Bosna i Hercegovina

Heat sources in our homes in 2022


What heating devices do we most often choose and why?

The situation in the heating market is still tense. This is related to the difficult geopolitical realities (war, inflation) and to the energy crisis. The scale of the crisis is changing, but fuel prices are high and their availability is unstable. People are saving on everything they can. This is not good for investments, renovations, or building modernization.

Despite the high cost of living, we need to heat our homes. The question remains with what. Today we’ll look at recent trends and see what heating devices we most often choose.

The most popular heating devices – heat pumps

The beginning of 2022 saw a real increase in the purchase of heat pumps. It had already started in 2021, but the first three quarters of 2022 were record-breaking in this regard. In Poland then, sales of these heat sources increased by 120% compared to the previous year. It is estimated that every third device purchased for space heating was a heat pump.

This is because the heat pump beats traditional heating equipment in terms of convenience and operating costs. You don’t have to regularly pay for fuel for it, because it refills the fuel itself – drawing from nature (RES). It is ecological and you can get subsidies for it – so it is widely available and affordable (subsidized).

Importantly – although you sometimes hear otherwise – high-quality heat pumps do not require additional heating equipment at all. They manage to heat the building by themselves. In addition, they are almost maintenance-free. They provide heat in the interiors and DHW without our participation.

Using this heat source, we do not participate in the emission of toxic greenhouse gases. We don’t need chimneys, which we can take into account already at the stage of designing the house – we save money on this as well.

Investors often choose to combine heat pumps with photovoltaics, so the cost of the pump itself and the rest of the home electronics that run on electricity disappears – because it is produced by a PV-equipped household. In such a situation, we are not talking about savings for the piggy bank, but about really big money that stays in our pockets.

Heat pumps – however, there are some problems

Although sales of heat pumps are expected to keep growing, there are worrying signs that could slow down this process. To a more or lesser extent.

  1. Not enough professional installers (not enough for the demand) who can choose the right model of pump and optimize its operation at the implementation stage. The quality of the installation is very important for the performance of the device, so it is worth trusting the professionals.
  2. Improper installation can cause an increase in electricity bills, which in turn creates customer frustration and dissatisfaction – that’s how bad publicity is created.
  3. Adapting heat pumps to old heating systems also breeds bad fame. The idea is that the heat pump works most efficiently with installations fed by low temperatures.

Conventional and condensing gas boilers

Conventional gas boilers are already a rare choice. Their share of total gas boiler sales is only about 5%. Meanwhile, condensing boilers – the first choice for gas heating until recently – have scored a marked drop in popularity by about 20, 30%, depending on the type (wall-mounted, floor-standing). This was influenced by the unstable situation in the gas market, triggered by the war in Ukraine.

In recent months, however, we have not experienced the shortage of gas supply that the market had feared. This raw material, although becoming more expensive, is available. Its price has increased, but there is no surprise here, as this phenomenon affects the entire energy resources sector. In addition to the widespread use of RES, higher heating charges are impossible to avoid at the moment.

Therefore, consumer interest in gas boilers should return. If someone is planning to eliminate old coal and wood stoves, but for various reasons will not be interested in RES, they will most likely turn to condensing gas boilers – as has been the case so far.

Solid fuel boilers

Many households are still using older or newer solid-fuel boilers (including wood pellets, eco-pea), but this is no longer the direction of the future, and certainly owners of new developments are not taking it (opting rather for RES). Undoubtedly, this is influenced by the severe price increases of solid fuels.

However, let’s remember that modern solid fuel boilers are much more environmentally friendly. All boilers of this type must meet ecological requirements for emissions into the atmosphere. This also means easier operation and lower failure rate – greater comfort of use.

Electric and oil heating equipment

Electric boilers are increasingly popular because they are relatively easy to install and use, and with additional PV installation – extremely cost-effective, because their own power generation minimizes heating fuel costs to zero. They work great in passive buildings, but also in modern houses with energy-efficient technical parameters and exemplary thermal modernization. Such buildings do not have a gigantic demand for heat.

These are heating devices that do not emit pollutants. They are an interesting alternative to other central heating boilers. In 2023 it is not yet at the top of our choices, but this type of heating is beginning to be appreciated – also as an additional heat source or in hybrid installations.

Solar collectors

As in the case of heat pumps, this is a completely ecological and energy-saving solution – and therefore future-proof. The collectors make it possible to obtain the heat needed for DHW without polluting the environment, and also support central heating.

In our geographical conditions, it is risky to rely on the heat generated  only by solar panels. Especially if we do not have the possibility to store it for a longer period of time. Thus, collectors are rarely chosen as the main heat source, heating the entire building. However, this is a proposition increasingly appreciated by consumers.

Heating devices in 2023

It is difficult to predict what will change in this topic over the next few months. It can be assumed that – for greater security and lower fees – heating will go the way of various installation hybrids. This will make it possible to choose the heating medium according to its current price. Certainly, the glory of RES will continue to grow. As a result of this, we can assume a further increase in sales of solar collectors, which support the main heating system at a low cost and provide energy for free DHW generation. Collectors successfully work with electric boilers, gas boilers, and, of course, with heat pumps. They are universal and quite cheap. As we mentioned at the beginning, people are looking for savings wherever they can. Finding them in the heating sector is a must if we think about real reductions in household operating costs.

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