The big heater comparison

Modern buildings have many options for heating them. You will find a profound overview of the common forms of heating and information on ecology, energy costs and possible disadvantages in this article.

Fossil fuels

Heaters powered by fossil fuels are still the most widely used types of heating in Germany. However, they are also the most unecological: they consume finite resources that are already in short supply, and they produce a lot of CO2 and are also responsible for a lot of air pollution.

From the point of view of heating costs, fossil fuel heaters are in the midfield between the very favorable biomass heaters and the very expensive electricity heaters. However, this is only the still very cheap price of oil and gas, but not consumption.

Heating oil

Oil fired boilers modern design work only in the low temperature (NT) range. The efficiency of so-called blue burners in connection with condensing technology is already very high today, the emissions in modern boilers have been greatly reduced in recent years.

gas heating

Gas heaters and gas fired condensing boilers are slightly more fuel efficient than oil heaters and in some cases have better exhaust emissions. However, they are inferior to many other heating systems in terms of energy consumption. In the long term, alternative gas extraction processes, such as fracking or wood gas, could substitute part of the natural gas for price stability.

coal Heating

Coal heating is still available today. Automatic feed and solutions to the ash problem make coal an interesting fuel that is still cheaper than oil and gas. However, the environmental impact of coal heating is much more negative than that of oil and gas heating, so it's important to think carefully about how to use it.

Biomass heating

In heating technology, biomass refers to all types and shapes of wood. In fact, organic material, such as dried algae sludge, is a self-renewing fuel, but there are hardly any practical applications for such exotic biomass.

Biomass heaters include:

  • classic wood stoves and fireplaces, tiled stoves
  • firewood boiler
  • Pellet heaters and woodchip heaters
  • wood gasification

They cause the lowest heating costs, are climate-neutral and particularly ecological, since they naturally use renewable raw materials that do not need to be processed industrially.

electric heating

Electricity can also be used to heat, but only a little ecologically. Electricity is also by far the most expensive source of energy, which is about four to five times as expensive as gas.
The heaters that are powered by electricity include:

  • Night storage heaters
  • the very efficient infrared radiant heating as well
  • modern electric storage heaters
  • Electric direct heating systems, such as fan heaters

Other forms of heating

In addition, there are other ways to heat, sometimes very environmentally friendly and efficient:

  • heat pump technology
  • Solar thermal but also
  • photovoltaics
  • MCHP units

The most efficient form of heating at all is the heat recovery in the passive house. It also causes virtually no heating costs.

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