Nowadays which technique is the best
Which heater is best for your home?
The question of the best heating system is extremely important for homeowners. Most people agree that it should be efficient and as sustainable as possible. But there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This is what the Stiftung Warentest found in its issue 05/2018.
In a nutshell, the most important information:
- Stiftung Warentest tested gas condensing boilers, heat pumps and wood pellet boilers
- Gas heating systems are cheap and require the smallest space, heat pumps and pellet boilers are more ecological, but also significantly more expensive and require more space
- In combination with solar, the environmental balance of gas heating can be improved, the state supports this solution with up to 45% subsidy
Which requirements determine what is the best heater for me?
As future homeowners, builders face many important decisions. In addition to windows, tiles or roof tiles, the heating system must also be selected.
And the choice of the heating system is a particularly difficult challenge. After all, which heating system is ultimately installed has a major impact on the costs that homeowners will have to face in the long term.
But aspects such as living comfort or environmental protection also play a role. There is no general answer to which heating is the best. Choosing the right heating system depends on the type of building as well as individual wishes and requirements.
Which heater suits you?
In Germany, consumers in new buildings often choose one of the three common types of heating: gas condensing boilers, heat pumps or wood pellet boilers. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages. There are several factors that can influence the choice:
- acquisition cost: Gas condensing boilers are among the cheapest heating systems. Their purchase price is well below the cost of a heat pump. The heat pump has the highest investment outlay. However, funding is possible here.
- Available space: With a gas heater, the smallest space is required, because the fuel comes from a pipe and does not have to be stored. The greatest space requirement arises with a pellet heating system. Because the pellets need their own dry room for storage.
- Own claim: If you want to use heating technology that is as environmentally friendly as possible, you will surely find the best solution with a heat pump in combination with photovoltaics and solar thermal energy. However, this decision is offset by significantly higher costs than with conventional solutions.
Use our heating planner and we will then advise you which heating system best suits your requirements.
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Which heater is the best in the Stiftung Warentest comparison?
In its issue 05/2018, Stiftung Warentest compared three common types of heating with a gas boiler, a heat pump and a pellet heating system. Eleven different heating systems were examined. A "model house" with a usable area of 145 square meters and a heating requirement of 9,000 kilowatt hours per year served as the basis for the comparison.
The house itself was an energy-efficient house built in 2016 and had modern insulation. The article mentions that the energy consumption of older houses can be four times as much.
The Stiftung Warentest finds that there is no heating system for everyone. Because every system has its advantages and disadvantages in comparison. While the gas boiler can score with very low acquisition costs, it is worse off in the ecological balance compared to wood pellets and the heat pump. Anyone who can reduce the high investment costs for heat pumps and pellet systems through the available funding options needs space for fuel or the heat pump itself.
Basically, it can be said that all three types of heating compared only have the best environmental properties in combination with photovoltaics and solar thermal systems. Both alternative systems can reduce operating costs. Because both get their energy from the sun's rays - and they are known to be free.
Summary of the test results
Anyone who hopes for an answer to the question "New heating, but which one?" From Stiftung Warentest can orientate themselves on the respective conclusion on the analyzed heating:
- Heat pump: In general, Stiftung Warentest recommends heat pumps only for well-insulated buildings in their article. This means that this heating system would only be suitable for new buildings or for energetically refurbished old buildings.
- Pellet heating: Pellet heating systems show a low environmental impact, but according to Stiftung Warentest they are "only recommended with reservations" due to the limited wood supply.
- Gas condensing boiler: Those who are price-conscious can use this heater. According to Stiftung Warentest, the environmental balance can be improved with photovoltaics and solar thermal energy.
Which heating systems still have to be observed?
In a comparison of different types of heating, the Stiftung Warentest did not take oil heating systems into account. Oil heating systems generally emit more CO2 per kilowatt hour of thermal energy produced than natural gas heating systems. But emissions can be significantly reduced with modern oil condensing boilers.
Oil heating can still be an alternative in regions without a connection to a natural gas network. This is all the more true when modern oil condensing boilers are used. They consume up to 30 percent less fuel than previously used low-temperature devices or old oil boilers.
If you also combine your oil heating with solar thermal energy, you can further reduce consumption and emissions.
Homeowners who already use an existing infrastructure for oil heating will also benefit from lower costs if they replace their old devices with new condensing boilers.
Regions without a natural gas connection can use heating systems that run on liquefied gas in addition to oil heating. The advantage: consumers are independent of a network. The gas is stored in an external tank for heating. Liquid gas heating can be recommended for buildings that are only inhabited temporarily and are located in very warm regions. Of course, consumption can also be significantly reduced here by combining it with solar thermal energy.
Gas heating and solar thermal - that's why this combination is so promising
If future homeowners can already fall back on an existing natural gas connection, gas heating for their own home is an option. The advantage of the system is, on the one hand, the technology that has been tried and tested over decades, which leads to a high level of efficiency in the heating devices.
On the other hand, the investment costs for a gas boiler are cheaper compared to heat pumps or other types of heating. During operation, gas heating is also characterized by lower costs than pellet heating.
In terms of space, heating with gas is the best solution. Gas heating does not require a separate room for fuel. And: If you add solar thermal to your gas boiler, you can not only save costs, but also significantly improve the environmental balance. Compared to heating oil, it is much better anyway due to the lower CO2 emissions.
Since the beginning of 2020, the new funding for heating has created a further incentive for this combination. The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control pays up to 40 percent funding for such a hybrid heating system using gas and solar. Since the Funding 2021 was transferred to the Federal Funding for Efficient Buildings Act (BEG), there is also one Bonus of five percent, if the heating modernization is carried out as part of an individual renovation schedule
Which heating is the best in terms of cost and efficiency?
Finally, an overview of different types of heating with their respective advantages and disadvantages should help you to make the best decision for your home
|Type of heating||advantages||disadvantage|
|natural gas|| - low investment costs|
- Mature technology: reliable and efficient
- can be combined with renewable energy (solar thermal)
| - not without a gas connection|
- Use of fossil energy
- The development of gas prices cannot be foreseen
|Heating oil|| - safe and efficient technology|
- can be combined with renewable energy (solar thermal)
- independent of energy suppliers -> savings potential
| - fossil fuels|
- worse CO2 balance than gas
- price fluctuations
- Space required for the oil tank
|Liquefied petroleum gas|| - Alternative if there is no gas connection|
- more independence from energy suppliers
| - LPG more expensive than gas|
- Space for liquid gas tank
|Pellets / wood|| - Co2-neutral and environmentally friendly|
- renewable raw material
- Fuel price low in the long term
| - relatively expensive to buy|
- Storage space for wood / pellets necessary
- Regular ash removal necessary
|Fuel cell|| - Electricity and heat generation|
- High efficiency
- high government funding
- great savings potential through electricity production
| - There must be a gas connection|
- expensive to buy
- regular maintenance work necessary
|Solar thermal|| - The energy source is the sun, 100% renewable|
- attractive funding
| - necessary requirements for the roof|
- no energy without the sun
- Not enough on its own for heat demand
New heating, but which ...?
This question can easily be answered with our heating planner. Enter the most important information about your new heating system here quickly and easily and find out which is the best for your home.
Image rights: © ronstik / fotolia.com
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