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Effective ways to reduce the cost of heating your home

Heating your home with electricity, you get decent opportunities for savings. Moreover, both quantitative (optimizing the mode of consumption) and qualitative (using an effective tariff system). In total, it gives an impressive effect.

Thanks to the responsive management consultants, I was able to collect all the answers to popular questions in one article: here we considered modern methods of reducing the cost of electric heating. Clear, accessible, easily applicable. And let's begin, perhaps, with an unexpected option for you - heating with the help of a split air-conditioning system.

Turn on the air conditioner, we will warm up!

This is how an air conditioner for heating in winter looks at below-zero temperature

Cable floor heating? Electric boiler? Infrared panels? What to choose so that the growing amounts of money in the receipts for heating do not fly into the pipe?
And that's what - air conditioning. Perhaps the most relevant, economical and promising option of electric heating. Especially if you know the main rules and exceptions to them.

The method does not work for traditional on-offs

Warning: will only warm the inverter type air conditioner. His "smart" compressor is able to smoothly reduce power when the desired temperature is reached, and then only easily and gracefully maintain a comfortable mode without winding up extra kilowatts.

This advantage is deprived of aging air conditioners of the type on-off (start-stop), operating according to the principle: switched on at full capacity - “finished” the temperature to the set value - completely disconnected - after a certain time it turned on again at full capacity - and so on in a circle. As a result: regular high (and extremely undesirable) starting loads on the compressor motor, working for wear, and still quite noticeable physically temperature drops in the room.

The difference in technology leads to a stunning breakthrough in performance. Inverter-type split systems are at least 35–40% more economical than on-off, plus they are operated much longer. Because it is extremely rare to work in full force, they mostly hold power at 50-60% of the nominal, and premium models sometimes have a minimum of 10-20%.
Non-inverter models are generally not designed for operation in the cold, not to heat their “horse”. Their electronics in heating mode wears out very quickly (just not designed for such tests), and their efficiency is several times lower.

The only option when it is appropriate to turn on "on-off" for heating is at a temperature outside and in a room about 15°C, only to "finish off" to a more comfortable one. As a full heater, it is no good.

Inverter was originally sharpened for serious work both on cooling and on heating. It has a suitable electronic filling, sensitive sensors. His computer collects data and understands what is happening with the air on the street, and reconfigures the work of the system accordingly, adapting the automation to work optimally.

There is not much point in putting an inverter split system with a view to heating in the country, if you live there only in summer. Or in an apartment where there is no individual heat meter and the ability to “fasten the batteries.”

Moreover, models from premium rulers often have special intelligent mechanisms for recognizing the presence and mode of human activity in the room, as well as the activity of sunlight. Depending on the specific situation “at the moment”, the system automatically adjusts its power to the actual one, which additionally helps to reduce unnecessary electricity costs (up to 30-35%).

European and global eco-standards and energy consumption standards are constantly becoming tougher, because on-off air conditioners will disappear altogether from sale in the near future, starting in 2020.

Informative indicators of energy efficiency

If you are reading this article, you are most likely interested in energy savings.
Important advice for you: when choosing a split system, be sure to pay attention to the parameter called COP (coefficient of performance). The so-called "thermal coefficient" is more informative than just data on power consumption. It shows nothing less than the ratio of the heat output of the model to its electric power.
The average COP in modern split systems is 3.5. What does it mean: for each kW / hour consumed in the heating mode, the conditioner will “generate” 3.5 kW / hour of heat.
The higher the thermal coefficient, the more efficient and productive the split system. The high-tech series COP value easily reaches 4.5-5.
For example, the company Neoclima introduced the Alaska 2.0 series. The technical data indicates efficiency = 510% (COP = 5.1), it has every chance of becoming a bestseller in 2019. Neoclima Alaska 2.0

Technological progress and the competitive race of manufacturers in general plays into the hands of economical consumers - the efficiency and economy of the climate are constantly increasing from year to year.

A bit about energy efficiency classes

Do you know how to identify at first glance a really economical inverter air conditioner? Look at the sticker with the energy efficiency class (information label Energy Label on the body of the appliance). Choose only from “A +” to “A +++” (three pluses as high as possible from among the possible energy efficiency).

By the way, you will not find the inverter below class “A”, but for the endangered on-off, the “B” mark is a decent indicator.

