Antifreeze liquid for the heating system of a private house: properties and characteristics

In the vast major­i­ty of autonomous heat­ing sys­tems (CO) of pri­vate hous­es, ordi­nary water is used as a coolant, which has suf­fi­cient heat capac­i­ty, opti­mal den­si­ty for cir­cu­la­tion, and low cost. But under cer­tain con­di­tions, its use is dif­fi­cult or impos­si­ble. There­fore, home­own­ers use var­i­ous non-freez­ing liq­uids for the heat­ing sys­tem of a pri­vate house. About the types of antifreeze, the advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages and the inde­pen­dent man­u­fac­ture of “non-freez­ing” for the heat­ing sys­tem at home and will be dis­cussed in this pub­li­ca­tion.


Purpose and composition of antifreeze

The main rea­son for using non-freez­ing liq­uid in heat­ing sys­tems is the pos­si­bil­i­ty of neg­a­tive tem­per­a­tures affect­ing the coolant. In addi­tion, the use of water in a heat­ing cir­cuit made of met­al pipes soon­er or lat­er leads to the for­ma­tion of scale and cor­ro­sion of the lat­ter.

Any non-freez­ing liq­uid for the heat­ing sys­tem con­sists of:

  • Basics. All antifreezes are water or alco­hol based.
  • The active com­po­nent, the pur­pose of which is to reduce the thresh­old of water crys­tal­liza­tion.
  • Addi­tives that are respon­si­ble for giv­ing the com­po­si­tion the nec­es­sary prop­er­ties and per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics.
  • Inhibitors that reduce the cor­ro­sive effects of the com­po­si­tion on CO mate­ri­als.

As the main com­po­nent of most antifreezes present on the domes­tic mar­ket today, we can dis­tin­guish:

  • propy­lene gly­col. The com­po­si­tion includes: dis­tilled water 50%; main com­po­nent 46%; addi­tives and inhibitors 4%. It can be used both in open and closed high-tem­per­a­ture CO with sol­id fuel boil­er equip­ment.
  • Eth­yl­ene gly­col. This antifreeze in the home heat­ing sys­tem has the fol­low­ing com­po­si­tion: water 31%; main com­po­nent 63%; addi­tives and inhibitors 6%.

    Impor­tant! Due to its high tox­i­c­i­ty (in the vapor state), eth­yl­ene gly­col is allowed for use only in closed COs.

  • Glyc­erol. “Nez­za­merza­y­ka” based on glyc­erin is not haz­ardous to human health, fire­proof and can be used in any CO. The tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of glyc­erin for­mu­la­tions are sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er than those of gly­col­ic ones.

    Impor­tant! The com­po­si­tions of non-freez­ing gly­col and glyc­erin coolants for CO are known, but it is quite dif­fi­cult to make them your­self due to prob­lems with the cor­rect dosage and selec­tion of the nec­es­sary addi­tives. Fail­ure to com­ply with the pro­por­tions and pro­duc­tion tech­nol­o­gy leads to an increase in foam­ing dur­ing heat­ing of the “non-freeze” and a decrease in the heat trans­fer of a home-made coolant.

Features of the use of antifreeze liquids

Application of anti-freezeGly­col antifreezes for the heat­ing sys­tem of a coun­try house are the most com­mon in the domes­tic mar­ket. Before pour­ing the fin­ished mix­ture into CO at home, some points should be con­sid­ered, name­ly:

  1. All water-gly­col for­mu­la­tions have greater (than water) duc­til­i­ty. To com­pen­sate for the increased hydraulic resis­tance, it is nec­es­sary to use more pow­er­ful pump­ing equip­ment or make the pump rotate faster.
  2. Experts note that glyc­erin and gly­col “non-freezes” have a sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er expan­sion coef­fi­cient when heat­ed. If you decide to switch from water to antifreeze, then you should pro­vide for a larg­er expan­sion tank.
  3. All gly­col and glyc­erin antifreezes have a low­er heat capac­i­ty. In oth­er words, they bring heat to heat­ing devices by 15–20%. If you want the effi­cien­cy of the heat­ing sys­tem not to decrease dur­ing the tran­si­tion to “anti-freeze”, then radi­a­tors of high­er pow­er should be pro­vid­ed.

