Meaningful heating for old and listed buildings

In modern buildings, heating costs can be drastically reduced with relatively simple measures - this is often much more difficult with old and, above all, listed buildings. Which heating technologies are particularly suitable for buildings of older years, and why, will be explained in this article.

Problem with old buildings

Buildings that are one hundred years old or older are often built with materials that are very durable but, in terms of building physics, sometimes bring with them many detrimental properties. A good example is provided by old half-timbered buildings, but also by vaulted cellars.

One of the main problems of many old buildings is moisture. Due to the building materials used moisture is repeatedly entered into the outer walls and discharged to the interiors. That can hardly be prevented. Often the remedial measures, such as the attachment of vapor barriers, then even the problem for the building fabric.

Problems of listed buildings

The editions prescribed by the monument protection may vary depending on the building. In most cases, a change in the facade is not allowed - their appearance should be kept true to the original. In the case of windows, it is occasionally permitted to use modern windows in the original look, but often this is also ruled out and the original windows must remain in the building.

Damping measures are therefore often difficult for listed buildings. External insulation is not possible because of the maintenance obligation of the façade, and replacement of the windows, which cause high heat losses, is then not permitted. Internal insulation often turns out to be difficult and in many cases dangerous for the intactness of the building fabric due to the constant moisture input.

Often, the strongly heat-permeable roofs of old buildings are another problem. Renewal and energetic sealing are also difficult here on a case-by-case basis.

Requirements for the heating system in old buildings

The heating must therefore be relatively more efficient, since it must compensate for the high heat loss due to the poor or impossible insulation. At the same time, it should be ensured that the base temperature is as uniform as possible in order to somewhat manage the moisture in the interior of the building.

Suitable heating systems

Above all, condensing boilers bring with them the high efficiency. They have a much higher efficiency than heaters without condensing technology, and therefore can still provide the high amounts of heat even with comparatively acceptable consumption and cost.

However, infrared heaters prove to be much more advantageous for old and hardly dimmable buildings. They work very efficiently because they do not heat the air in the room, but work exclusively with radiant heat.

Heat losses are avoided as there are no appreciable amounts of warm air inside the building. This also increases the efficiency of domestic heating - to about 2.5 times that of a conventional gas heater in modern construction, in old buildings to an even higher value.

Radiant heaters also provide a natural vapor barrier on the outside walls - by heating the outside wall, the moisture can dry off and does not get inside the room.

In addition, little installation effort is required, there is no need to lay piping and installations, which in many cases would contradict the monument protection requirements and often technically difficult to carry out.

In addition, infrared heaters can be integrated into the original rooms with minimal visual changes and can often be installed inconspicuously - which is also an advantage.

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