Heat meters for heating in an apartment: the nuances of choosing and installing

Pay­ment for cen­tral heat­ing is the “lion’s share” of all util­i­ty costs. Real sav­ings in pay­ing bills for the received heat can be achieved by installing a heat meter on the heat­ing sys­tem in the apart­ment.

The tech­ni­cal and eco­nom­ic aspects of the selec­tion and instal­la­tion of indi­vid­ual heat meters will be dis­cussed in this pub­li­ca­tion.


An indi­vid­ual heat­ing meter for an apart­ment is a small device installed on the sup­ply pipe of the heat­ing sys­tem of a dwelling. Based on the analy­sis of data on the vol­ume of the heat car­ri­er, its tem­per­a­ture at the inlet and out­let of the dwelling, the heat meter records the con­sumed heat for the report­ing peri­od or the peri­od of time spec­i­fied by the con­tract.Connecting the meter to the highway

Ben­e­fit: the con­sumer does not pay for heat loss­es dur­ing its trans­porta­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tionand. In addi­tion, on the basis of the order of the Cab­i­net of Min­is­ters of the EU No. 354, pay­ment for the pro­vid­ed heat (with­out a heat meter) is cal­cu­lat­ed with a coef­fi­cient of 1.5.

Impor­tant! Unau­tho­rized instal­la­tion of an indi­vid­ual heat meter is asso­ci­at­ed with inter­fer­ence with the cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem, which is not the prop­er­ty of the own­er of the apart­ment. These actions with­out approval and accep­tance of the device by the ser­vice provider are ille­gal and lead to admin­is­tra­tive lia­bil­i­ty and penal­ties.

Before you pur­chase and install an indi­vid­ual heat meter for an apart­ment for heat­ing, you need to know which device to choose specif­i­cal­ly for your heat­ing sys­tem based on its design fea­tures, tem­per­a­ture and qual­i­ty of the coolant, as well as oth­er impor­tant fac­tors. Today, four types of heat meters are avail­able to domes­tic con­sumers.


Accord­ing to the design of the meter­ing mech­a­nism, these devices can be screw, tur­bine or wedge. The flow meter of mechan­i­cal (or, as experts call them, tacho­me­t­ric) heat meters takes into account the amount of coolant enter­ing the apart­ment.Mechanical counter device

The design of this type of device includes:

The main advan­tage of devices of this type is the rel­a­tive­ly low cost. The dis­ad­van­tages of tacho­me­t­ric heat meters are:

  • Low accu­ra­cy, espe­cial­ly at low coolant flow.
  • Sen­si­tiv­i­ty to the pres­ence of mechan­i­cal impu­ri­ties and a large amount of dis­solved salts in the coolant.

Based on the short­com­ings, it can be con­clud­ed that mechan­i­cal heat meters in old heat­ing sys­tems are short-lived if “hard” water is used as a coolant.


The prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion of meter­ing devices of this type is to change the mag­net­ic field strength when a coolant flows through it.Electromagnetic counter

Advan­tages: high mea­sure­ment accu­ra­cy and sta­bil­i­ty in oper­a­tion.

The dis­ad­van­tage is the pos­si­ble mea­sure­ment error:

  • due to an exter­nal mag­net­ic field.
  • The pres­ence of impu­ri­ties in the coolant.
  • Oxi­da­tion of the con­tact group.

It is impos­si­ble not to men­tion one more draw­back, which is deci­sive for our com­pa­tri­ots — this is the high cost of devices of this type.

Vortex type meters

Vor­tex heat meters for heat­ing for an apart­ment are a sub­species of tacho­me­t­ric meter­ing devices. The heat con­sump­tion is cal­cu­lat­ed based on the analy­sis of the vor­tex flows obtained when the coolant pass­es through the obsta­cle.Tachometric counters

Advan­tages: per­fect­ly work with the heat car­ri­er of any rigid­i­ty.

Dis­ad­van­tage: inac­cu­ra­cy at high air con­cen­tra­tion in the heat­ing cir­cuit.


This type of device mea­sures the amount of coolant by means of ultra­sound pass­ing through a liq­uid stream. These devices are unpre­ten­tious in oper­a­tion, have high accu­ra­cy and reli­a­bil­i­ty. That is why ultra­son­ic heat meters are rec­om­mend­ed for use by heat sup­ply orga­ni­za­tions.ultrasonic counter

An error in the read­ings can pro­voke the pres­ence of air bub­bles and mechan­i­cal inclu­sions in the liq­uid.

