The cost of tariffs for heat and hot water supply is “unaffordable” for most of our compatriots. And it’s not just the desire of public utilities to get as much profit as possible. The reasons for this phenomenon are banal: the rise in the cost of hydrocarbons and the housing stock, most of which was built in the middle of the last century, when energy efficiency was not paid much attention to during construction. This publication will consider measures to modernize residential heating systems, which have been used for a long time in a number of European countries.
What does thermal modernization of a building mean?
Experts define this concept as a set of measures to bring an apartment building in line with modern energy efficiency standards. This includes measures related to reducing the heat loss of a building through walls, ceilings, roofs, basements, etc. Large heat losses occur due to low thermal performance and poor tightness of old windows and doors. In addition, thermal modernization affects the re-equipment of engineering systems (ventilation, heating, hot water supply), the transition to combined (geothermal solar) heat supply sources.
Important! Insulation of external fences, without re-equipment of heating and ventilation systems at home, is not effective and does not give a positive result (which often happens), and most often leads to an increase in energy costs by the consumer of utility resources.
A set of measures aimed at reducing heat consumption and improving the energy efficiency of buildings will be considered.
Insulation of enclosing structures
This activity can be divided into several important types of work.
Insulation of external walls from the outside of the house.
Thermal insulation of enclosing structures is the application of an additional layer of material with a low coefficient of thermal conductivity to the walls. These measures make it possible to eliminate “cold bridges”, increase the thermal insulation properties of walls, and effectively solve the problem of “material porosity”. The following wall insulation technologies can be applied: seamless insulation system; creation of an insulating wall; arrangement of a ventilated facade.
Insulation of the roof, attic floors.
If the attic of the house is not heated, then work is carried out to insulate the floor under the attic with the protection of the insulating layer from mechanical damage.
- Thermal insulation of floors above the basement.
This type of work is carried out from the basement side by gluing heat-insulating plates to the ceiling.
Advice! If it is impossible to carry out measures for thermal insulation of walls from the outside (an architectural monument, a complex relief of the facade, etc.), then it is necessary to insulate the outer walls from the inside of the building by laying polystyrene foam boards under plaster or drywall.
Reducing heat loss through windows
According to experts, up to 30% of the heat from heated rooms “leaves” through the windows. A radical way to solve this problem is to replace old wooden windows with energy-saving ones. It is enough to reduce their size, especially if the question concerns windows on stairwells. In most layouts of apartment buildings, there is an excess area of window openings for illuminating stairs, which is the cause of large heat losses.
Modernization of the ventilation system
As you know, the most common way to organize air circulation in the premises of apartment buildings is natural ventilation. Air is removed through exhaust ducts located in kitchens and bathrooms. The influx of fresh air from the street is organized through natural leaks in windows and doors.
When replacing old windows with energy-efficient and airtight ones, the problem of heat loss is solved, but a new one appears: a sharp decrease in the intake of fresh air. This problem is solved by modernizing the ventilation system, namely, by arranging ventilation with controlled air flow. In practice, this is solved by installing supply valves, windows with built-in hygro-dependent fans, or installations for forced supply of fresh air to the premises.
Reconstruction of the heating system
Experts pay special attention to high heat consumption, which occurs due to the low efficiency of morally and technically obsolete home heating systems, which were not originally designed with excessive heat consumption. The main problems of old heating systems (CO) can be formulated as follows:
- Poor or incorrect hydraulic balancing. This problem is often associated with unauthorized intervention of residents in the design of the heating system (installation of additional sections on radiators, replacement of batteries, pipelines, etc.)
- Poor thermal insulation of heat supply pipes or its complete absence.
- Structurally obsolete heat and distribution points.
The following is a brief description of the work carried out as part of the modernization of the heating system of apartment buildings.
Re-equipment of thermal units
Modernization of these facilities is a rather complicated and expensive process. Which includes the following changes:
- Replacement of the elevator unit of the heating system with an automated one. In the case of connecting the house to the heat main according to an independent scheme, an automated individual heat point is installed; when using dependent, a scheme with a pumping admixture is used. Depending on the scheme used, all equipment must be weather-dependent and automatically stabilize the pressure in CO by regulating the supply of coolant.
Important! Replacing an outdated elevator assembly with an economizer will not allow the use of thermostats for heating radiators and balancing valves. The elevator simply “will not pull” additional hydraulic resistance, which will inevitably increase when using these devices.
- Replacement of old heat exchangers with energy efficient ones.
- Elimination of leaks in CO and replacement of valves.
Heating system balancing
Fortunately, the effectiveness of this event is no longer in doubt. The installation of balancing valves for a heating system on return risers with a limitation of the coolant temperature is a prerequisite for a competent modernization of CO, especially in houses with a large percentage of autonomous heating by gas boilers.
Installation of individual control devices
The installation of thermostats with an air temperature sensor on each battery, in addition to additional comfort for the residents of this building, will significantly reduce the consumption of thermal energy. The air temperature increased through the window openings (the sun warmed up), the thermostat reduced the amount of coolant for a specific heater.
Among the mandatory measures for the reconstruction of the heating system, carried out as part of the thermal modernization of the whole house, one can single out the installation of a common house heat supply metering unit and the transition to apartment heat metering. It is these measures that most stimulate residents to save.
Thermal modernization of an apartment building requires large financial costs. But in order to achieve significant savings by the end consumer (which means a return of money and profit for energy service investors), it is necessary to carry out comprehensive measures to reduce the amount of consumed thermal energy or thermal modernization.