The most efficient mode is in the off season

Strictly speaking, air conditioning heating is beneficial under current conditions in almost any object. And in the foreseeable future too. But it is more useful to know the conditions under which such a method is more or less effective, since there is a certain specificity here.

Important: the most efficient operation of the split system is at an outdoor temperature of about zero and a small “plus”. Such a season that in our latitudes in fact often takes six months.

Why is that? Heat coefficient (as, in fact, heating efficiency) decreases with cooling of outdoor air. The thing is in technology: the heating mode functions using the temperature difference between the ambient air and freon (it is much colder). Therefore, the stronger the frost, the smaller the temperature difference, the less heat is transferred to the room on the indoor unit, the lower the final system efficiency. ...

Threshold value: around -15°C, when the efficiency is already very close to one. How many consumed, so much issued. To work, the heating works, but the sense of saving is lost. In case of severe frosts (up to -10, -15°C and below) it is more reasonable to include other sources of heating. The same electroconvector. A good French convector costs about $100, and an inverter air conditioner costs all $1,000. It is inappropriate to wear ten times more expensive and complicated equipment in extreme cold.

Interested in split heating system option? Do you want it to work including in a strong minus? Then, first of all, pay attention to special “winter” models: for example, from the Alaska series from Neoclima (works on heating to -30°C) or Heatcharge from Panasonic (to -35°C).

What to do if several rooms need heating at the same time

No questions asked if you have a small studio apartment. You put a split system consisting of outdoor and indoor units, and you warm your 40-45 square meters without noise, without dust and as economically as possible. And if you need to heat a private house in a couple of floors and a few separate rooms and halls?

split-systems for space heating Ideally, in this case, install a multi-split system from one outdoor unit and several internal ones. Such models will be in the range of all major leading manufacturers.

For those who are only doing a cottage project, it's time to apply the progressive and 100% “shooting” method - a combination of one powerful (so-called industrial) outdoor unit and branched air duct systems (built in walls, ceilings, floors throughout the house). The technology is widespread in particular in the USA, Norway, Finland. The air conditioner unit itself looks unpresentable, which is not so important, it is still located somewhere in the utility room. view of such a winter air conditioner in the interior

With the help of air ducts, warm air quickly spreads throughout the building, entering each of the rooms through lattices.

For administrative premises and office buildings with a large number of premises, an energy-efficient chiller-fan-coil system was used, but this is a completely different, specific story, it is better to talk about it in a separate article.

How quickly the purchase and installation of the winter-summer split-system will pay off

The higher the energy efficiency of technology, the faster it will pay off. It seems clear, but I want to check. For clarity, let's compare the payback period for the three categories of inverter split when heating a room with an area of ​​40-45 m2.

Detailed calculations of payback with numbers and examples of models you can look at in this material - see, very clearly.

For a budget inverter split system for the specified area you will have to spend from $480, plus installing another $70-90.
In heating mode, it will consume on average 1.6 kW per hour, which for a month under the condition of 10-hour operation will be:
  30 days × 10 hours × 1.6 kW = 480 kW * h.
The payback period (we consider for the Ukrainian realities and the tariffs in effect at January 2019 of $0.06 per 1 kWh) will be about 15 months:
  $0.06 × 480 = $28.8 - monthly expenses;
  $64 - $28.8 = $35.2 - Monthly Gain compared to Heating with Heating Networks;
  ($480 + $70) / $35.2 = 15 months.
Further net savings.

More than tech and productive "middle" will cost from $640-645. But they also consume less, on average, 1 kW per hour, which per month will result in:
  30 days × 10 hours × 1.0 kW = 300 kW * h.
The payback period is also about 15 months, and further energy consumption is lower by one third than that of the budget.

Premium Models - “Japanese” with A +++. They cost from $1000, consume about 0.8 kW, which in a month will be:
  30 days × 10 hours × 0.8 kW = 240 kW * h.
It will pay off in about 20 months of work. For the future, a very reasonable decision, since in the future consumption is 2 times lower than the budget Chinese inverter - month after month, season after season. Do not forget that it is just as effective and cools the room in the hot months, because the savings doubles. Plus, let's be realistic: electricity is unlikely to get cheaper, but it will rise in price more than once, so the payback period is less in practice.