There is anoth­er vari­ety that can­not be ignored — the pro­por­tion­al­iz­er. This is a minia­ture, pro­gram­ma­ble, attached device that cal­cu­lates the heat con­sump­tion by ana­lyz­ing the sur­face tem­per­a­ture of the heat­ing device and the air tem­per­a­ture in the heat­ed room. The use of these devices is described in the video:

How much does a heat­ing meter cost in an apart­ment:

  • Tacho­me­t­ric: The aver­age cost of mod­els is with­in 100 $.
  • Elec­tro­mag­net­ic. The price varies from 32 0 to 400$.
  • Vor­tex. The cost depends on the man­u­fac­tur­er and is in the range of 9 — 120 $.
  • Ultra­son­ic. The price depends on the type of device and its man­u­fac­tur­er. The cost of mod­els varies from 1.5 0 to 160$.

Features of installing a heat meter

How to install a heat­ing meter in an apart­ment? The answer to this ques­tion depends on the lay­out of the heat­ing sys­tem: a heat sup­ply com­pa­ny may refuse to devel­op spec­i­fi­ca­tions if a heat­ing sys­tem with ver­ti­cal ris­ers is imple­ment­ed in an apart­ment build­ing, and even locat­ed in dif­fer­ent rooms.

Where can I embed the counterWith this wiring option for heat meter­ing, it is nec­es­sary to install a meter for each ris­er, and these are:

  • Unfa­vor­able for the land­lord.
  • It is unprof­itable for a heat sup­ply orga­ni­za­tion, which los­es part of the ther­mal ener­gy pro­duced by a ver­ti­cal pipeline (ris­ers).

Before installing the heat meter, it is nec­es­sary to com­plete some for­mal­i­ties, name­ly:

  • Appli­ca­tion to a com­pa­ny pro­vid­ing heat sup­ply ser­vices. In prin­ci­ple, there is no law pro­hibit­ing the instal­la­tion of heat meters in an apart­ment. How­ev­er, there is also a tech­ni­cal side of the issue. If the pos­si­bil­i­ty of installing a heat meter exists, then the spe­cial­ists of the heat sup­ply orga­ni­za­tion will devel­op spec­i­fi­ca­tions.
  • Ever since. con­di­tions, you must con­tact the design orga­ni­za­tion. For your hard-earned mon­ey, a project will be devel­oped, which must be agreed with the heat sup­ply orga­ni­za­tion.
  • After agree­ment, you need to find a con­trac­tor com­pa­ny that has per­mis­sion to per­form these instal­la­tion works.
  • After instal­la­tion, you should again con­tact the ser­vice provider and hand over the meter­ing device to them, con­clud­ing a con­tract for the pay­ment of con­sumed heat.

Tip: if you are not ready to go through so many “cir­cles of hell”, we rec­om­mend con­tact­ing an office (they are often orga­nized on the basis of heat sup­ply com­pa­nies) that per­forms all types of ser­vices at the same time: sale of heat meters, design and coor­di­na­tion. Expen­sive, but fast and with­out a “headache”.

The fol­low­ing doc­u­ments reg­u­late the instal­la­tion, cal­cu­la­tion method­ol­o­gy and pay­ment for heat by pri­vate indi­vid­u­als: Europe Law No. 261 and Res­o­lu­tion of the Cab­i­net of Min­is­ters No. 354. If you do not go into legal sub­tleties, then a Euro­pean who wants to reduce heat­ing costs should know the fol­low­ing: the read­ings of the meter­ing sta­tion are tak­en into account only if all 100% of the heat­ed premis­es of your house are equipped with heat meters, at the entrance of which there is also one com­mon house heat meter.

And as a con­clu­sion: The qual­i­ty of the ser­vices pro­vid­ed for heat­ing leaves much to be desired. As you know, it is almost impos­si­ble to achieve any­thing through com­plaints and courts. The only way out, “the whole world” to install heat meters. Soon­er or lat­er, pub­lic util­i­ties will have to put things in order in their econ­o­my, since they will have to pay for heat loss­es on their own.


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