal) measured in kW should be sufficient to effectively heat the living quarters or a building in the reference outdoor temperature linked to a climate zone. Poland is split into five climate zones that are presented in the picture below.   The reference outdoor temperatures are presented in the table in the bottom left corner of the picture.


The PolREFF Energy Saving Calculator can help you determine the estimated heating capacity for selected heating sources [http://polreff.org/kalkulator-oszczednosci-energii.html]. Locate your building on an interactive map and then select a heating source from the options menu.    

Fuel options for the heating source

The next step is selecting the fuel type for the heating source. It is important to pay attention to two key factors:

-       availability

-       price of the fuel and other associated costs, e.g. transport


Fuel availability should be considered from two points of view:
 

-      for energy carriers delivered through a network (natural gas, electricity) the
       availability depends on technical capabilities - existing power supply lines or
       gas pipelines. Access to electricity is rather common these days but access to
       natural gas is not. It  needs to be explored if there is a gas pipeline near the
       building, what technical requirements and costs are there are for connecting
       the house to the distribution network.

-     for energy carriers that require storage at the property  (LPG, heating oil, black coal, biomass) there should be enough space available for a warehouse/fuel
tanks and id a solid fuel is chosen, also space for an ash storage. It is also important to identify the points of sale for the fuel especially if biomass is
used as the transportation costs may significantly decrease the attractiveness
of this fuel
.

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The last and the most important step is to analyze the costs.

A comparison of annual heating costs per one square meter between different energy  carriers and heating energy sources is presented in the graph below. All indicated costs relate to a building with energy rating D.

                           
                                   Annual heating costs per one square meter in PLN

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It is important to remember that the efficiency of a heating source can have a significant impact on costs. Often only the nominal efficiency in a full load is provided for an equipment. However in the peak heating season (and in a situation where the heating equipment is also used for heating the water) the equipment works in varying levels of load.

For example if the nominal power of appropriately selected heating equipment (for the temperature -20oC) is 20 kW, then in a temperature of  +2oC only 9 kW of power will be needed. Thus, when comparing heating equipment their seasonal efficiencies should be taken into account. For example three levels of efficiencies are taken into account for heating boilers: full load, 30% load and the stand by mode.

Heating Installation

In practice there are many different types of heating installations: water, air, radiator, surface and low and mid-temperature. The right combination of a heating installation and a heating source has an impact on heating efficiency.


The best fit between types types of heating installation and heating sources is presented in the table below.

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*     for all types of fuels 
**   in combination with air recuperation ventilation (recuperation)    

*** floor/or wall 

The table above indicates only the optimal match between heating source and installation.

It does not mean that e.g. a condensing boiler would not work with mid-temperature heating installation. It will however be less efficient.

Characteristics of selected heating sources for single family residential buildings

The table below summarizes all the information and presents the most popular mid- to high efficiency and environmentally friendly technologies.

House with Energy Rating D and a surface   
of 160 m2

Criteria

Heating source

Key condition 

Estimayed cost of the  heating source and installation*

Estimated annual heating cost * 

Living standard 

Impact on environment


Standard boiler for heating oil with 88% efficiency

Compliant extra space needed for storing oil

18,000 – 22,000 pln

11,700 pln

   High standard of
   living,

   two maintenance
   services  per year
   including boiler cleaning
   required
    


  Slightly higher than
  boilers for natural gas


   Condensing boiler for
   heating oil with 100%
   efficiency or higher
**

  Compliant extra space
  needed for storing oil

  Low-temperature heating
  installation is
  recommended

25,000 – 30,000 pln

10,700 pln

   High standard of
   living,

   two maintenance
   services  per year
   including boiler cleaning
   required
    

   Slightly higher than
   boilers for natural gas

Condensing boiler for heating oil with 100% efficiency or higher    

   Compliant extra space  
   needed for storing oil


   Low-temperature heating
   installation is
   recommended

10,000 – 14,000 pln

5,200 pln

   Average standard of
   living,

   fuel storage containers
   need to be refilled 1-2
   times per  week,

   ash needs to be removed
   2 times per month,

   two maintenance
   services  per year
   including boiler
   cleaning required
    

   Renewable energy,    
   Environment friendly    

Standard boiler for natural gas with efficiency of 90%    

Access to gas network

14,000 – 20,000 pln

6,000 pln

High standard of living, One maintenance service per year required

Low


Condensing boiler for natural gas with efficiency higher than 100%**

   Access to gas network,

   Low-temperature heating  
   installation
   recommended
    

19,000 – 26,000 pln

5,400 pln

   High standard of living,

   One maintenance
   services  per year
   required
    

Low


Condensing boiler for LPG with efficiency higher than 100%**

Construction of installation for liquid gas with a single tank of capacity up to 7 m3 (enough for a single-family home) requires notification.
Low-temperature heating system recommended
    

22,000 – 28,000 pln

7,100 pln

   High standard of living,

   One maintenance
   service  per year
   required
    

Slightly higher than 
boilers for natural gas

Horizontal ground source heat pump 

   Large plot surface is
   required,

   Low-temperature heating
   installation
   recommended
    

45,000 – 52,000 pln (by all-day tariff - G11)

   6,600 pln (by all-day
   tariff - G11)

   4,000 pln (by tariff G12)
    

   High standard of living, 

   One maintenance service 
   per year required
    

Neutral


    Vertical ground source    
    heat pump

   Drilling from 30 to 100
   meters needs to be
   reported,

   Low-temperature heating
   installation
   recommended
 
  

48,000 – 55,000 pln

   6,600 pln (by all-day
   tariff (G11)


   4,000 pln (by tariff G12)
    

   High standard of living,

   One maintenance service 
   per year required
    

Neutral

Eco-pea-coal boiler with efficiency 85%    

Extra space needed for storing coal    

10,000 – 14,000 pln

4,200 pln

   Average standard of
   living,

   fuel storage containers
   need to be refilled 1-2
   times per week,

   ash needs to be removed
   1 time per week,

   two maintenance
   services  per year
   including boiler cleaning
   required
    

Higher than boilers for heating oil    

costs may vary depending on tariffs/market prices changes    
** in relation to fuel energy levels 

Which heating source to choose for your home?

The table below shows the optimal selection path for choosing a heating source depending on your goals.    

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*also sources fueled with biomass (straw, wood chips, wood dust, pellets)

**possibility to access natural gas network and costs (LPG, heating oil) need to be checked

***type, availability and prices of biomass need to be checked

****availability and prices of high quality eco-pea-coal need to be checked

How much does it cost and what savings I can achieve? Case study.

Investment project scope

Heating source replacement

Basic information 

Key numbers 

The starting point