Tip: There is an option that does not require an increase in bat­tery pow­er: it is nec­es­sary to increase the speed of the coolant in the cir­cuit.

Limitation of the use of antifreeze liquids in heating systems

This pub­li­ca­tion will not con­sid­er the pos­i­tive aspects of gly­col antifreeze. Man­u­fac­tur­ers and mar­keters have tak­en great care of this. In fact, not all non-freez­ing coolants are suit­able for a cer­tain type of boil­er equip­ment. Incor­rect selec­tion can lead to fail­ure of the heat gen­er­a­tor heat exchang­er.

Impor­tant! Most mod­els of dou­ble-cir­cuit heat­ing boil­ers can­not work with antifreezes due to the pos­si­ble ingress of coolant (in an emer­gency) into the domes­tic hot water sys­tem.

  1. The use of eth­yl­ene gly­col in open COs is pro­hib­it­ed.
  2. The use of gly­col antifreezes in CO with gal­va­nized pip­ing is not rec­om­mend­ed. When inter­act­ing, the pro­tec­tive lay­er of zinc is destroyed, which can lead to fail­ure of the heat­ing cir­cuit sec­tion.
  3. Water-gly­col “anti-freeze” neg­a­tive­ly affects rub­ber seals. The only option to avoid an acci­dent in such a sit­u­a­tion is to replace the rub­ber gas­kets with paronite ones.

Impor­tant! Glyc­erin antifreeze, along with low cost, has one sig­nif­i­cant advan­tage — a ben­e­fi­cial effect on the con­di­tion of seal­ing rub­ber gas­kets.

Good do-it-yourself anti-freeze

Alcohol - ecological non-freezing liquidSo, what to do if it is impos­si­ble to use water as a CO coolant, and there is no tech­ni­cal pos­si­bil­i­ty to switch to pur­chased antifreeze? There is a way out: inde­pen­dent pro­duc­tion of a non-freez­ing coolant, which, in terms of its tech­ni­cal and oper­a­tional char­ac­ter­is­tics, will be as close as pos­si­ble to water, but will not freeze. To make such a mix­ture is quite sim­ple: you need to mix dis­tilled water with eth­yl alco­hol. Such a home-made “non-freez­ing” has the fol­low­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics:

  • Vis­cos­i­ty and den­si­ty are slight­ly high­er than puri­fied water, but sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er than gly­col antifreezes.
  • The flu­id­i­ty of a water-alco­hol solu­tion is much low­er than that of gly­col and glyc­erin heat trans­fer flu­ids.
  • Alco­hol pre­vents cor­ro­sion. It becomes pos­si­ble to use alu­minum and steel heat­ing radi­a­tors for cot­tages with antifreeze from alco­hol and dis­tilled water.
  • The water-alco­hol solu­tion does not affect the rub­ber seals.
  • Alco­hol in the com­po­si­tion of the coolant reduces the for­ma­tion of scale, which inevitably appears when using hard water.
  • The boil­ing point of a water-alco­hol solu­tion is approx­i­mate­ly equal to the boil­ing point of water.

To make an alco­hol “anti-freeze”, one should pro­ceed from the tem­per­a­ture char­ac­ter­is­tics of the com­po­si­tion. The pro­por­tions are as fol­lows:

  • 20% per­cent­age solu­tion with­stands tem­per­a­tures of ‑10°C.
  • 33% alco­hol coolant remains in a liq­uid state at ‑23°C.
  • 40% per­cent­age solu­tion does not freeze at ‑29°C.

Tip: To cre­ate this coolant your­self, it is very impor­tant to cor­rect­ly cal­cu­late the dosage of alco­hol (usu­al­ly 96%) and water. The most com­mon water-alco­hol solu­tion con­tains 33% alco­hol. For the cal­cu­la­tion you need 96/33= 2.9. In oth­er words, for 1 liter of 96% alco­hol you need 2.9 liters. dis­tilled water.


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