The boiler and radiators are still the most common heating systems in our country, even if they are not always the most convenient. Here’s everything you need to know.
Since heating systems based on wall radiators , in Italy, are historically the most widespread, it is now consolidated the belief that they are also the best and cheapest solution for home heating .
In reality, however, this is not always the case, indeed in certain circumstances the radiator system could be disadvantageous compared to alternative solutions made possible by technological evolution. The latter, in fact, in recent decades has introduced new systems, such as heat pumps, and has further refined pre-existing technologies, such as floor heating and plumbing systems , more simply known as radiant panel systems.
The fact is that in most cases people are unable to conceive a non-traditional heating system , but this happens only because of the lack of information on this and the fear that the alternatives will be too expensive.
The economic factor
As previously mentioned, the economic aspect represents the main cause in the choice to move towards a heating system based on radiators.
The ability to save especially appeals to property owners who have to deal with the renovation of an old building, and therefore are convinced that by reusing the existing pipes and radiators, they will be able to save on system costs and thus have super economic heating . which couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, during the renovation works, in most cases we end up with the bitter observation that the old pipes are too corroded and that their reuse would be decidedly inconvenient, because in a short time one or more pipes would end up yielding and giving rise to some losses, thus forcing additional expenses for a new restructuring intervention.
Even the old radiators, although they may appear in good condition externally, are rusted inside and consequently are no longer able to guarantee the original efficiency as regards the thermal efficiency; continuing to use them, therefore, would only further increase energy consumption instead of reducing it.
The problem, on the other hand, does not arise when the property is new and is still under construction, because in this case the system is built from scratch and you can easily opt for the best solution, even if you opt for however for the radiators.
Carefully evaluate the type of implant
Therefore, when renovating buildings, it is necessary to take into account both the conditions of the old system and the pipes and the aesthetic requirements; that is, the radiators must be consistent with the wall coverings and match well with paint , wallpaper or tile paint , in the case of radiators to be installed in bathrooms. For obvious reasons, in fact, it is preferable to avoid painting the radiators; especially if these are not connected to the hydraulic system but are equipped with a burner and fueled by methane gas.
In any case, however, whether it is an old renovated building or one of recent construction, it is important to choose the radiators wisely. In fact, there are three types that can be installed: hydraulic, electric and methane radiators.
The hydraulic radiators
The traditional type radiators are the hydraulic ones, i.e. they are connected to a series of dedicated pipes, the water circuit of the radiators, which is connected directly to the boiler which heats the water inside it at the times and at the temperature set by the ‘user.
This type is by far the most widespread, because if the system is well made and is connected to a condensing boiler or to a hydro pellet boiler, then it allows a reasonable saving on heating costs.
While it may seem absurd at first glance due to electricity costs, under the right circumstances electric radiators can be efficient and much less expensive than you might imagine.
To begin with, in fact, they have a much lower installation cost, do not require connection to the thermo-hydraulic system, are not subject to corrosion and do not require maintenance. Several types can be found on the market, but the most common are above all Norwegian radiators and Swedish radiators, called in this way precisely because they are low consumption systems developed and widely used in Scandinavian countries, where the climate is notoriously stiff.
These radiators, in fact, exploit a particular technology that allows them to offer maximum yield with minimum power consumption.
This type of radiator is mainly intended for those who have access to the connection to the methane gas distribution network, and therefore can have methane radiators installed instead of hydraulic ones.
As with electric radiators, in fact, even those with natural gas have the advantage of being easy to install: they do not require connection to the water system or to flues, simply drill a small coaxial hole in the wall that acts as a drain. Furthermore, being autonomous and modulating, they are able to heat without waste and area by area.
Cost of traditional heating system
The cost of a system based on hydraulic radiators may vary depending on the size of the building and the volume to be heated.
In principle, however, it is necessary to calculate about 500 or 600 euros for each single radiator; obviously the price also includes installation, piping, masonry work, system testing and certification of conformity.
Considering that for an apartment with an area of 100 square meters you need at least eight radiators, the cost of the system can range from around 4,000 to 5,000 euros. The figure indicated is a rough estimate, however, because it is calculated on a 100 square meter apartment; the cost may decrease or increase depending on the overall size of the apartment.