You do not want to lay out a round sum for the super-economical A +++? Any modern inverter air conditioner of the middle segment will be released in a year and a half.
And, of course, the investment will pay off the sooner, the less you spend on its acquisition. And, although prices for advanced high-tech series "winter-summer" are considerable, there are legal ways to buy cheaper standard price prices. For example, catch discounts on products from lines that are about to be updated (with the leading manufacturers, the lineup is almost completely updated every 2-3 years), as well as in “out of season” (autumn and winter).

Want to find out how you can still save on electric heating - in particular, the same conditioner?

Night tariff accelerates system payback and increases electric heating efficiency

Whether you choose a split-system for heating, or you will install an electric boiler, or you still want to be confused with the system of cable "warm floor" - in any case, you can save more. Here we go to the issue of the night rate. A simple and effective solution that allows a third of the daily time to consume electricity at a reduced rate of two times is available to everyone.

Main condition: you must first take care of installing a multi-tariff meter. Ie, buy it and mount it according to the regulatory procedure (specify the algorithm and recommended metering devices in the local distribution zone).

The specific recoupment time of an electricity meter depends on several factors: the total monthly consumption of kilowatts, the consumption structure and its optimization by the residents.

If we talk strictly about heating with air conditioning, then, alas, the heat from the split system does not accumulate overnight and does not accumulate for the future, it is technically impossible. Therefore, rely on the fact that at least you will be heated 30% of the daily time (in hours for which nightly tariffs for electricity are used) is 50% cheaper.
As practice shows, as a result, using a multi-tariff meter for a month, you will easily save 15-20% on heating - without even changing the consumption mode too much.
That is, if you now pay $140 per month for heating the house with electricity, after switching to the nightly rate, you will pay $110-115.

For 7 months of the heating season (from October to March inclusive) savings will happen:
  ($140 - $115) × 7 = $175.
Given that the multi-tariff meter will cost only $40-45. That's what it means "saved = earned."

Here we must understand that with a low power consumption initially split-system and the discount is not as significant as for systems with lower efficiency such as electric boiler or cable "warm floor". Plus, you also benefit from the nightly heating of water in the boiler, washing dishes and laundry, which is elementary in everyday life.

Reduced heating tariff

We'll have to tinker to get this savings opportunity. The transition procedure requires patience, attentiveness, as well as the search and involvement of an organization specializing in heat audit and heat engineering.
But the game is worth the candle. Especially if combined with the night tariff (and so it is possible). It is quite possible to achieve very pleasant results for an economical owner: to pay for kilowatts consumed at night, only about 25% of the standard cost. During the day, too bad, you can save almost doubled.

Accurately maintaining a given temperature as a sure way to save

Electricity can and should be spent rationally. Advanced inverter split systems do an excellent job with the constant maintenance of a comfortable room temperature and its regulation. What do homeowners who use, for example, electric convectors, do?
Output - temperature relay. You adjust it to a predetermined temperature range (for example, 19-22°C) and you start saving. The heating is automatically activated when the temperature in the room drops below 19°C, and until it reaches 22°C it functions. Is it getting warmer? Then auto-off is triggered, and the air cools smoothly. As a result, always a comfortable temperature and reduction of electricity consumption to 15-20%.
What is in the figures: by paying for the thermal switch about $20, you will reduce the heating expenses of the room, for example, from $42 to $34. Ie, save $8 monthly. Already in 2.5 months the temperature relay pays off, then his work is only in plus you, in minus receipts for electricity.

Let's summarize the main recommendations for the economical and heat-loving

recommendations for saving heat costs Keep pace with the times, do not become a hostage of obsolete conventional heating methods. Use new technologies and high-performance equipment. So, having invested once in a high-performance split-system of the inverter type, you will already pay back the initial costs in 1-2 cold seasons and start to save significantly - even the upcoming tariff increase is not so scary. And work on the installation and implementation of such a heating system is a minimum.

Accelerate positive processes of transition to the night tariff. So every kilowatt consumed during the night period (not only for heating rooms, but also for other household needs) will cost twice as much, which is 30% of the daily time. Initially, you will have to install a special multi-tariff electricity meter, which, however, will pay for itself more than a season in a season.

And do not forget: whichever method of heating you ultimately choose, its quality is directly affected by the quality of house insulation and cost optimization with the help of special technologies and devices (for example, thermal switches).

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